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  1. Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Much like some of the other basic nutrition topics we’ve been covering recently, I know for many of you, this information on Why to Choose Grass-fed Meat, it may be old news. Feel free to skip on by and wait for the next post, but if this information is new to you or you want a refresher or to learn more, I got you. As you have heard me say, time and time again, every day, every single day, I encounter people outside my little sheltered food/nutrition bubble, who haven’t yet received this information and knowledge that many of us take for granted, being deeply rooted in our daily food choices for some time. Rather than assuming that everyone already knows this stuff, I would rather create simple posts that are easily accessible to them/you to share, inform and empower you with the knowledge to make better decisions for you and your health. 

    Why to Choose Grass-Fed Meat vs Grain-Fed

    Nutrition

    Not all meat is created equal. But, I am sure most of you know that at this point. As you also know from recents posts here on Tasty Yummies, fat can absolutely be an incredibly nutrient rich part of your diet, but this same macronutrient when of the wrong variety, can also cause numerous diseases, inflammation, digestive issues and more. The diet of the animals we eat, can greatly change the fat in it’s tissues (and consequently the meat that we eat), among other nutritional differences. According to a study 1http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf conducted by California State University’s College of Agriculture, grass-fed beef nutrition includes significantly more omega-3 fatty acids (2 to 4 times more yhan grain-fed)  and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in grain-fed meat is much worse than grass-fed and it’s not because the omega-6 content of beef fat skyrockets with grain feeding; it is however because the omega-3 content is basically nonexistent in the grain-fed animals. Due to the modern, standard American diet (SAD), many people are highly omega-3 deficient and therefore the ratio to bad omega-6 fats is severely imbalanced due to it’s prevalence in a SAD, which can lead to a chronic exacerbated inflammatory response, a general state of systemic inflammation, and the development of the various diseases with an inflammatory root.

    Conjugated Linoleic Acid of CLA is a strong polyunsaturated fatty acid that must be obtained from our diets. CLA has been shown to discourage weight gain and build muscle, as well as support metabolic and cellular health by helping to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria and boost immune health. It has even been shown to lower the risk of cancer. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017 High-quality grass-fed beef and butter from healthy, grass-fed cows or other animals are the top sources of CLA.

    Grass-fed beef, is also one of the best protein foods around, is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer and heart disease-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. It is also higher in B vitamins, vitamin K and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Grass-finished beef has higher proportions of cholesterol neutral stearic fatty acids and less cholesterol-elevating short chain fatty acids, such as myristic and palmitic acid. Grass-fed meat truly shines in the micronutrient profile for one major reason: Grass-fed cows get more nutritious food.

    Why Grass-fed Meat is Healthier

    Ideally these animals are grass-fed for their whole life. Only exclusively grass-fed cows live out their entire lives on grassland. The rest may start their lives on open pasture and are then eventually moved to a feedlot. Often meat being sold as “grass-fed” is an animal that was fed grass for a short time, early in it’s life, but finished with grain, to increase weight gain, to fatten them up and reduce costs and increase profitablity. Just 80 days of grain feeding was enough to destroy the omega-3 content of the beef. CLA content plummeted in the same amount of time. The longer the animals were fed grains, the lower the quality of the meat. This is one of the many reasons that 100% grass-fed or grass-fed and grass-finished should be sought out.

    Read more about the cost of grass-fed meat and how the labeling of grass-fed animals can be downright deceitful.  While the FDA no longer governs this label claim, you should still look for it and additionally look for seals such as American Grassfed or PCO Certified 100% GrassFed for assurance that the claim was verified and means the animals were 100% grass fed and raised on pasture. You can also look for The Certified Grassfed by AGW seal. 3http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/ Even more reasons to get to know your farmer or rancher and ask the important questions directly to the person that actually knows. As Michael Pollan says “shake the hand that feeds you“!

