Nutrient-Dense, High Protein Breakfast Options

We all know plain scrambled eggs can do the job, but they get old. Here are a few thought starters to changing things up with your morning routine:

Cupcakes

Starting with my personal favorite – protein cupcakes. And don’t let the wording confuse you. These cupcakes are not sweet, nor would you find them at a trendy bakery. These bad boys will keep you full till lunch and they are portable if you are short on time. Depending on your activity level have 2-3 Paleo Infused breakfast Muffins for breakfast and if you find you are still hungry pair them with some steamed vegetables or avocado. Check out the Paleo Infused Breakfast muffin recipe here. 

Pancakes

Super easy recipe, yet, I often find myself making these on the weekend. Details: 2 eggs, 1 small banana or 1/2 of a banana. Add spices if desired i.e. ginger, cinnamon. Mix ingredients thoroughly and cook 2 pancakes as normal.

Breakfast Tacos

Ground chorizo meat, fresh tomatoes and lettuce (butter lettuce) cups. if you want more specific here is another breakfast taco recipe.

Sweet Blueberry Sweet Potato

If you are an AM workout guru, some nice carbohydrates will help properly replenish your glycogen stores and help you feel good and recover for tomorrow’s sweat. This is an interesting breakfast idea, check out the recipe.

Fruit’n Eggs

Who says fruit only goes with parfaits or waffles? Not this girl. Throw some diced apple or sliced strawberries in your egg scramble. Perfect for times when you are craving something more sweet. If you really want to get creative, add some spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, etc. Dried herb and spices are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, rounding our the meal with even more nutrition.

Breakfast Pizza

Keeping in theme of America’s favorite meal items, lets reform pizza to something that can fuel us properly and allow us to thrive. This is a great Meatza recipe.

Frittata

Frittatas are making a comeback and they are perfect for those who want to make something in advance and have an easy re-heatable meal for mornings. These recipes look scrumptious: Egg and Sausage Frittata, Southwestern FrittataBrussels Spouts and Spinach Frittata

Homemade Trail Mix

Trail mix can be the perfect solution for a nutrient-dense meal in the morning, especially if you don’t have a problem over-consuming nuts. Here are 2 lovely recipes that use healthy oils and heating techniques, retaining the nutrition we need for optimal health. Sweet and Salty Trail Mix and Paleo Trail Mix.

Smoothies

So many options here and I find clients like to have smoothies as a structured meal, helping them to stay on tract. While there is some debate for protein powders, if I were to put one forward, I like the fermented goat protein from Tropical Traditions. That said, you judge what is best for you, some people may not need the protein powder and instead just use hemp seeds for protein and fat.

Creamy Chocolate 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 2 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado

Cinnamon Banana Delight

  • 1 cup of coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of ice

Cocoa Coffee

  • 1 cup of coffee (cooled)
  • 1/2 small frozen banana
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk or almond milk
  • Ice (3 cubes)

Berry Protein Blend

  • 2 scoops of protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of berries (your choice)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c of frozen or fresh spinach (alter serving size to less if frozen)
  • 3/4 cup of water

Sunday Session: Paleo Meatballs & Spaghetti, Chicken Soup, Salad, PIN Bfast Cupcakes

It’s that time again. Seven days behind and 7 days ahead, thinking about how I am going to nourish my family this week. I have a few repeated items this week, but they are so good, easy and nutritious. Apologies for the repetition. Here goes, enjoy!

Paleo Infused Nutrition (PIN) Spaghetti:

Preheat oven at 375F.

Pasta

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut long-ways with seeds scooped and removed
Place the squash face down on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 375F for 45-55 minutes.

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb pasture-raised pork, groud
  • 1/2 lb organic grassfed beef, ground
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, pasture-raised, free range
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • salt/pepper
Mix all of the above ingredients; best done with your hands. Once well-mixed, portion meatballs a little larger than golf balls and place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and place in the pasta sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is done.
Sauce:
  • 2 4 ounce can organic tomato paste
  • 1 can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • salt/pepper
  • Sliced mushrooms (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on low heat. Finish the directions included with the meatballs and you have yourself a meal.

Chicken Vegetable Soup:

The health benefits of bone broth are surreal. So surreal, I try to have some every week in some shape or another. This week, I cooked up a favorite.

