A new year is upon us and that means New Years’ Resolutions. Too often, we set goals like “lose 20 lbs,” or “increase business revenue by $20k.” While those goals may be good, it’s okay to set little goals you can achieve daily. Here are several goals you can achieve and/or recommit to every single […]
Author Archive | Ami
How to Recover After an Indulgence
Even as a nutrition therapist, I don’t expect you to always say “no” to every indulgence, but I also don’t want you to start the new year feeling tired, sick, and emotionally exhausted. Here are a few of my tips and tricks that get me through an indulgence during the holidays, or really anytime you’re […]
10 Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes to Please a Crowd
In my nutrition business, I get a lot of questions from clients about how to handle the holiday season. My answer, enjoy yourself and don’t feel restricted, but try to make healthy choices wherever possible. Today I have 10 recipes for you for a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving.
5 Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies
Staying healthy during such a busy time can be tricky. One of my suggestions is to eat more veggies. That can sometimes be tricky though, especially with kids. Here are five ways we get in more veggies that are easy, and won’t make you feel like a cow grazing on grass all day. These fit […]
Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies
Aw College. The days of staying up too late, listening to music way too loud, and of course, eating junk every day. Life changed forever when my roommates and I discovered the 1-1-1 peanut butter cookie recipe. The 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter and 1 egg cookies we made 2-3 times a week about about 11 p.m. We’d eat about half the dough and bake the other half to eat while we watched movies about Julie Roberts finding the love of her life… again. It was magical.
For some strange reason, I can no longer get a way with that lifestyle. If I’m being honest, it didn’t work out too well at the time, but since there are much worse things I could have done being on my own for the first time, I won’t feel too guilty about it. The point is, I love cookies. Even though I eat tons of veggies, drink green smoothies, eat grass-fed meat, and work out daily, I STILL WANT COOKIES! I don’t believe in a life that doesn’t involve treats. But I have to be careful with my treats. I’m so sensitive to sugar and right now eggs and I aren’t friends. So I knew I couldn’t use my old, go-to pb cookie recipe. I needed to re-vamp. I’m very happy with the results.
I decided to go with tahini instead of peanut butter for a more neutral taste, but feel free to use any nut or seed butter. Almond butter, peanut butter or sunflower seed butter would work just as well. Since all nut butters have a different fat content, the texture will vary a bit, but you’ll still end up with a delicious cookie.
These are only low-carb if you use a sugar alternative. The only sugar alternatives I’m a fan of are stevia, monk fruit and erithrytol. This Lakanto sugar substitute is my favorite! And now they sell it at Costco!! I also use Lily’s Chocolate Chips instead of regular. They are sweetened with stevia and are SO YUMMY! Be careful though. If you are sensitive to milk, the only diary free ones are the dark chocolate chips. We also love Enjoy Life chocolate chips for regular (not sugar free) baking. So if you don’t care about the carbs and just want a whole-foods cookie, feel free to use coconut sugar or raw cane sugar; and the Enjoy Life chocoalte chips.
I store these in the freezer because I know myself well. If they are on the counter, I’ll go back to my college days and eat the entire pan. Now I have a cookie in the freezer to celebrate moments like birthdays, holidays, or making it through the day without my head exploding. What do you celebrate with cookies?
Nutrition Myths Busted
Today I’m answering 3 of the most common questions I get from clients during nutrition consultations. If you’ve wondered about weight loss, struggling with restrictions or taking supplements, read on.
Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Oat Bars
My 8-year-old daughter loves to cook. Like… LOVES to cook. There are days I open my fridge and it looks like a science experiment exploded. It’s full of glass containers of “salad dressing,” “spice dip,” “flavored water,” and “soup.”
That face represents the pride that comes when you design and make your own oatmeal.
Yesterday, I couldn’t find my cocao powder in the pantry and rather than think I was going insane and skipping over it with my eyes (which I do regularly), I knew better. I asked my daughter, “Do you have my cocao powder?” She immediately ran up to her room and brought down a reusable grocery bag full of spices, crackers, marshmallows and… my cocao powder. Just an average day in our house.
She even delivers!!
We watch “The Pioneer Woman” together, read cookbooks before bed, and she’s a big fan of helping me meal plan. She claims she’s going to be a chef… right before she’s a teacher, but after she’s a waitress and an author. Astronaut and veterinarian are in there somewhere as well, but I can’t remember the exact order. Ambition, right?
So last week she brought me a picture of some oat bars and proclaimed she was going to make them for dessert. We tried to find a promising recipe, but in our house, to make food we can all eat it has to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar free.