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    References   [ + ]

    1.http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/research/Review%20Grassfed%20Beef%202010.pdf
    2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941017
    3.http://greenerchoices.org/2016/12/30/grassfed-general-claim/
  2. Chicken Kofta Skewers {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Loaded with Middle Eastern flavors these Chicken Kofta Skewers are simple to make and they are packed with taste from an array of fresh herbs and spices. These can be made as kababs or meatballs and served alongside your favorite salad or made into a wrap, with pita or lettuce.

    Chicken Kofta Skewers {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Chicken Kofta Skewers {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    While we are deep into September and days away from the official start of Autumn, in Southern California and really, much of the country right now, the memo hasn’t been received and summer weather is still upon us. Besides, there’s no reason that grilling should be relegated to just summer.

    Chicken Kofta Skewers {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Regardless of the time of year, these delicious, Mediterranean-inspired kofta skewers as they are as if a kabab and a meatball made a baby and it makes for a surprisingly easy, but tasty, weeknight meal. Whether you fire up the grill, cook them up in a grill pan on the stove or roll them into meatballs and cook them up that way, you can’t go wrong. The beautiful blend of herbs and spices provides a wonderful array of flavors. In my mind, they are a cousin to gyro, one of my most favorite Greek dishes and they make for a really easy, yet still exotic option for even a weeknight meal.

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  3. Is Your Olive Oil the Real Thing? Terra Delyssa Is.

    Is Your Olive Oil the Real Thing? Terra Delyssa Is.

    Is your olive oil the real thing? Can you trust that what you are cooking with is safe? I know you are all concerned about fake, substandard olive oils. We’ve all seen the news reports and media coverage of the market being flooded with olive oils making big health claims, yet many being found to be mislabeled and adulterated with other substandard oils like soybean or canola – it’s SO important to find an olive oil you can trust. There are so many reasons I choose to cook with Terra Delyssa Olive Oil and why I personally stand behind and recommend it, to my nutrition clients and to you, my readers, as well as my very own family.

    Terra Delyssa does not hide it’s origin. Their olive oils are one of very few that are actually offered to consumers directly by the farmers / producers. Obtained from the first cold press of freshly hand picked olives grown on farms that have been passed on and run for many generations, cultivating and producing Olive Oil, the traditional way, known to the region of Sfax in Tunisia, situated on the Mediterranean coastline.

    Terra Delyssa fully controls their olives from tree to bottle, crushing all of their olives within 24 hours of harvest, testing every single batch in their state of the art laboratory. By honoring of traditional production methods of hand selection and true cold-pressing this keeps the oil’s acidity low, while maintaining it’s high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients high.

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  4. Overnight Grab and Go Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait

    This nutrient-dense, creamy, rich Overnight Grab and Go Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait is the perfect, customizable, easy meal that’s packed with quality protein and fat, plus lots of valuable micronutrients, to keep you full, energized and well-fed for a busy and healthful day ahead!

    Overnight Grab and Go Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait

    Overnight Grab and Go Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait

    With back-to-school and back-to-real-life being the reality for many of us right now – easy meals, fuss-free eats and healthy food that fits into a busy lifestyle, these are all of great importance to staying on track with our mindful lifestyles.

    I know breakfast can be especially challenging, mornings are busy and grabbing something carb-loaded, sugary or sandwiched between bread – that can be easiest and most convenient. I get it! But, you’ve all heard my spiel about building a fire for your day. The general idea is that quality fats and proteins, they are the like solid log on your fire, the energy that will burn slowly, more steady and for longer, no huge and sudden drop off! However, carbs and sugars, those are kindling. These are the sticks and the leaves, the bits of crumpled up paper, that burns up super quickly. So, you get that jolt of fire (aka energy) POOF and then it’s gone, there’s the big crash when your fire goes out and then you inevitably need to add even more kindling (or even better, a log) if you can ever hope to stoke a fire that will last throughout the day.

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  5. Mint Mojito Iced Coffee {Paleo and Keto Options}

    This Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is the perfect, refreshing way to say goodbye to summer! Bright, fresh, creamy, minty, a little sweet this updated recipe brings lots of options to make without dairy or refined sugar, so you can totally customize your brew!

    Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

    Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

    First off, welcome to the brand new Tasty Yummies website!! This new design and format has been several years in the making and I am so proud to finally be able to share it with all of you. I am hopeful that this new website format will make it so much easier for you to navigate, search and enjoy all of the content I create. I am also excited to have a new home base for everything I envision for the future of Tasty Yummies. I really hope you enjoy.  And I also have to say a big huge thank you to all of you for your years of support, for reading, following along and sharing with others. It is my dream to be able to create and share all of these things I am so passionate about with all of you and it’s because of your support and your desire to spread the love, that I am continually able to do so.

    OK now, secondly, can we please not rush away summer? We still have several weeks left. I get it the kiddos are heading back to school. The reality of cooler weather and the hustle and bustle of non-summer life are looming. So why not hang on a little longer to the goodness of summer. I am proposing this refreshing drink is the perfect way to do so. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we are smack dab in the middle of an epic heat wave here in Southern California so enjoying the last bits of summer, for us, shouldn’t be a problem.

    My first experience with this drink was at Philz Coffee in Huntington Beach, overlooking the ocean, soaking up all the summer vibes. I had heard about this epic combination of coffee with fresh mint and thought it sounded wackadoo, but I am never one to scoff at a strange pairing. Some of the best things I have ever tasted were fully unexpected.

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  6. Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula, Feta and Charred Limes

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    Fruit and I have certainly had our ups and downs over the years. I like to describe our tumultuous connection using the Facebook relationship status of “it’s complicated”. In the past couple of years as I have worked very, very hard to get my gut issues under control, despite the usual suspects, I have come to find that many fruits, especially those highest in fructose to be one of THE biggest triggers in my chronic bloating, gas and general gastric upset.

    This isn’t exclusive to me and it’s actually quite common with folks that struggle with bacterial imbalances in their gut, SIBO, leaky gut, etc. Fruits high in fructose can cause fermentation in the gut, which can lead to some not-so-pleasant after effects.

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    It took me some time to discover that fruit was one of the biggest culprits and more, it was hard for me to understand how a nutritious, healthful whole food, like fruit could be create such gnarly side effects. Seemed wrong. It was in experimenting with a low FODMAP protocol that I found some of the greatest relief and while there are still some fruits today, that I have to be careful with and mindful of how much I consume, it has changed so significantly over the last few years as I have worked hard to heal my gut and get my gut bacteria in better balance.

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  7. How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee {+ Video}

    Learn How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee with this surprisingly simple process. It takes just three simple steps to the best cold brew you’ll ever have. No super special equipment needed, it’s much more affordable than your local coffee shops and you can customize the strength of your brew to your liking.

    How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee

    How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee

    It has happened slowly over the last year or so, as my body and my health has continued to shift and improve, but I have developed a pretty solid morning habit that involves a quality cup of organic coffee shortly after I rise. I have come to find that this morning routine serves many purposes for me, personally, but most importantly, I find it’s a really beautiful morning ritual, something that I greatly enjoy and always allow myself the space to honor and totally embrace, no matter where in the world I am.

    Often I am asked “is coffee good for you?” As you can probably imagine, my answer to this question is quite similar to how I respond to many other food and health related questions and that is – “it depends”.

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  8. Grain-free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Paleo}

    Paleo-friendly, dairy-free and gluten-free these Grain-free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are a total breeze to whip up and you won’t believe how few ingredients they have. 

    Grain-free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Paleo}

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    These cookies may look familiar to you, they are the star of my popular Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches! But they are just way too solid on their own, that I felt they definitely deserved a dedicated post of their own here on TY.

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  9. Ideas for Camping Meals and Hiking Snacks

    Ideas for Camping Meals + Hiking Snacks

    Ideas for Camping Meals + Hiking Snacks

    I am super excited to share this post with Ideas for Camping Meals and Hiking Snacks from my recent camping trip. Being in Yosemite for 7 days and being responsible for prepping and cooking dinner each night, for 8 – what an absolute honor and a task. Calling upon my knowledge as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and bringing my food blogger vibes, all while keeping it easy, accessible and making everyone happy – that may have been one of my favorite food challenges, to date.