  • 1/2 T of coconut oil, or grassfed butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced, add more if your prefer
  • 1/2 yellow onion, add more if you want the soup to be sweeter
  • 1 chicken breast, free range, skin and bones
  • 2 drum sticks, free range, skin on, bones in
  • 4 cups, gluten free chicken broth, enough to cover the soup ingredients
  • 7 carrots stalks, chopped
  • 1 celery heart, ~10 stalks,  chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 T rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  • Turn slow-cooker on to high. Add coconut oil or butter.
  • Add in the garlic and onion and let it heat up and the flavors marry before adding the chicken (5-8 minutes). Place in the chicken.
  • Begin chopping and prepping all other ingredients. Add all ingredients, including broth and spcies.
  • Change temperature to Low, and cook for 8-10 hours. Remove chicken and once cool enough to touch, remove the bones and shred the meat. Place the meat back into soup mix.
  • Stir and then enjoy.

What may be different with this soup than ones you may find on Recipe.com or other quick-and-easy recipe sites? I have included chicken that is organic, free range, in the bone, skin on. Why? The nutrient density goes up substantially with these components.

Salad:

Lettuce alone is not exciting, but when you have a nice mix of fresh produce and herbs prepped for the week, you therein have a foundation for a healthy lunch. In addition, I have some extra meat from the meatballs and I will be turning that into some clean eating meat patties to top this salad. But bottom-line, a good salad has at least 4-5 ingredients. You want it to have natural flavors and color. As the week progresses change the ways you dress it up by adding a variety of fruit (apple, dates, pears, peaches, avocado, etc) and protein (tuna, eggs, meat patties, chicken, etc).

  • Spinach
  • Parsley (great for flavor, freshness and detoxifies
  • Spring mix
  • Carrots
  • Celery
Following the suggestions of the Dirty Dozen, I buy all of my greens organic. Simply put, rinse the above ingredients, mix together and I like to store my salad in a salad spinner. Not exactly sure why, but it seems to last longer in this container verses a air tight Tupperware.
PIN Breakfast Cupcakes:
This is an east given on my Sunday Session routine, the only mix up is the type of herb I decide to use. This week I had a nice large bushel of parsley so that is what I went with. I also lined the cupcake tin with some coconut oil. Last week the prosciutto seemed to stick too easily and I want a nice clean cupcake without the breakfast meat torn up. It worked nicely.
  • Free range eggs, pasture-raised from the Green City Market
  • Prosciutto
  • Parsley and cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 375F/400F. Line the cupcake pan with coconut oil (optional) and then nicely place the prosciutto covering all of the service in the cup surface area. Crack an egg in each cup, add herbs and spice. Cook for 20 minutes. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy 2-3 each morning. Quick, easy and healthy breakfast. Boom.

Sunday Session: Sausage Stew, Breakfast Bacon muffins, Spaghetti Squash, Chopped Veggies

With today’s freezing weather I found it to be a great time to spend some time in the kitchen. This is what I’ve made for the week.

Veggie Sausage Stew:

  • 1/2 lb farmer’s market ground sausage
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cups celery diced
  • 1 medium to large zuchini cubed
  • 7 tomatoes cubed
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of roasemary
  • 1/2 cup parsley, freshly chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to your liking
  • salt to taste

Method: Brown sausage, combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, and allow it to cook on low for several hours. Batch half the meal in a freezer safe container and store half in the refrigerator for the week. *I doubled this recipe by just multiplying the ingredients by 2, but you may want to also increase the amount of spice. This stew was also good with some spaghetti squash. Provided a more comfort food craving. 

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins – Bacon:

  • Uncured bacon, strips (I did some with leftover proscuitto too)
  • Framer’s market eggs, or I like Trader Joe’s free range
  • Spices – crushed red pepper, pepper, coriander.

Method: Heat oven to 375F, using a cupcake baking pan, line the cups with the bacon, allowing for none of the pan to show, crack open an egg in each cup and add spices. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, pull out of the oven, allow it to cool, and store for the week.

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 squash, cut length-wise

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once the squash is cut length-wise, remove the seeds and strings with a spoon. Place a sheet of foil on a baking sheet, place the 2 squash halves faced down. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Pull out of the oven, allow to cool until you are able to touch, and fork the squash to create angel-hair like pasta. Store in the refrigerator up to a week and season with a variety of spices and ingredients. A few ideas include olive oil, lemon and basil, marinara sauce, coconut oil with cinnamon, ginger and raisins or it’s great just plain!

