The Incredible Edible Egg
I eat A LOT of eggs. I often times get asked if I am worried about cholesterol content in eggs. My answer is always "NO". I know that in years past eggs have gotten a bad rap due to their high dietary cholesterol. Many people opted just for the whites and also for liquid egg substitutes. High blood cholesterol is associated with heart disease, so blaming this on food high in dietary cholesterol seemed only natural. But now after 25 years of study it is shown that saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol than does dietary cholesterol.
With this news lets all eat some eggs again! This little powerhouse has 75 calories -7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and zeaxanthin for eye health.
Here is a little breakdown of the words you will see on your egg carton and what they mean:
Grade- Eggs are given a gread by the U.S Agriculture Department. There are 3 grades depending on the quality. Grade AA- these are the highest quality with thick and firm whites and round clean yolks. Grade A- these are close to AA but just not as firm whites. Grade B- these are rarely sold in stores and are used for mostly egg products or commercial baked goods.
Cage-free or Free-range- This give you some information on how the hens who laid these eggs were treated. Cage-free- The hens were not kept in cages and allowed to roam around in a barn to stretch their little legs. Free-range- These hens were also not kept in cages and given the additional freedom to go outside.
Vegetarian-fed- These hens were fed no animal biproducts.
Organic- The carton must have the USDA Organic seal. These eggs came from hens that were Free-range and fed organic food.
Pasteurized- Eggs that have been heated to a point to kill any Salmonella bacteria which makes them suitable for recipes that require raw eggs such as Caesar Salad Dressing and Eggnog.
Hormone-free or Antibiotic-free- These are claims that don't mean anything since hormones and antibiotics are not used in egg production.
Farm-fresh or All-natural- These are marketing terms that really have no relevance to the way hens are treated and fed or the way the eggs are produced.
So don't just boil eggs for Easter; eat them as a snack, put them on your salad or make an egg salad sandwich!
For more about Meredith's Shape Up program, you can check her out her website!
As someone who needs to be dairy free, but loves cheese, it has truly been a struggle. I have tried every dairy-free version of cheese on the market, and to be honest, I have not been able to find one that actually tastes like cheese, satiates my craving, is free of all allergens, and feel that I could serve to company… until now that is! Most dairy-free cheese alternatives taste bland, actually contain lactose, and are comparable to eating melted plastic. That’s just my humble opinion. That is why I was so happy when I stumbled upon this new cheese alternative. The company’s name is Tree Line Tree Nut Cheese. So far, I have tried the herb-garlic and also the scallion , French-style, creamy soft flavors. They are absolutely delicious.
As someone who lives a clean lifestyle, has a sweet tooth, and doesn’t like to bake, I am always looking for quick, healthy and sugar free recipes to help satiate my sweet tooth. This recipe meets all of the above requirements. It is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and vegan, and takes about 10 minutes to put together. Next time you are looking for a healthy treat, consider throwing some of these cuties together. You might even have all of the ingredients on hand! On top of being addictively delicious, these guys have the added nutritional benefits of anti-oxidents, protein, fiber, potassium and vitamin E.
Food Prep 101
Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail!
When it comes to eating clean a good habit to get into is taking one day to cook in bulk. Having things cooked and chopped ahead of time helps make your daily meal prep a breeze!
I usually reserve Sunday morning for this ritual. The first thing I do is prepare a menu for the week, then write my grocery list and do the shopping.
Items always on my list are:
ground grass fed beef*
When I return back home with all my goodies I immediately start the preparation process:
-hard boil the eggs
-wash and chop the veggies and fruit
-marinate the chicken breast, grill it and chop it
-make salad dressings and salsas to top my salads
-roast the spaghetti squash
-brown the ground turkey
-cook the brown rice or quinoa
I make sure I have plenty of food storage containers on hand.
Doing all this ahead of time makes my mornings really quick and easy (especially since I make all my husband's meals too). In the morning I can just assemble the meals and be on my merry way!!
*If you are in my Shape Up program there is a recipe included which will utilize this prepped food!! If you would like to join Shape Up CLICK HERE.
For more about Meredith's Shape Up program, you can check her out her website!
ROASTED CARROT AND ALMOND SPREAD
I came across this super easy and quick recipe for a Roasted Carrot and Almond Spread in one of my favorite clean eating newsletters, Clean Eats. Having this on hand is excellent for when you are craving a mid-day snack. It is gluten, dairy and sugar free, and is packed full of healthy fats and protein, so it is sure to keep you satiated for hours. It also packs a strong beta-carotene punch, due to the carrots. Beta-caroten is a great and safe source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, good vision and eye health, a strong immune system and healthy skin. Beta-caroten is also an anti-oxidant, which helps to maintain good heart and bone health, and can help prevent certain types of cancers.