    Ideas for Camping Meals + Hiking Snacks

    Obviously (and selfishly) all the food I cooked for the week had to be gluten-free with options for being paleo-friendly, as there were three of us that ate this way. The rest of the group could eat everything, which made it quite easy. Given that the days were filled with epic, day-long hikes, some as long as 14 hours and 22 miles or boot camp style workouts and yoga, I also wanted to be sure I was nourishing everyone adequately and providing high-quality, nutrient-dense food while keeping it affordable and doable given the restricted nature of camp cooking. Also full disclosure, I still wanted to keep it all fun and campy, because after all, camping is a time to relax, let loose and have a good time.

    Below you will find all of the meals I cooked for the week, along with links to recipes where appropriate and info on how I made it happen. At the bottom you will also find some suggestions for hiking and trail snacks, supplements, etc.

    These may not be the best photos, I left my DSLR camera at home and chose to just enjoy the trip and relish in the moments rather than focusing on food styling and perfection. So, instead we have lots of iPhone shots from myself and my girl Natasha of The Feisty Kitchen, who also coincidentally makes a really rad prep and sous chef / partner in crime.

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  10. The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Our thoughts have the power to transform our reality.

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam – Respond to negative thoughts and patterns by thinking and doing the opposite.

    If you’ve followed Tasty Yummies for sometime, you are aware that my yoga practice has played a very integral role in my healing and my health, along with my journey toward self-love and self-confidence. I jokingly say that yoga is the gateway drug that came into my life, rocked me and changed me forever – the “drug” that got me on the path to healing. But in full honesty it truly was the stepping stone that brought me to a place where I could finally prioritize my health and from a totally non-ego centered approach, it allowed me to place ME and my happiness above all else. Yoga was the first introduction I had to learning to love and celebrate my body, to trusting myself and most importantly, to knowing that I was actually worthy of being happy, vibrant and well.

    It was sometime in 2006 that I first stepped onto my yoga mat, and while I didn’t know this at that time, it was that first unrolling of my mat that fully changed the trajectory of my life moving forward. It was the first time that I made a choice to prioritize my self-care above all else, to give myself permission to fully love myself and to trust that what lied ahead, while intensely challenging, would make for a better version of me.

    My yoga practice has evolved greatly over the years. From a daily, rigid, before dawn, self-led mysore practice, to group ashtanga practice, to sweaty vinyasa classes anywhere and everywhere I could take them in, from coast to coast. A few years ago my personal practice eventually reached a place that I was yearning for more and it was then that I received my 200-hour and then 500-hour certification to teach, which I used to host retreats and teach regular classes, publicly and privately. These days, my personal yoga practice is much more private and intimate, with a far less stringent, regimented approach.

    While I don’t have a scheduled 90 minute practice daily anymore, yoga still seeps into every single one of my days, even if just by way of the philosophies and methodologies inspiring my approach to daily living. Often it’s the practice of conscious breath work in a stressful moment, or quite literally physical stretches prior to or just after lifting heavy weights or having a rigorous workout of some kind. Some days I make my way to the beach to flow. Often I don’t. I find myself, most days, without consciousness, creating a symphony of breath and movement when I need it most or finding that beautiful balance between effort and steadiness in all aspects of my living. There may not be any greater constant in my life than the practices I have cultivated through yoga.

    Throughout my yoga teacher training in 2014, I had a great many lightbulb moments. Literally open mouth “Aha!” moments. Realizations not just in what my body and mind were capable of, but rather in recognizing the control that I had unknowingly harnessed through my practice over the years up to that point. The control of creating my own happiness on the mat and in my life. There were beautiful practices that I had cultivated, unconsciously, which greatly contributed to changing me and much of it finally had explanation with these teachings. I could finally put words and thoughts to them and almost tangibly hold them in my hands so that I could study, cultivate, practice and share them with others.