Snacks

I chopped raw veggies to have on hand for quick snacks and as a side for lunch. If I don’t have my vegetables cut, in a clear container, I am less likely to eat them.

I also had a nice stash of hard boiled eggs in the fridge from last week

I have plenty of raw fruit on my table including clementines, apples, oranges and bananas. Sometimes having a fruit bowl makes me happier than a bouquet of flowers. The fruit is colorful and purposeful!

Have a good week team!

Best Paleo Chili Ever

Chili is so perfect for winter. It is hearty, nutritious and uber easy to make. This December I made one of my best batches yet. Here is what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of grassfed beef, ground
  • 2 6 oz. cans organic tomato paste (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced organic tomatoes (Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 bell peppers, varying colors
  • 10 carrot sticks, organic, about 8 in. long (Trader Joe’s; 1 bag)
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • Spices – 3 T cumin, 2 T chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 T pepper, 1/2 T crushed red peppers, 1 T oregano, 1 T paprika – all measurements depend on your taste.
  • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot sauce (yes, you read that right)

Method:

Place slow cooker on high. Once warm throw in the half diced yellow onion, followed by the can of diced tomatoes. Add in the meat. Let cook for about 30 minutes.

During the 30 minutes, chop the bell peppers and all but 3 stalks of carrots into 1 inch pieces. Turn the slow cooker to low and add the bell peppers, carrots, tomato paste, spices and hot sauce. Stir until spices and tomato paste are evenly distributed.

Let the chili cook for 8-10 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Once you get to the end of the process, turn off the heat, add 3 stalks of chopped carrots and the spinach.

I like the variable (crunchy) texture and that is why I add more carrots at the end of the cooking process. As well, adding the spinach provides a more nutrient-dense punch to the meal. Vitamin C can easily be damaged with heat and that is why it is added at the end.

Once cool store half of the chili in your refrigerator and the other half in your freezer, so you have something healthy to eat next month when your time is tight.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Nutrient Dense: Slow-Cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup

This soup, by far, has been  the best chicken soup I have ever HAD and made. Pure deliciousness.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 T of coconut oil, or grassfed butter
  • 1 chicken breast, free range, skin and bones
  • 2 drum sticks, free range, skin on, bones in
  • 4 cups, gluten free chicken broth, enough to cover the soup ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced, add more if your prefer
  • 1/2 yellow onion, add more if you want the soup to be sweeter
  • 7 carrots stalks, chopped
  • 1 celery heart, ~10 stalks,  chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 T rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  • Turn slow-cooker on to high. Add coconut oil or butter.
  • Add in the garlic and onion and let it heat up and the flavors marry before adding the chicken (5-8 minutes). Place in the chicken.
  • Begin chopping and prepping all other ingredients. Add all ingredients, including broth and spcies.
  • Change temperature to Low, and cook for 8-10 hours. Remove chicken and once cool enough to touch, remove the bones and shred the meat. Place the meat back into soup mix.
  • Stir and then enjoy.

What may be different with this soup than ones you may find on Recipe.com or other quick-and-easy recipe sites? I have included chicken that is organic, free range, in the bone, skin on. Why? The nutrient density goes up substantially with these components.

Sunday Session – Almond butter, Slow cooker chicken, Sweet potato chips +

This Sunday I had family in town and therefore threw off my usual cooking routine. However, with a slow cooker there is always a way. This week I made a little something, something such as:

Almond Butter

Ingredients: Almonds and hazelnut oil
Method: Place a cup of almonds in a food processor. Let the almonds become rather refined and then add some oil, little by little, until the nut butter reaches a consistency you prefer.
Usage: almond butter can compliment many of things. You just have to be careful not to over consume it. This is one reason I prefer to make my own. I can make an amount that should last me at least a week. If it’s gone before the next Sunday, then it’s gone. Hmmm hence this being a staple item on my cooking list.

Slow-cooker Chicken, Mushroom, Onion, Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ingredients: Gluten free chicken stock (1/4 cup-1/2 cup), 3-4 chicken breast (I did skinless because that is what I had but it would have turned out even better with skin on), 1 yellow onion, chopped, 3 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup – 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 cup of green olives and spices.
Method: So easy!! Starting with the onion, place all ingredients in the slow-cooker on low and let it cook for 6 hours.
Usage: Pairs nicely with spaghetti squash, sauteed spinach or on fresh greens.

Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, sea salt, coconut oil, cinnamon
Method: Slice 4 sweet potatoes in thin cylinders; the size of potato chips. Preheat the oven at 375F, toss the sliced sweet potatoes in bowl of 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil (repeat this until all of the sweet potato is coated), lay sliced sweet potatoes across the baking sheet, sprinkle over the spices and salt, flip the potatoes and repeat. Cook for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes and allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Usage: Just as you would eat chips, enjoy some sweet potato chips!

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins

I

Ingredients: Farmer’s market eggs, prosciutto, pepper, cilantro.
Method: Line a cupcake pan with prosciutto. And make sure to be careful to completely cover the cups. If there are holes, then the Breakfast Muffin will not be able to remove as nicely as it should. Next crack an egg into each lined cup. You can leave the egg as is or mix the yolk and white together with a fork. Add spices. Cook on 400F for 25-30 minutes.
Usage: Quick and nutrient-dense breakfast on busy mornings or have one for an afternoon snack.

That’s all she wrote for me this Sunday! However, I do still have some nice pumpkin soup and green curry (seafood) in the freezer. Surely these items will come in handy towards the end of the week.

Next Sunday will be exciting as well. With some friends we have organized a Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner. We are starting the Sunday at our place at 2pm with appetizers then moving to other households for the main meal and dessert. What shall I make? I have in mind some bacon wrapped dates, maybe some sweet potato something….the list goes on! But open to some suggestions.

Cheers to you and good health, Kel

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins

My kind of breakfast includes protein, healthy fat, a long black (good coffee) and flavor. The latest treat I have been making in bulk, and therefore, fast to prep in the morning is prosciutto muffins. Eat 2 or so every morning with some kale and call it a breakfast of champions. Watch out Wheaties.

Ingredients:

  • Prosciutto (make sure you look at the ingredients, sugar is NOT needed)
  • Framer’s market eggs, or I like Trader Joe’s free range
  • Spices – either fresh cilantro or basil

Method: Heat oven to 375F, using a cupcake baking pan, line the cups with prosciutto, crack open an egg in each cup and add spices. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, pull out of the oven, allow it to cool, and store for the week.

Being healthy can be so easy if you put your mind to it!

Cheers to you and good health,
Kel

Sunday Session – Cauli Rice, Almond Butter, Breakfast (Flourless) Muffins

If the weekend allows, I set aside time to plan out some meals for the following 5-7 days. Ideally what I aim to do each week and I recommend to clients includes:

  1. Buy sectioned containers to store food. Make large meals at once and portion for the week, and freeze a portion for a later time (if we eat the same thing over and over, the satisfaction out of the food diminishes).
  2. Buy/cook enough protein, veggies, sweet potatoes, etc for 5-7 days worth of lunch and dinner.
  3. Use raw or frozen (organic) veggies with every meal.
  4. Make packing your lunch for work easy. The easier it is, the more likely you will stick to it.
  5. Prepare fresh veggies and healthy snacks like almond butter, sweet potato chips, hard boiled eggs for quick access when you come home hungry or need a snack in a pinch.

So this Sunday I did not have much time but managed to make the following:

Almond Butter

Ingredients: Almonds and hazelnut oil (I prefer macadamia nut oil, but it was not available at the supermarket I shopped at)
Method: Place a cup of almonds in a food processor. Let the almonds become rather refined and then add some oil little by little until the nut butter reaches a consistency you prefer.
Usage: almond butter can compliment many of things. You just have to be careful not to over consume. This is one reason I prefer to make my own. I can make an amount that should last me at least a week. If it’s gone before the next Sunday, then it’s gone. 

Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients: Farmer’s market eggs, prosciutto, pepper, cilantro.
Method: Line a cupcake pan with prosciutto. And make sure to be careful to completely cover the cups. If there are holes, then the Breakfast Muffin will not be able to remove as nicely as it should. Next crack an egg into each lined cup. You can leave the egg as is or mix the yolk and white together with a fork. Add spices. Cook on 400F for 25-30 minutes. 
Usage: Quick and nutrient-dense breakfast on busy mornings or have one for an afternoon snack.

