Happy Work-it-out-Wednesday! Congrats to our Morselicious Peanut Butter Recipe Winner, Lacey! OMG, she created a tasty frozen delight & will receive a bag of Mac-n-Mo’s MORSELICIOUS Mix and a free coupon for ANY flavor from Peanut Butter & Co. Her recipe will post on Friday! Mmmm… Thank you all for your recipe submissions!
Today we have the pleasure of meeting fellow IINer (Institute of Integrative Nutrition Alum extraordinaire. Thank you, Amy for sharing your MORSELICIOUS tips and recipe!
Guest Blog Post Created by: Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP and author of The Healthy Apple is a Manhattan based Culinary Nutritionist, Personal Chef, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.
Your 7 Day Clean Eating Cleanse
It was six years ago this month that my legs started swelling with 20 lbs. of water weight every day. And it took 5 ½ years to figure out what was going on inside my body. After exhausting every doctor on the East Coast, as well as venturing out to the Mayo Clinic – I had no answers but a ton of hope and positive energy. Countless bone marrow biopsies, CT scans, steroids, and blood tests later I had every doctor stumped- I decided to take matters into my own hands, quit my corporate job- went after my passion to help people enjoying the goodness of Clean, whole foods and explored Integrative Medicine. Here I stand today with no leg swelling and a big smile. What got me through the past six years? My passion, my pride, my yearning to find an answer and help people just like me to not give up and keep digging. Do I still have days when I have a stomach ache? Of course. But eating Clean has changed my life and now it’s my full time job- helping others feel good and finding the real solution to their ongoing pain. So, I thought I’d share with you a Clean recipe and a peak into my Clean Eating Cleanse that I work on with my clients – you can start anytime- whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain energy or just give your body a nice spring clean-up.
My simple 7 Day Clean Eating Cleanse isn’t meant doesn’t include dieting or depravation- it’s simply an energy booster that works with your body rather than against it. It’s fairly simple and it’s how I eat each and every day: toss the processed and packaged foods, sugar, alcohol and chemicals and replace them with vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains.
Here are a few strategies to help you get from Day 1 to Day 7 in a breeze:
- Throw out foods containing artificial ingredients hydrogenated oils, colors and high-fructose corn syrup.
- Eat a serving or two each day from these pretty colors: orange, purple, green, blue and red. My favorites? Pumpkin, eggplant, dinosaur kale, blueberries and tomatoes.
- Stock your fridge with colors- the deeper and brighter the color- the more densely packed with vitamins it is. Try to toss in a few of these powerhouse antioxidants into your breakfast, lunch and dinner:
- Nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark leafy veggies, carrots, pomegranates, camu camu berries and black currants
- Every time you eat- take a seat. Believe me, it works. You will eat slower and start to realize how much you were shoveling into your mouth when you stood in front of the fridge.
- Aim for one-two servings of carbs and proteins along with one healthy fat per meal. Still hungry? Reach for blanched broccoli and cauliflower with hummus, roasted chickpeas, jicama sticks with dipped into creamy avocado with orange zest, whole grain toast with a spread of Greek yogurt, cinnamon and protein powder topped with crushed pistachios. Why not get creative, right? You have to enjoy what you eat- so think about what your taste buds yearn for and expand on that.
- Got a sweet tooth? How about fresh lemon and grapefruit zest atop your roasted eggplant? You can dip the eggplant into a mixture of spicy mustard and honey.
- More of a salty kinda-gal? Take a corn tortilla, slice it into triangles- spritz with freshly squeezed orange juice- bake until toasty and top each piece with a sweet guacamole made with balsamic vinegar, avocado and chia seeds. They’re cute and fun to eat!
- Start your day with a cup of hot water and fresh lemon along with a probiotic- believe me- it’ll get things moving and wake up your body. I like to add freshly chopped mint and basil to my lemon water every morning. Give it a shot; I assure you you’ll enjoy the fresh sweetness.
- Swap full-fat dairy and less healthy animal fats for vegetarian sources (hemp, olive, avocado, coconut and flax oils) or choose organic low-fat dairy options including goat.
- Spice up your life by using that spice rack- fennel seeds, ground cinnamon, fresh oregano, cardamom and ginger add amazing flavor to any dish from oatmeal to stir-fries.
- Try a pretty green protein smoothie with spirulina, cocoa powder avocado, Swiss chard, sunflower seeds, kiwi, beets, spinach, maca powder and apples. Add almond, rice milk or Greek yogurt for a creamy boost. I make a batch of this every other day and keep it in my fridge to sip on at night after dinner for a sweet treat. I also freeze leftovers in Popsicle molds to enjoy as a healthy spin on ice cream when I’m in the mood.
Believe me, if you can stick with this Clean Eating lifestyle and make it work for you and your schedule- you’ll be on your way to feeling great- I bet you’ll even notice a difference in your skin and energy levels, too. When followed properly, a quality cleanse such as this can work effectively to help us get out of a mental or physical fog, jump start weight loss goals, shift seasons (yea for Spring) and live a more mind-body conscious life. Be sure to pay attention to portion control and listen to your hunger- keep healthy snacks on you at all times so you’re not runnin’ for the vending machine at 3PM when the munchies strike. Experiment throughout your day by trying to eat vegetable protein before animal protein to see if you feel any better. Be sure to keep drinking; sip on lemon water- it’s a great beverage to drink all day long and you can add sliced cucumber and fresh herbs. Why not make your own flavored water without the sugar? Before you know it- you’ll be hooked and won’t spend another $3 on a Snapple ever again.
Here’s a Clean recipe that is a perfect go-to snack, side dish or condiment that can be added to any meal.
Dairy-Free Creamy Avocado Soup
Gluten-Free and Vegan
- 3 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 2 cups plain dairy-free yogurt
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1/3 cup vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup green tea, brewed and chilled
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
- 4 chives, finely chopped
- In a food processor, combine avocado, yogurt almonds, cilantro, onion, balsamic vinegar, green tea, sea salt and pepper; pulse until smooth.
- Remove from blender; transfer to a bowl and cover. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Ladle soup into four bowls; serve chilled.
- Garnish with chives.