Blog Index

Meal Makeover Part 1

I have recently had a lot of questions about what I do during my 1:1 health coaching sessions- so I wanted to give you a sneak peak of just one of the ways I work with my clients to improve their health. Some of my newest clients include a young family looking to learn more about clean eating. During our last session together, the wife/mother showed me this recipe she found on pinterest (the pic on the left below) and explained she wanted to make it, but was aware that the globs of butter were not very healthy. I agreed and suggested the use of coconut oil instead. I continued to walk them through this meal and break it down even further. I suggested fresh green beans instead of canned, leaner/smaller pieces of chicken, substituting sweet potatoes for white potatoes and using Himalayan pink salt (rich in minerals) to season.

This meal went from fatty, shabby & lacking in nutrients to fresh, tasty & nutrient dense. What a makeover! AND everyone in the family including their two kids (both under the age of three) enjoyed it- a win in my book!

Interested in learning more about what health coaching could do for you and your family? Click here.

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Craving a Crunch?

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I love a crunchy crackers with yummy dip- don’t you? If you are currently eating Clean & Green or even just gluten free, I am sure you have noticed the shortage of GOOD crackers/chips.

Ugh! How’s a girl supposed to get her crunch on?

Yes, there are several gluten free crackers in the stores, but most of them still have shady ingredients such as soybean and canola oil in them. That is not going to fly- so I went on a seed cracker mission 🙂 I modified a few cracker recipes &  finally (after some modifications & recipe fails) found one I loved! Please note: these are also great for anyone who has an egg allergy.

Serve them with homemade hummus, cashew cream cheese,  clean eating salsa or guacamole. (And try not to eat them + dip for every meal- just sayin’).

Gluten Free Seed Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 6 tbsp flaxseed powder/meal
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

Place chia seeds & flaxseed meal into a bowl. Stir in the water and let it stand for 10 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened, stir in the hemp seeds, oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Spread the mixture onto parchment paper and smooth out as evenly as possible (the thinner you spread- the crunchier they will be!) Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. After an hour, flip the crackers over & bake for 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Once the crackers are cooled, break them into small pieces & store in an airtight container.

ENJOY!

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Try it Thursday: Wall Bridge

It’s kind of like pushups for your butt…..

Lie on back with butt against wall, arms at sides, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up wall. Exhale and peel lower and mid back off floor, keeping shoulder blades down, so body forms a nearly straight line from chest to knees. Hold for a deep inhale, then exhale and slowly roll back down.

MAKE IT HARDER Cross right ankle over left knee so only left foot is on wall, then roll up, pause, and lower. Do the full number of reps, then switch feet.

MAKE IT EASIER
Don’t use the wall. Keep feet flat on floor as you lift into a bridge; pause and slowly lower.

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Source: Prevention Magazine

Guess What? You’re an artist

 

everything in life is art

I have seriously been telling myself FOREVER that I am not an artist. The same way my clients tell me they are not runners. NEWS FLASH: if you ran around the block today,  you are a runner. Why? Because you got your ass out there & did it! There is no secret ‘runners club’- just as there is no secret ‘artist’s club’. If you do it then YOU ARE IT. You are creating your very own little club my dear. So, I have realized (with the help of  the above words which inspired me to write this blog post) that I AM A FREAKIN ARTIST!!! I design meal plans, I design workouts, I design logos for my website, I design recipes,  I design my outfit (no I don’t sew all my own clothes, but I pick them out & put them together).  I design my lemon water just the way I like it, I design my Facebook page,  I design my routine and I design my day. You get the idea right? I was so darn caught up in telling myself what I wasn’t that I overlooked all the things I truly AM.  Do me a favor & stop right now. Stop what you are doing & take a deep breath in then look around and appreciate all the amazing things you have created/designed in your life. Pretty awesome huh? Keep up the amazing work my friend!

What kind of LIFE ART are you busy creating? Leave a Comment below.

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My son’s birthday requests + CHOCOLATE Yum Yums

When I  asked my son Jude what he wanted for his third birthday he had just two requests:

  1. A Bouncy House
  2. Chocolate Cupcakes

So I went to work! The bouncy house was easy peasy- just googled local monster truck bouncy houses & came up with this:

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Next up, CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! The panic set in because this tasty little treat would need to meet my snobby ‘clean’ standards. This means no sugar and no gluten. I found some recipes online to work off of and after a few trial runs  I found one I loved! The original recipe called for unsweetened cocoa powder but I used cacao powder instead. Why?  Because superfoods rock! Please note that the main sweetener in the recipe = dates so be sure to stock up if you will be making large batches of these yum yums!

Ingredients
For the cupcakes (please note: this recipe only makes 6-7 cupcakes so try one batch first to see what you think)
  • ½ cup dates, pitted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
For the Nut Butter Frosting (I modified this recipe from one I found at The Gracious Pantry)
  • 1 cup  natural creamy peanut butter, no sugar added or almond butter)
  • 1 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Blend everything together in a large mixing bowl until you have a creamy frosting.

Note: If you want a heavier chocolate flavor, you can stir in 2 extra tbsp. of cacao powder and a little extra honey to offset the bitterness of the the cacao. Just add to taste.

*Once I frosted all of the cupcakes, I also topped them with a few Enjoy Chocolate chips

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Gluten, Grain, and Sugar Free….. YUM!

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Another fun party snack option I offered: ice cube trays filled with healthy & colorful finger foods. They were a hit!

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Is it more work to create a healthy party?

Yes & No. The cupcakes were time consuming, but totally worth it to me. I am not even sure if all the guests noticed that the cupcakes were ‘different’- which to me is a compliment 🙂 There were no sugar crashes/meltdowns from the kids- so again totally worth it! Are you planning a healthy party? Share your ideas in the comments section!

XOXO,

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Are you cool enough for this?

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Guess what? Its time to get cool & join our

superfood party on Instagram.

Not on Instagram yet? Join here. Are you already an Instagramming fool? Well then you need follow Body by Branda & start making some of the smoothies & recipes I have been posting! To see Body by Branda on Instagram click here. AND if  you are about to embark on the wonderful adventure that is my Eat Clean & Green Meal plan, be sure to post all your homemade Clean & Green goodies on Instagram. OH & don’t forget to use the hash tags EXACTLY as listed above. Copy & paste them into a note or place in your phone. This way they can be easily copied & pasted to your Instagram food porn pics whenever needed!

Guess what else? There is an auto share option to share all your yummy Instagram pics on Facebook too. It’s genius! Just do it!

Here is where it gets REAL cool…..

Everyone who uses the hash tags (exactly as listed above) whenever posting a Clean & Green yummy meal/treat (or just a random recipe you saw me post via Facebook or Instagram & tried)-  will be entered to win a FREE 3-month Health Coaching session with me! This is a completely personalized  1:1 program consisting of 2 sessions per month for 3 consecutive months. We will work together to improve your health/nutrition & crush your goals! Sound good? Then get busy!

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WARNING: You might pick-up some healthy habits & feel freakin amazing if you do this!

**Please do not share or list all of the exact recipes/details from the Eat Clean & Green meal plan, but instead just use the name & a short description. THANKS 🙂

XOXO,

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Eating Clean at the Movies

First things first, let me just admit that it has been more than a year since I have seen the inside of a movie theater. Someone actually told me (back when I was pregnant) that I should hit up the theater as much as possible because it would ‘be awhile’ before I would get to go to the movies again. I am not a huge fan of movies in the theater, but of course panicked & hit the movies hard! Needless to say, I remember being uber uncomfortable with my giant self in the movie seat -yet still managed to fall asleep. Yes, it was epic.

ANYWAY, hopefully you actually have a life and can hit up the theater from time to time. SO when you do, do yourself a favor and DO NOT subject yourself to any movie theater popcorn….

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NASTY! Please don’t eat it. Cancer and asthma are not even worth the yum factor.

Don’t cry and cuss me out. Here is how to EAT CLEAN at the movie theater:

Make your own popcorn! Use your microwave to pop organic kernels  in a paper bag. Then get a giant purse to hide it in!

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Other great movie theater snacks:

Kale chips, trail mix, nuts, fruit, goji berries, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,

baby carrots,  apple, raisins, grapes, dried fruits, organic apple sauce- the list goes on!!!

*Also, be sure to bring lots of water to stay hydrated.

AND because I am a germ freak I would like to recommend my new favorite ‘germ killing’ spray and wipes.

These are a must for those not-so-clean theater seats!

disinfect-togoI love Clean Well brand because it is non-toxic = safe for kiddos &  it is GREEN meaning it is not full of the nasty chemicals like Lysol and all those other brands are! GET SOME!!!

XOXO,

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Try It: Maple-Maca Ice Cream

Though this ice cream is perfect for warm weather, maca has a slight warming quality, making it a good pick for cooler days as well. You do not need a ice cream maker for this recipe, however, if you do not have access to a high powered blender (like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or even a Magic Bullet), soak the cashews and water together for 30 minutes before blending for smoother results.
INGREDIENTS
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
½ banana
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp raw maca powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips for a real treat)
DIRECTIONS
Blend all ingredients – except the cacao nibs/dark chocolate – in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl or  container and freeze for 30 minutes. Mix in dark chocolate chunks into the cold ice cream, then continue freezing, covered, until frozen through – about 6-8 hours. Let defrost for 5 minutes before serving to soften.
 Makes about 1 pint (4 servings).
 Note: If you have an ice cream maker, feel free to put it to use for a fluffier texture!
 
*What the heck is Maca?
Maca is a root from Peru that is packed with an array of vitamins and minerals. It is the highest altitude crop in the world growing at around 10,000 feet above sea level in the Andes. Maca has a rich malty flavor that combines well with cacao, another popular superfood. It is typically sold in a dried powder and is available at most health food stores. Maca is a complete protein providing all of the essential amino acids (the ones the body can’t produce on its own). It contains an abundance of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, potassium and phosphorous. Maca also contains an assortment of vitamins including C, E, B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin).
The mineral-rich maca root has adaptogenic qualities, which may support the regulation of stress and repair, balance hormones, boost sex drive, and enhance strength and energy… all without being a stimulant. What’s not to love??!
Enjoy!
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