 

 

Veggie Prep
This week I plan on having (seafood) Green Curry and needed to chop cabbage, carrots and broccoli for the meal, as well as, chop cauliflower for my “rice.” Cauli rice is really good and provides that volume and mouth feel you would be looking for with white rice, minus the heavy carb load. Chopped cauli can also be made into pizza crust. So sometime this week having refined cauliflower on hand will be helpful in putting together a quick meal.

A Day (Diet) In the Life of Kelly

It has been awhile since I have posted my daily food intake and since moving my food options have varied be remain to be primal choices. Enjoy this observation and let me know if you have any questions.

Brekkie

  • Paleo pancakes – 2 free range eggs, lots of cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, tablespoon or so of coconut flour, 1/8 cup of almond unsweetened milk, cocoa nibs (for texture, flavor and health benefits) and coconut oil (to grease the pan).
  • Black coffee
  • Water
  • 2 probiotics, 2 fish oils, 4,000 IU vitamin D

Side note on why I choose the above – I prefer coconut flour over almond meal/flour. Almond meal/flour is tasty but it is a huge intake of nuts, which have antinutrients. Nuts are a great fuel source but should be consumed in moderation.

I do not put any honey or sugar in my paleo pancakes simply because they are so good and do not need it.

The noted supplements are usually consistent day to day but my vitamin D dose with vary with my activities and recent time spent outside. I prefer cod liver oil but while traveling it is not as conducive.

Lunch

  • Mixture of 2 soups I had in the refrigerator – one was freshly made, which is very similar to the known Weight Watchers cabbage soup and the second is a similar tomato-based soup made with sausage.
  • Handful of pecans, as a side.
  • Water

Snack – dill pickle half

Dinner

  • Bowl of cabbage soup
  • Grilled chicken – shredded it and heated it in my soup
  • Water

(All leftovers I had around)

Snack – Homemade gluten free cookie with a teaspoon of almond butter on top, Water

If I were to be a self-critic I would view this day and suggest I did a pretty good idea. Is it perfect? No. But if I were to striving for perfection with what I ate, I do not think I would have enjoyed it as much and there would present an extra layer of stress; which we do not need in our busy day. I would however, suggest more raw food. I could have easily thrown in some of the garden peppers into my salad and to be honest, I didn’t because I was lazy. On to a new day with the new opportunity to succeed.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Corn Syrup in Soy Sauce?!

Getting comfortable upon our return to the US, post living in Australia for two years, I cannot help but find myself feeling “culture shock.” Maybe, “food shock” is a better term.

No doubt, I love America and the lifestyle it offers, yet, since being accustomed to daily food markets, butchers with fresh, free range meat and eggs, it is overwhelming walking into a Giant Eagle, let alone Costco these last few days.

Goodness, I bet my bank account I found a kiwi in Costco the size of a mango. How is this natural? And wow, I could literally get any cuisine I wanted in one store, regardless of the season. They had seaweed salad in Ohio! I mean this is great, but is it that great? The salad was delish but after reading the food ingredients, it lost it’s appeal seeing there were at least 3 food coloring’s in it. Why would my seaweed need to be more green? I wish we had an option.

And whereas it’s lovely to get any ingredient you want, it makes it tough to know what is truly in season. In Australia I literally bought produce by the season and made recipes accordingly. I remember one day I wanted red grapes (out of season) and the supermarket clerk looked at me like I had two heads.

Also, whilst visiting with family, my mom asked I help point out some healthier choices for her to eat/prepare for meals and I was/am more than keen to do so. This morning I began helping her by proofing her cabinet and found science experiments of ingredients. What do I mean? Some of the items in the pantry would never pass as food if it weren’t for the label or food container. I nearly fell over when I saw corn syrup in soy sauce! Why? I mean really, why? I know corn is cheap and before you know it, it is going to be found in our chewing gum. Oh wait…

I am probably coming off in this post as harsh, but the point I want to make is it’s not anyone’s fault for not knowing what is best for them to eat or feed their family with. There are so so so many mixed messages in the media and heaps of information to sort through. Most recently I had forgotten how hard marketing makes it on the regular consumer in knowing what foods to choose for health.  If you need some clarifying, I am happy to help. Send me an email and I will do my best to reply within 48 hours.

A pointer to start you off with is a line by Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Most plants.” And sure as heck eat real butter!

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel