Friday, December 14, 2012

Zucchini Soup Recipe

By:  Tara Fuller
I've never been much of a zucchini lover unless we are talking about zucchini bread, so being given this recipe by sister has been a wonderful addition to our family's soup collection.  It doesn't take much prepping, especially if you own a food processor; and cooks in about 20 minutes, making it a great addition to your quick but nutritious dinner go-to recipes. 

4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
5 Zucchini, sliced 
1 Potato, peeled & cubed
1 medium Onion
2 Carrots, chopped
1 Garlic Clove
1 tsp Dried Tarragon or Dill
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/8  tsp Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves (Optional) 
Dallop of plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Cook veggies in a large pot for 20 minutes or until tender. Add Tarragon or Dill along with remainder of ingredients.  Once soft, use a handheld or upright blender (I used Vitamix) to smooth. 
Serves 6:  Recipe without Greek yogurt has 207 calories per serving, 3.2g fat, 408mg sodium, 3.3g fiber and 30.1g protein; and it's loaded with 75 percent of your RDA of Vitamin A, 61 percent Vitamin C, 10 percent Iron and 6 percent Calcium. 

Bon Appétit

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gluten-Free, Paleo Friendly Pumpkin Bread

Breakfast Pumpkin Bread

By:  Tara Fuller

Absolutely nothing is better than a well-balanced pumpkin loaf than one that's high-flavor, low-calorie, high-protein and not too shabby on fiber. This Pinterest adapted recipe has all that and more. Whether you're on the Paleo diet (also known as the caveman or Paleolithic), gluten intolerant or just looking for the perfect on-the-go breakfast food, look no further because this is hands-down AMAZING and kid friendly. 

Serves 8


1 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/8 tsp fine grain Sea Salt
1/4 cup Honey
2 tbsp Almond Butter
*Optional 1 Tbsp Sliced Almonds (not equated in food label below)
*Optional 1-2 mashed bananas (not equated in food label below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat pan(s) with coconut oil or paper cups if using muffin pan
  3. Mix everything together at once
  4. Fill pans and bake for 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean (muffins will take about 25 minutes)
  5. Sprinkle with almonds halfway through cooking if using.             

Nutritional Label
Courtesy of Calorie Count
*To increase fiber and complexity, add a mashed banana, shredded carrots or hemp seeds into the batter (hemp is not an approved Paleo food); and if you like nuts, be sure to add Almonds for an extra gram or two if you're concerned about reaching FDA daily fiber recommendations. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Red Cabbage Zinger--Juicing Recipe

By:  Tara Fuller

This is a great juice to add to your rotation because it contains purple cabbage. There's a reason produce comes in rays of color and it so happens to be that blue and purple produce items are a rich source of poyphenols and anthocyanins antioxidants; which are shown to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because the skins contain the highest levels of these antioxidants, juicing these rich hued fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for maximum extraction of their nutrients. 

2 apples 
2 carrots    
1 wedge red cabbage 
1-2 inch piece of ginger to taste
1-2 cups spinach and/or baby kale
1 lemon 

*adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coconut-Chocolate Macaroon Cookies: Gluten-free and Paleo friendly

By:  Tara Fuller

As you all know, I cannot keep a good thing to myself and these cookies are no exception. These are a culmination of tastes and textures sure to please the pickiest of palates. They are moist while maintaining the crispness expected form a macaroon; but are rich in chocolatey flavor. Most importantly, these are every bit of that naughty indulgence you crave when you want a sweet treat; except these are good for you...and so very divine! 

2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch baking soda

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, placed in center after baking but while still warm
4 chocolate chips placed onto each cookie prior to baking (not Paleo friendly)

Bake 350 degree oven 20-30 minutes

These cookies are so quick to make and follow with minimal cleanup. Absolutely perfect for a late night snack attack!

Recipe Notes:
Makes between 10-12 cookies ranging between 62-75 calories per cookie; 1 gram fiber and protein; 5 grams of fat*; 2 grams of sugar and 39 grams of sodium
* Make heart healthy by swapping butter with coconut oil

Please take a moment and tell us what you thought of these quick and tasty treats.

Recipe was adapted from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gluten-free Paleo friendly coconut pancakes

Coconut Pancakes
By:  Tara Fuller

Makes 12 servings. Serving size is one pancake.
Approximate cooking time: 20 minutes
Adapted from Pinterest  

I'm not gluten intolerant and I don't live a Paleo lifestyle (also referred to as Caveman or Paleolithic diet) but I do love a good recipe. Especially ones that are rich in heart healthy fats such as coconut oil and derived from whole foods. Just one of these hearty pancakes served with a banana are not only deliciously satisfying, but will keep the hungriest full for hours.

1 14oz can of Coconut milk
1/8 cup Almond flour
1/8 cup Coconut flour
3 cups Unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp or less of fine grain Sea salt
2 tsp Baking soda
3 large Eggs
1 Tbsp grade maple syrup
Cinnamon as desired
Coconut Oil for cooking 

Combine flour, coconut, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir coconut milk into the flour mixture using a whisk or large fork.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs adding a 1/3 cup of coconut mixture into eggs before immediately mixing back into the rest of the coconut mixture; stir to incorporate. You can store uncooked batter in the refrigerator overnight in desired. 

Brush coconut oil onto a skillet warmed over medium heat. Cook each pancake until golden brown sprinkling cinnamon on each pancake before flipping. 

Refrigerate leftover pancakes in an airtight container for up to one week. Reheat leftovers in toaster. 

I enjoy mine topped with a light drizzle of grade A maple syrup with a banana, melding the two together in my mouth. 

Nutritional Information


Friday, November 16, 2012

Creamy Guilt-Free Cauliflower Soup

By:  Tara Fuller

This is an absolutely sinful tasting soup that is so low in both calories and fat, you can eat away without the slightest bit of guilt.  

Simple Cauliflower Soup
Recipe was passed to me by my sister and she doesn't know where it's from. If you know, please let us so we can give kudos where due


1 Onion
1 Head Cauliflower (Broken into small    
1 Potato, peeled & diced
1 Stick of Celery, diced
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
2 cups milk (I used 1 percent)
3 Garlic Cloves (sliced)
   Dash of Nutmeg
   Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Sauté Onion & Celery for 5 minutes. Stir in Cauliflower, Potato & Garlic & sauté 5 more minutes.

2) Pour in the Chicken Broth, bring to a boil & then reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add the milk, stirring well to mix. Season with Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper. Using a handheld blender, blend to a smooth texture. You may also transfer soup into an upright blender such as a Vitamix to smooth.

Sprinkle with Parmesan as a garnish

 Serves 4 at 223 calories                                Serves 6 at 148 calories
Courtesy of Calorie Count
Courtesy of Calorie Count



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cinnamon Spiced Apple Squash Juice

By:  Tara Fuller

Don't drink this because it's good for you, drink it because it's DELICIOUS and perfect for tending a sweet tooth. This juicing recipe posted as "Recipe of the Week" on RebootYourLife is full of all the flavors of autumn while doing the body good.
Its rich orange hue is reflective of a high concentration of  beta-carotene, an antioxidant protecting the body from damaging molecules called free radicals, and Vitamin C. Plus just one 8oz serving provides 50 percent RDA of Vitamin E; and cinnamon is shown to help keep blood sugar in check. 

Adapted recipe makes 2 servings

4 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
1-2 large organic Apple  (washed; I like granny)
  dash of cinnamon

Place ingredients in the order listed above into chute of juicer except for cinnamon. When juice is complete, sprinkle with cinnamon and poor over ice. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dirtiest and Cleanest Fruits and Vegetables of 2012

By:  Tara Fuller

An apple a day will keep the doctor away or so the saying goes, but will it?  According to Environmental Working Group (EWG) list of 2012s dirtiest and cleanest fruits and vegetables, that apple better be organic or it may be what sends you to the doctor. Apples topped this year's dirty list with 98 percent of them testing positive for pesticides followed by celery and bell peppers. But it's not all bad, onions, sweet corn and pineapple ranked the cleanest of popular produce tested, meaning they had the least pesticide exposure of fruits and vegetables analyzed, therefore are the safest of conventional produce.