Together, we came up with this recipe and it’s a hit! It’s easy enough my 8-year-old could “make it” (I helped a bit), it comes together fast, and is customizable and really yummy.
We used almond butter because that’s what my daughter chose, but you can easlily change the flavor by changing the nut butter. I wanted peanut butter because the combination of peanut butter and chocolate yields a result even more beautiful than if Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson had a baby. Am I right!? But this was her thing, so I let it go. Next time!
The flavor is also influenced by the type of sweetener you use. Using coconut sugar will give it a more carmely flavor, maple sugar more of a maple flavor and raw sugar just a sweet flavor. We actually used Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener because I have to keep my sugars (even natural ones) really low right now.
Because she’s all about the bling, we had to add something on top. She wanted 3 different kinds of chocolate, edible glutter and several types of candies. We settled for one type of chocolate, and one type of candy that happened to come in three different colors. I think she was satisfied.
So when my daughter is a famous TV chef, we’ll look back on this post and laugh. Or at the least, when my daughter has a daughter 0f her own who steals all her ingredients, hides food in her room until it’s moldy, and uses half a bottle of safron to make her mac-and-cheese look pretty, we’ll laugh. Or I’ll laugh… a lot… maniacally.
Happy baking (with your kiddos)!
Pizza Spaghetti Squash
My love for spaghetti squash is no secret. I recently wrote a post about how much I love spaghetti squash, how to make it, and how to use it (click here to read the post).
But here’s the thing you have to understand. Spaghetti squash is delicious because it’s spaghetti squash, not because it has the taste and texture of thick, gluten-filled spaghetti noodles you can buy in a pack and boil. You can’t slurp a spaghetti squash “noodle” to romantic music and have it end in a kisss (even if you are a cartoon dog). You can’t twirl spaghetti squash around a fork and you don’t throw spaghetti squash at a wall to check if it’s done. It’s not a replacement. This is something I hear from clients all the time. “It doesn’t feel like spaghetti. It tastes different from spaghetti.” Well… it’s a vegetable. It’s not spaghetti.
I totally understand how people would make this assumption, since so many recipes claim, “It tastes just like spaghetti!” And, “Eat healthy without giving up your favorite foods.” It’s jut not true. Spaghetti squash is delicious and helps me get all my “spaghetti fixes” in because it’s a great way to deliver so many of the flavors we’re used to associating with pasta in a much healthier way, but it is its own food.
Eating healthy does require change, including a change in our taste buds. My dark chocolate doesn’t taste like a maple-glazed donut; but it’s a much healthier way to get a sweet fix in. The point is (yes my rambling does have a point), if you decide to change the way you eat, expect to… change the way you eat. The flavors, textures and ingredients will be very different. That doesn’t mean they won’t be delicous. This is a chance to discover new foods and develop new tastes.
That said, I miss pizza. I know if I eat gluten and cheese my skin will break out for a month, my tummy will rumble (that’s the G-rated version) and my joints will hurt. It’s not worth it. But I love pizza! So I decided to make a new kind of pizza using my beloved spaghetti squash.
The whole family was happy. And since this is a dish you layer in each individual bowl, everyone had what they wanted. My husband and daughter had cheese, and I had olives. We all had different veggies and we were all satisfied.
Start with a bowl of spaghetti squash. To find out how to best cook spaghetti squash, check out my spaghetti squash blog post.
Then top it with ground pork seasoned with classic pizza seasonings. If you’re not a fan of pork, feel free to use chicken, beef or even just diced ham or pepperoni. We are making pizza after all.
After this, everyone can add their favorite pizza ingredients. I added roasted veggies to mine because I LOVE veggies on pizza. This is a part you can totally customize. I used broccoli, bell pepper, and onion. I LOVE broccoli on pizza. This was an option at Mod Pizza and I was hooked. If that’s not your jam, use a different veggie or leave it out.
Then come the olives, the warmed sauce and the optional cheese. I left the cheese off and was still very satisfied.
So enjoy your “pizza.” It won’t taste exactly like pizza. It won’t feel exactly like pizza. But it will be a delicious, healthy dinner that even picky kids will enjoy.
Change Your Perspective to Change Your Life
This week I had an experience while hiking that made me change the way I look at my life. I realized this simple change in perspective can make the difference of whether or not I feel joy in my day-to-day life.
How to Build a Healthy School Lunch
This guide takes the guess work outof how to pack a healthy school lunch for your kiddos this year.