EATING CLEAN WHILE DINING OUT
Eating clean doesn't mean every meal you eat has to be homemade, out of Tupperware and sitting in solitude like a weirdo. Whether you are in the Shape Up program or just made the decision to create a healthier lifestyle, you can still enjoy a night out with friends and family.
Most restaurants these days are very accomodating to many different dietary restrictions. Some even offer special menus for people with such needs. But when restaurants create their everyday menus they do so with the typcial customer in mind. Some of these dishes can be heavy in sauces and carbohydrates and lower in vegetables. But that doesn't mean you can't order off this menu.
When I go out for a meal there are a few key words I look for when choosing a dish: grilled, steamed, baked and poached. These types of dishes generally are lighter and easier to make subsitutions in. I also look for dishes that have lots of veggies and ones that don't have sauces -since this can drive up the calorie count.
Don't be afraid to ask your server specifics about the dish: "is it cooked with butter?" "is there cheese on top?" "is it breaded?". You are, after all, the one eating it. If the answer is "yes" to these questions then ask for these items to be omitted, substituted or put on the side so you can be the one to control the quantity that you ingest.
If you are in my Shape Up program and have an outing planned please feel free to email me at Meredith@meredithevangelisti.com. These days most menus are online, so together we can pick some dishes that are suitable for you. You can always refer back to the Healthy Habits Eating Guide as well to help guide you in your decision.
POTASSIUM BALANCE SOUP
Here’s a delicious recipe for a potassium balancing soup. This is a vegetable tonic that provides an ideal combination for restoring the acid-alkaline and sodium-potassium balance to the body’s organs and glands. This is also the perfect recipe for assisting your body’s natural detoxification system. It is easy to prepare, and takes 30 minutes to cook. It is surprisingly refreshing, yet grounding, all at the same time! And… as usual, this recipe is gluten, dairy and sugar free. It is also vegan, if you use water instead of chicken stock. I like to use chicken stock to help keep my immune system strong, and help to heal my leaky gut. I usually have some home-made stock on hand in the fridge or freezer, but a low sodium, store bought stock will do just fine.
*Potassium Balance Soup
4 cups spring water or stock of your choice
4 medium zucchinis, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, leaves removed, then finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped green string beans
1 large bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1 tbsp organic miso paste
2 tsp dried oregano
Put all of the ingredients in a large stock or saute pot, except the miso. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon out a half a cup or so of some liquid from the soup and place in a small bowl. Add the miso to the warm liquid and stir until the miso paste has dissolved. Add the miso liquid into the soup and give it a final stir. Serve warm.
This soup will stay good in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it for longer storage.
*Adapted from the Food Matters 2015 Inspirational Desk Calendar
Yours in health,
Certified Holistic Health Coach
My new favorite kitchen gadget is my spiralizer. If you don't have one, or don't know what one is, it's a nifty contraption that makes pasta-like ribbons out of harder fruits and veggies. Some ideas for fruits or veggies you could use with a spiralizer are zucchini, carrots, beets, apples, etc... Last night, I decided to make not only a vegan, but raw veggie pasta, topped with a delicious "Alfredo" sauce that I made out of cashews and nutritional yeast. I fed it to my italian boyfriend, who was, to his surprise, impressed! I, myself, thought it was delicious! I love this recipe because you get to use fresh, local and seasonal ingredients (for the most part), and it's completely raw, so you are accessing the most amount of vitamins and nutrients out of the veggies. You also get a ton of protein, between the cashew cream sauce and the spinach. On top of that, you get a healthy dose of vitamin B12 from the nutritional yeast. Most vegans and vegetarians are low in this essential vitamin. A deficiency in B12 can lead to anemia, depression Alzheimer's disease, infertility, sleep issues, asthma, allergies, and IBS. This recipe is also gluten and sugar free!
Raw Vegan Spaghetti with "Alfredo" Cream Sauce
1 bunch fresh raw spinach, cleaned
2 zucchinis made into noodles using a spiralizer, or you can use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons out of the zucchini
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
For the cashew cream sauce
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons salt
water, as needed
1. Create the zucchini noodles, using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons out of the zucchini. Set aside. 2. Make the cashew "Alfredo" sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a blender. I use about 12-3/4 cups water to make a nice creamy consistency. 3. Place the rinsed and dried spinach on a plate. 4. Next put the noodles on top of the spinach. 5. Pour some cashew cream sauce over the noodles. A little goes a long way. You should have some left over. 6. Sprinkle some fresh chopped thyme over the top and season with freshly grated black pepper, to taste.