    Studying the yoga sutras and more specifically, Pratipaksha Bhavanam, were probably the most eye-opening aspects of my teacher training and to this day, despite my practice and my teaching career having changed drastically than what I ever could have imagined, they continue to provide daily practices and inspiration for a better life.

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Yoga at 8,839 feet?

    It was at the very top of Half Dome mountain on a trip to Yosemite last week, at the end of the most intense and rigorous hike (and experience) of my life, after facing my biggest fears and heading head on into place of great discomfort – that I had a great moment of true revelation! It was on top of that mountain, while sobbing in pure pride for what I had just accomplished, that I had the great realization that it was my yoga and the practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam that got me through and to the top of that mountain that day! Both literally in the actual hike to the peak, but also the years of healing and transformation that led me to even being able to take that journey to be there, in the first place.

    In every moment of self-doubt on the journey that day, in every intense thought of great fear, in every question of “But, what if I fall?” I had the unconscious ability to tap into this important practice and change both the dialogue and the outcome. I wouldn’t allow it to continue, I honored it in the moment, I expressed gratitude for it’s teachings and it’s purpose, then I shut that shit down and then literally heard the words – “Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?” (Erin Hanson)

     
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  11. Green Tahini Sauce {+ Video}

    Green Tahini Sauce

    Green Tahini Sauce

    Tahini is my life blood. If you aren’t yet aware of what tahini is, it is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, with a consistency similar to other nut butters. It has come to be one of my most coveted pantry staples. I almost always have a homemade tahini dressing or sauce of some sort, on hand, if not two. My garlic tahini, or some variation on it, is mainstay in my kitchen weekly.

    Recently with all the fresh, local herbs in season I have been veering off and getting a bit more creative with my tahini sauce. This vibrant, herby, Green Tahini Sauce is so versatile. It’s wonderful simply as a dip for crudités, grain-free crackers or chips. It makes am amazing creamy, salad dressing for a traditional green salad, or better yet the perfect way to dress up a summer potato salad. It’s a lovely compliment to grain and veggie bowls or simply just steamed, roasted or sautéed vegetables of any and all kinds. It is also great in place of mayo on sandwiches. This Green Tahini is also a wonderful sauce for seafood, chicken and pork, especially when grilled or roasted.

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  12. Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

    This Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream is a summertime dream dish. Great as a starter or add your favorite protein for a perfect, super quick one-bowl meal. 

    Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

    Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

    Well, it’s that time again. Zucchini season. The abundance of my favorite veggie at the grocery, farmers markets and home gardens everywhere, means a new year to get creative and find new ways to cook up this tasty little green squash.

    Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

    I personally find zucchini to be incredibly versatile, stepping in as noodles like spaghetti or fettucini or even rice noodles in Pad Thai. It works well in desserts like cookies or muffins, it makes amazing savory fritters, shoot it’s even amazing in smoothies.

    I really enjoy pureeing raw or slightly cooked zucchini, as it brings a really hearty creaminess without the need for dairy, dairy alternatives or nuts.

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  13. Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches {+ Video} – Paleo-friendly

    With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar. 

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

    [This is an updated post from 2013.]

    It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

    I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!

    Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
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  14. Billionaire’s Bacon – Thick Cut Paleo Candied Bacon

    I am super excited to share this recipe with you for Billionaire’s Bacon – Thick Cut Paleo Candied Bacon. This was recreated and inspired by Villard restaurant at Lotte New York Palace Hotel in New York City, after a recent trip to the city, along with the Hamptons for an amazing Blogger Retreat I attended. Read on for this amazing candied bacon situation, that features a little sugar and a little spice recreated to be paleo-friendly, along with scenes and highlights from our amazing East Coast trip.