Each year, EWG analyzes pesticide residue testing data from the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to come up with rankings for popular fresh produce items. Their mission isn't to put fear in consumers but rather provide them "the power of information."  Buying organic is expensive and not feasible for all, so having a personal pocket-sized list on hand when shopping provides consumers the power to make the best produce decisions for them, their families and pocketbooks.  

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

This year's shopper's guide is different from previous years as it has been expanded to include green beans, kale and collard greens as they contain organophosphate insecticides. With so many people juicing and clean eating nowadays, knowing what's in your food is of even greater concern.

EWG believes that by purchasing the most contaminated fruits and vegetables organically a person will significantly lower their pesticide intake. So although it is probably best to always buy organic for our taste buds, body and environment, it's not always financially possible, so print your list now so the next time you are faced with a produce dilemma you have the power to make the best decision for you.  

With so much corn controversy going around, I wonder what many of you think of it making the 15 cleanest foods list?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Get oil and deodorant stains out of silk

By:  Tara Fuller

So frustrating when you realize your favorite silk piece is marred with deodorant and/or oil stains. Silk isn't cheap so imagine how I felt when I realized my brand new silk top looked destroyed?! Believe it or not, it was a dream getting out. I wish all stains were this simple.

  1. Take your item and place it on a flat surface. I used an ironing board. 
  2. Generously apply cornstarch over the stains and use either a toothbrush or as I did, a spoon to gently but firmly scrap the cornstarch into the material. 
  3. Allow to set for up to 24 hours before taking it either outdoors or in the shower to shake off. Wipe remaining cornstarch residue with a hand towel before re-shaking.  

For me, the deodorant marks and most of the oil stains were gone with the first application; and the rest by the second.

If all else fails or you just can't risk a home remedy gone bad, your safest bet is to get the item to the dry-cleaners as quickly as possible because they have special solutions for a variety of stains.

If you have your own special home remedy for stain removal, please share your secrets with us. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Get rid of gnats with wine

By:  Tara Fuller

No more pesky Gnats

According to Donald Lewis, Extension Entomologist at Iowa State University, there are three types of household gnats: Fungus, fruit flies and moth flies.  Fortunately, despite being annoying, they don't bite, sting, transmit diseases or ruin house furnishings or structures. Good news, there are inexpensive yet effective methods to eliminating these pesky gnats; red wine may be your answer. 

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are similar in size to fruit flies but are more slender; and are often found festering around windows during fall and winter. These gnats thrive in moist soil and decayed vegetable matter so although it is possible for fungus gnats to come inside from the outdoors, most household invasions are traced to indoor plants that are being over watered. To get rid of fungus gnats, simply allow the potting soil to dry out to the point where leaves are starting to wilt before watering again. 

Moth Flies
Moth Flies, also referred as sewer flies and drain flies because they love to feast off bacteria lining drains, especially garbage disposals. They often emerge in the spring according to The University of Nebraska. To treat, run hot water down the drains to loosen bacteria followed by a generous dose of all-purpose cleaner using a toothbrush around crevasse to kill the bacteria.

Fruit Flies
Fruit flies, also called vinegar or pomace fly are most dominate during summer and early fall months when fruits and vegetables are abundant, as they like to hitchhike home on our fruits/vegetables. Pomace flies however, so similar to fruit flies many do not distinguish, prefer standing water or an open sewer drain, so removing fruits and vegetables may not be the only solution to ridding your home of these types of gnats. The University of Nebraska recommends a beer fruit trap as they are attracted to fermentation, whereas others, find it easier to simply leave a glass of wine sitting out on a kitchen counter-top a couple days. According to Iowa State University, fruit flies (aka pomace flies) most likely source in the home during fall and winter is a slow-moving or a seldom-used drain (sink, bathtub, shower or floor drain) where a layer of slime has built up above the water line. Dr. Lewis recommends as the only effective management of these gnats is to clean the slime from inside the drainpipe.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fail-Proof Kale Chips Recipe

By:  Tara Fuller

Healthier Alternative to Potato Chips
Potato chips are loaded with absolutely no nutritional value; but that doesn't stop Americans from buying well beyond 7 billion dollars of them each year.

A large-scale Harvard study conducted over a 20-year period analyzed the dietary habits of 120 thousand people between 33 and 60 years of age. The study, which is published in The New England Journal of Medicine found potato chips have a disproportionate impact on weight gain compared to other guilty pleasures such as alcohol and desserts.

Researches found that potato chips topped the chart for contributing to participants gaining an average of 3.3 pounds every 4 years over a 13-year period. We have found that if made correctly, Kale Chips taste nearly identical to potato chips but without all the weight gain and negative health consequences. They are light and crispy in texture with a delightful greasy and salty taste reminiscent of a potato chip. Instead, kale chips are chalk full of anti-cancer carotenoids and flavonoids; which are specific types of antioxidants. There's a reason Kale is being touted as the "Queen of Greens". 

Dried kale in Salad Spinner
 Fail-Proof Kale Chip Recipe

  1. Head of kale; preferably organic or locally grown however, because the leaves are thick, pesticides are less evident. 
  2. Remove thick stems in the middle of each leaf with a paring knife; wash leaves and pat dry with a paper towel
  3. Place dry leaves onto a tin foiled cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and massage with hands until each leaf is lightly covered with oil (do not saturate or it will not cook properly)
  4. Lightly sprinkle with sea or kosher salt and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes or until each leave is crisp to the touch but not burnt (cook completely or it will taste like, kale. YUCK!).      

One bunch of kale makes 1-2 servings

Optional Seasonings: Chilli power, Garlic powder/salt, Onion powder/salt, cayenne, curry and cumin.  Please share your creations for this powerful snack addiction.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do BMI Calculators Work

by:  Tara Fuller

Your metabolism is as unique as you are. The only accurate means of determining individual caloric need is by undergoing physiological testing, which can be expensive. However, the use of BMI calculators are industry standard for providing reasonably accurate caloric estimation for individual daily energy needs. 

Most science supports that 3500 calories equal 1 pound of fat: A gram of protein equals 4 calories as does a gram of carbohydrates, 9 calories for a gram of fat and 7 for alcohol. Regardless where calories come from, the body requires energy converted from calories to preform bodily function; any excess will be stored in the body as fat. 

If using one of the many BMI formulation tools which are easily found for free online, it is important to keep check on how you are feeling since such tools do not take body composition in to consideration. Therefore, if you are feeling sluggish it is likely due to insufficient calories necessary to keep the body functioning properly. The tasty solution to this problem is to increase your daily calories slowly until no more than 2 pounds are lost per week. Most research supports a healthy weight reduction not exceed 2 pounds per week, this is to insure adequate nutrients for well-being and energy to support body function.   

Whether sleeping or running, the body is in constant need of energy and uses calories to fuel that demand. The body can only release so much fat during a given period of time, so anything beyond 2 pounds a week is typically achieved with the additional loss of vital tissue, water and muscle. A loss in muscle will lower the body’s metabolic rate which translates to fewer calories burned at rest. Muscle retention is one of the most crucial components for fat loss because studies show a pound of muscle burns an upward of 5 times more calories than fat does at rest. Losing weight safely doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re willing to put the same amount of time it took to gain the weight as you are into losing it.

Start by using a nifty online BMI calculator as pictured or by simply multiplying your weight by 13 for a rough estimation on how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. Since you must create a caloric deficit to lose weight you have three options: Reduce daily food intake, burn more calories in exercise or combine the two to equal at least 500 calories a day. This works because we know 3500 calories equals about a pound of body fat, so by reducing roughly 500 calories a day through diet and/or exercise 7 days a week, it should earn you about a one pound weight loss per week. In a nutshell, you must take in fewer calories than your body burns in order to loss weight.