Let me know what you guys think!
Yours in health,
This week I thought I would share with you my version of a Buddha bowl. What IS a Buddha bowl? Simply put, a Buddha bowl is a meal-sized bowl filled with simple pure food and enjoyed with deep gratitude. I like to use a large sized bowl, one with which I have become accustomed to associating as a symbol of gratitude and nourishment. You can really use any combination of fresh raw and steamed veggies. Some of my favorites include kale, spinach and arugula. Combining flavor and texture, i.e. sweet, crunchy, soft, bitter, can be a fun, creative and relaxing process. Next, add some carbs like cooked brown rice or quinoa and some sort of protein. In this recipe, I used a fried egg as my protein source, but you could use tofu, tempeh, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or even an animal protein, such as chicken or beef. I know for me, the first few times I make a dish, it's nice to follow a recipe, so here is my version of a nourishing, healthy and clean Buddha bowl.
Every year for the past 10 years or so, I have invited my mother over for Mother's day for a nutritious, healthy, home-cooked meal. It is my way of thanking her for all of the love and nurturing she has given me over the years. This year was no exception. I am always conscious of not only my own dietary restrictions and needs, but my mother's as well. This recipe for a wonderfully refreshing Hibiscus Pomegranate Cooler fits the bill. It is gluten, dairy, alcohol, and added sugar free. It is not only refreshing, but loaded with antioxidants as well. As an added bonus, the Hibiscus tea is not only energetically cooling (great for the hot day we had yesterday!), but it has been shown to help in the reduction of cholesterol!
I am a big fan of changing my eating habits along with the seasons. This is a good habit to develop for a few different reasons. For me, it helps to keep me out of a food rut. You know what I mean by that. When you find yourself rotating between the same three dishes? This can cause boredom, which can lead to binging. It can also lead to food sensitivities. If you over expose yourself to really anything, you can develop a sensitivity to it. That can be food, body products, chemicals, etc.. Another reason to eat seasonally is because if you are eating with the seasons, you are probably eating locally sourced food, which means you are getting the food into your body sooner after picking, then if it was shipped clear across the country to get to you. This means a higher rate of access to vitamins and minerals. You are also supporting local farmers, and helping to reduce environmental pollution by not contributing to the fossil fuels that it takes to get your exotic food to your local grocery store. But most importantly, local, seasonal food just tastes better!
Below is a simple, yet refreshing salad that I found in the book, The Longevity Kitchen Cookbook by Rebecca Katz. It has 3 main ingredients, 6 ingredients total, including the salad dressing - which is delicious as a marinade, and is super easy to make. A few health bonuses to this salad's ingredients include anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties to the strawberries, the fennel helps aid in digestion and arugula is high in calcium, vitamins A, C and K, and is also a good source of iron.
Summer is in the air! It gives me a little bounce in my step and lightness in my body to breathe the fresh air. To smell the life and new growth. Summer is a great time to re-evaluate what you are eating. As we leave the colder winter months behind us, so should we step away from the heavier, more warming, comforting foods. This is the time to re-introduce fresh greens into your diet.
By now, we have all heard about how good kale is for you. This is true, but I wanted to bring some attention to a green that many of us know, but probably find annoying when they pop up in your grass. Dandelion greens. These guys are on the bitter and some what peppery side of the flavor profile. This means they are great for digestion. They help the liver stimulate bile, which aids in digestion and helps your body in the removal of toxins. Below is a list of the some of the health benefits of eating dandelion greens.
As I was thinking about what to write about this week, it occurred to me that the many different uses of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar have come up a bunch with colleagues and clients lately. If you are not familiar with the stuff, it is made by exposing crushed apples to yeast and letting the apples ferment. This turns the apple/yeast mixture into alcohol. The second step in making apple cider vinegar is to then expose the apple alcohol to bacteria, which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid... the main active compound in apple cider vinegar. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) also contains "mother," strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the vinegar a murky, cob web-like appearance. This is the good stuff. It is the "mother" in the vinegar, that I believe, enables it to have so many healthy benefits.
Do you have questions for our resident yoga expert Gwen Lawrence? Send us an email and she'll shoot a video in response!
Recipe of the Week: Salmon en Papillote with Arugula PestoI came across this recipe in the 2015 issue of Nourish and Heal Magazine. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what "en Papillote" means, it is French for "in paper". In the culinary arts, the term refers to a moist heat cooking method where the food is enclosed in a packet of parchment paper or foil and then cooked in the oven. When cooking en papillote, there are usually some vegetables, herbs and seasonings included in the packet along with the main item. These additional ingredients, along with the main item, give off steam, which is what actually cooks the food. Therefore, en papillote cooking is basically a technique for cooking with stream, which is an extremely healthy way to cook your food. Because salmon is delicate and cooks quickly, it is a good choice for cooking this way.
Water is so important, but it is one of the most neglected aspects of our health and our diets. Below are some facts about water that I thought were important enough to share with you guys.
Fire Cider is a great winter immune tonic and digestive aid. Its potent taste and smell help to clear up sinus and respiratory congestion. It stimulates circulation, improving the immune response and helping to keep you warm! It can be taken regularly as a dietary supplement or as prevention or treatment for cold and flu.
1/4 C Horseradish, freshly grated
1/8 C garlic, chopped
1/2 C onion, chopped
1/4 C ginger, freshly grated
Cayenne to taste
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, enough to cover all ingredients.
Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk with Asparagus Spears
2 free-range chicken thighs, with skin on
2-3 tbls coconut oil
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp fresh sage
2 tsp fresh oregano
zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin half moons
1 handfull of asparagus per person
sea salt to taste
Here is a recipe that I came up with the other day. With the warmer, longer days, I find myself craving bright, refreshing, green tasting things. This smoothie hits the spot. With the inclusion of food power-houses, such as chia seeds, maca and wheatgrass, not to mention coconut oil and cilantro, you'll be happily energized for the morning or afternoon, without the crash that caffeine or sugar can cause.
We had a fan on Facebook ask for our recommendations on bras. She's a D cup and hates the dreaded uni-boob that generic sports bras tend to give (don't we all) . We hear your cry and have listed above some of the office favorites here at Kulae. Not only are these bras great for support, but they are also sexy and stylish. Below are the links to get your own:
Here is a fun, fast, delicious and different way to cook zucchini. This recipe shows how you can take the healthiest of vegetables, and make it into a comfort food. These are best hot, right out of the oven. Serve these as a healthy snack, or as a side dish. They take less then 30 minutes to make, and as usual are gluten, dairy and sugar free. These guys are vegan as well. Not only are these low calorie and satiating, they are high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3's, due to the walnuts and a vegetarian source of vitamin B-12, due to the addition of nutritional yeast.
As we're gearing up for the warmer months ahead, there are a few things on our mind: cleaning our homes, refining our closet, donating things we don't use and kicking up our workout routines a notch. The ladies in the Kulae office have agreed to a correlation between having cute workout outfits and an increased frequency of working out. Even if it just means picking up a new sports bra in a bright color or a great hoodie to wear to and fro, we've found that a little refresh in our workout gear makes us that much more excited to get to that yoga session or pilates reformer class.
Turkey and Vegetable "Rice" Bowl
We have an exciting new series coming to the blog: Weekly Recipes by Renee! We'll be featuring mostly vegan and gluten free recipes for our readers to try out at home. Delicious, healthy and nutritious, we're thrilled to have Renee's cooking on our site!
You've made it to Bikram Yoga. Barely. The feeling of fear in the pit of your stomach is gnawing away at you as you sit in the hot room, awaiting the arrival of the instructor and with it, your impending doom. You're about to embark on a tidal wave of emotions throughout class, but, take it from us, it ends on a high note. Here's what to expect:
We get it. Mornings are tough. And let's not even get started on Monday mornings, where getting up before 8am is reminiscent of the scene in the Ring with the girl crawling out of the well. As difficult as is seems when the alarm goes off, establishing a morning yoga routine is an invigorating way to get your day started. Not only will you be in a better mood, you will be more likely to make mindful, healthy choices during the day. If things come up during the day (ahem happy hour with your coworkers), you can go guilt free since you already got your practice out of the way.
If you're not naturally a morning person, however, actually getting up when the alarm calls can prove daunting. Here are some tips to keep you from hitting the snooze button for your 6am flow class:
We're continuing our "we're so done with winter" yoga style inspiration this week with a punchy blue and metallic theme.
We're over the snow in Boston and are ready to move onto warmer weather.
As a guy, going to yoga can be as foreign and strange as accidentally wandering into a Sephora store. We'll made things a little easier on you by giving you guidance on what to wear to your first class.