    Billionaire's Bacon - Thick Cut Paleo Candied Bacon

    Billionaire's Bacon - Thick Cut Paleo Candied Bacon

    This bacon will 100% make you feel like you’ve struck riches, you’ll totally feel big time. Aptly named this Billionaire’s Bacon tastes as if it were fit for royalty. It’s sinful really. With the original recipe calling for a full cup of light brown sugar, and having tasted it and devoured it, it’s super tasty, decadent and sweet, but maybe too much so for this low sugar gal. So, I recreated this paleo-friendly version, adapted from the original, to lower the sugar but still offer that sweet stickiness, with the multi-layered spices.

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  15. A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    While smoothies have become a popular meal replacement, snack and all around trendy food, crafted incorrectly you can be consuming a sugar-loaded, blood sugar exploding cocktail. I am excited to share with you A Guide to Smarter Smoothies to hopefully help you understand how to better create the smoothies that are right for you.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    If you’ve been reading Tasty Yummies for some time, you probably know that the archives are LOADED with smoothie recipes. Smoothies used to play a much larger role in my daily diet routine, for the longest time it was always my favorite way to start my day. Interestingly at the height of my smoothie consumption, weight loss was definitely a struggle, as were energy crashes and sugar cravings. What I didn’t know back then, but I do know now as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, is that without the proper formulation, smoothies are a blood sugar explosion waiting to happen.

    Every time you consume any carbohydrates and sugar containing foods, it causes an increase in blood glucose. How much so is dependent on the food and the individual. Simple sugars more specifically (monosaccharides), those sugars ending in -ose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, galactose, maltose – these are metabolized especially quickly and can often cause a big surge in insulin.

    Our body’s innate intelligence continually monitors the amount of glucose in our bloodstream to maintain balance and homeostasis. When blood glucose levels increase, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin.  Insulin increases the uptake of glucose by our muscle and fat cells; increases the amount of glycogen in our muscle and liver; increases fatty acid synthesis from excessive carbohydrates; and decreases fat breakdown and mobilization from our fat tissue.

    A Guide to Smarter Smoothies

    How Bad Can a Fruit-Loaded Smoothie Be?

    With a spike in blood sugar, a release of insulin and the impending crash, no matter what food is the initial cause, this can lead to immediate hunger, mid-day cravings, energy crashes, lightheadedness, anxiety, etc. Even worse, if the rest of your day’s eating (and most days) continue on the carb and sugar path, you are absolutely creating a long term problem. Whether you are overweight, struggle with weight loss or notice blood sugar issues or not.

    Day in and day out this roller coaster can lead to a slew of health complications beyond obesity, lethargy and cravings. To simplify the worst of it, constant output of insulin is like the boy that cried wolf, your cells stop responding to the insulin that is constantly being produced and they become resistant, meaning without the insulin to transport the excess glucose to your cells for energy production, blood sugar levels remain high and this is can lead to chronic insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes.

    These days, I personally prefer to opt for (and I recommend to my clients) the prioritizing of nutrient-dense whole foods, rather than drinkable meals, like smoothies or juice. Whole foods offer the opportunity for maximum nutrient absorption, which allows our digestion to work as intended, and assuming these whole foods aren’t loaded up with carbohydrates and sugar – it’s much easier on your blood sugar.

    That said, in the summer I do find myself with a much different appetite and my cravings differ quite significantly from the cooler months. I am not nearly as ravenous for more robust meals, especially on the hotter days. In the summer months I find myself wanting and craving more smoothies than any other time of the year. Knowing what I know now, my approach to creating them has drastically changed, so today I am going to share with you my Guide to Smarter Smoothies.

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  16. How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    Looking fresh faced and glowy in the dead of summer is challenging. With the heat comes the drab makeup and the blah, dehydrated skin. In the sweltering dead of summer heat, nothing feels quite like a refreshing face mist. Spritzing your face with a homemade infused face mist is cooling and refreshing on a hot day, post workout or as a pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon drop off.

    Face mists make your skin less dull and more dewy, providing additional benefits from the botanicals you select for infusing. Traditionally with facial mists that are hydrosol distillations that include the essence of botanicals and endure an involved distillation process. While some store-bought versions use this method, many can also contain synthetic fragrances, alcohol, or other ingredients that can cause dryness and irritation.

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  17. Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – Three Ways

    These Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings are a summertime entertaining staple at our house. A recipe developed and perfected by my husband Mark, I am so excited to now share it with all of you.

    Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – Three Ways

    Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – Three Ways

    I have to say, in the over 7 years that Tasty Yummies has existed, I cannot believe we’ve never had my husband Mark as a guest contributor here. While I do most of the cooking around here, the grilling duties land nearly exclusively on his shoulders and this man has truly mastered his craft.

    These are a low and slow method, so they aren’t a quick throw them on the grill recipe, but this actually makes for a great recipe when entertaining. Our grill is front and center on our large deck, we all gather round with drinks and snacks while Mark tends to his duties. He likes having a job and I love relinquishing some of the cooking control. Don’t rush these, the crispiness and lack of dryness is all thanks to the indirect method Mark developed.

    What Beth Says: Mark takes his grilling very seriously and he is always tweaking and adjusting his methods, creating new ways to use old tricks. This grilled chicken wing recipe of his is by far the most popular. Based on the concept of his long-perfected beer can chicken these wings are now legendary and the reputation of these wings might just precede Mark, at this point.

    Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – Three Ways

    I love this particular recipe for so many reasons. 1) it’s created by the human I love most in this world. DUH! 2) this recipe has afforded me a little more opportunity to actually enjoy dinner guests, especially in the summer months. With most of the cooking generally being my responsibility, with good reason, I usually host dinner and feel like I spend more time preparing and cooking, than I do being able to visit. Now I can craft a few sides, a salad and a dessert and leave the main up to my man! 3) being from Buffalo, I feel like it’s in my DNA to love chicken wings. However I am usually underwhelmed and left feeling crazy gross with almost all restaurant chicken wings, so I just never eat them. I can assume that likely the feeling of hot gut death is because they are submerged in hot, rancid, oxidized garbage vegetable oil. With these grilled wings cooking low and slow, they are crispy, without being dried out and there is not of those horrible, ‘what did I just do?’ feelings in your tummy. 4) We get invited to a lot more BBQs, with the request that we show up and make these. Fair enough!

    Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings – Three Ways

    Thanks for the photo Gustavo Jaimes

    What Mark Says: Marky love wingy. They say everything in art is inspired by something else, well at least that’s what I hope they say – because I say it all of the time. The idea for my backyard Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings came from two other works of art. Years ago before Tasty Yummies was the powerhouse it is today, we experimented with the infamous Beer Can Chicken and the Butterflied Chicken (link below), these types of meals gave me a chance to give back to the woman that feeds me everyday and, if we’re being totally honest, looks after my nutrition like hawks fly around roadkill. The grill became my thing, I got good at it and for a food dummy, Tasty Yummies was proud of me.

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  18. Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad with Fresh Herbs

    This Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad with Fresh Herbs is a summertime backyard BBQ staple around here. A must when we are entertaining. Put all other potato salads to shame with multiple layers of flavor and texture. 

    Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad with Fresh Herbs

    Grilled Potato and Arugula Salad with Fresh Herbs

    [This is an updated post from 2011.]

    For well over 6 years now this potato salad has been a staple of our summertime cookouts. Whenever we have people over, whether we are cooking up the most elaborate or the most simple of meals – this side dish stunner is my go-to.

    Cooking up the potatoes first allows them to soften up a bit, so when they hit the grilled glistening with the Terra Delyssa olive oil, they get a golden brown char to the outside of them, while still holding their shape.

    Try substituting baby spinach, kale or other lettuces or greens for the arugula and even play with different vinaigrette moves, try adding in a whole grain mustard, a little lemon zest, maybe add some red pepper flakes.

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  19. Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {Dairy-free, Paleo, Vegan}

    In honor of #popsicleweek, I am bringing a traditional cake recipe new life with these tasty Red Velvet Pudding Pops. Of course, there’s a twist. I boosted this sweet treat with nutrient-dense whole foods, so you can have your cake and nutrients and eat it, too!

    Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {dairy-free, paleo, vegan}

    Red Velvet Pudding Pops with White Chocolate Drizzle {dairy-free, paleo, vegan}

    It wasn’t too long ago that I snuck a little cauliflower into some popsicles here on Tasty Yummies.  I’m hoping if you tried that recipe, you still trust me and know that despite these strange ingredient combos, I will never lead you astray. It was a fun surprise to find that the cauliflower brought another level to the treat, with creaminess and also of course, nutrients. While I don’t feel that every dessert should have a veggie snuck into it, I do love the unexpected nutritional boost that this provides. And why not?

    So, I am back at it again today with these Red Velvet Pudding Pops. As traditional Red Velvet Cake is simply a subtle amount of cocoa with red food coloring, it’s actually a cake flavor that has forever eluded me. I never really understood it. It’s not chocolate and the red color has nothing to do with flavor. But not too long ago I tried a gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake and I am not gonna lie. I was into it. But, ya know, it was loaded with sugar and grains.  Additionally, red food dye used in baking is almost always derived from Red #40 (Allura Red) an artificial food dye. According to a CSPI report, some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer, along with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx The European Union has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, but the United States has no such requirement.

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    References   [ + ]

    1.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx
  20. Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo} + Video

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo}

    I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite pizza crust!!! Unlike most Cauliflower Pizza Crusts, this one doesn’t rely on dairy for binding. With a just 5 ingredients, this crust is dairy-free and nut-free, with the perfect and a golden brown, lightly crisped bottom. Choose your favorite toppings to customize this pizza, using a dairy-free alternative cheese, if you cannot tolerate dairy. Choose pesto instead of red sauce, add mushrooms, caramelized onions or shallots, veggies, etc.

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo}
    Things to Note with this Cauliflower Pizza Crust:

    • This crust is naturally dairy-free, grain-free and nut-free. If you cannot do dairy at all, simply leave it off with your toppings or go with your favorite alternative.
    • The crust can be made with either fresh cauliflower that has been riced quickly in the food processor or to make it even easier, buy already riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen) – give it a quick steam on the stove top or microwave and voila. So stinken’ fast and easy.
    • Coconut flour is a unique flour that is highly absorbent, so there really isn’t a simple swap if you cannot have coconut flour. You can experiment with another grain-free altnerative flour like almond flour or cassava flour, but please note it will not be 1 to 1 with the coconut flour, you will definitely need more. Feel free to play around and report back if you find a good alternative.
    • While many cauliflower pizza crust recipes claim to be quicker by skipping the pre-cook of the cauliflower or the squeezing of the water, I say meh – you are almost always left with a soggy pizza crust that doesn’t hold up super well to toppings. What makes this particular crust so delicious, is the very delicate, light crisp on the outside with a perfect chew and best part yet, it’s strong and not flimsy.  It’s the lack of water. Don’t skip this step. You guys, it literally takes like 2 minutes.
    • This recipe makes one 8 to 9-inch pizza, but you can very easily double the recipe for a larger pizza.
    • Baked on a pre-heated pizza stone instead of the baking sheet, the bottom of the crust gets an even nicer light crisp to it.

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  21. What You Need to Know About Eggs – Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    Selecting eggs these days can be a bit overwhelming. There’s Free-Range, Organic, Caged, Cage-free, Pasture-Raised. There are brown eggs and white eggs,  Omega-3 enriched eggs. Not only are there significant differences in the animal care with these various types of eggs, but in addition, depending on what the hens themselves ate and their access to sunlight, the end result in the eggs we eat, also show drastic nutritional differences, as well. Read on for What You Need to Know About Eggs. Let’s get right to it:

    What You Need to Know About Eggs - Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    Look at the difference in the color of the yolks from a conventional egg (left), to a pasture-raised egg (right).

    What You Need to Know About Eggs - Pasture Raised vs Cage-Free vs Free-Range, etc

    The Various Labels – What Do They Mean

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