HEALTH WITH JESSICA

Flourless Clean Eating Carrot Cake Muffins (that are truly delicious!)

If you know me even a little bit it is likely that you know that I can’t stand carrots *gag*. Cooked or raw…no. If they sneak in my salad by being in teeny tiny shredded pieces that are masked by all the other flavors of the salad…I’ll allow it. The other way I’ll allow it…CARROT CAKE! Heck yes! It’s my favorite! Some people thing that’s funny, but seriously, carrot cake does not taste like carrots! Right? Not one bit. There’s nothing like made-from-scratch (the from the box stuff just does NOT do it for me!), just made carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting ❤️ Mmmm!

Naturally, I needed to find a healthier version of my fav. We decided muffins would be a good idea (I’m all about breakfast you can take with you). Good thing, because muffins help keep you from eating wayyyyyy more than you should. Know what I mean? It’s one thing to say, ” I had one slice of cake” but everyone saw that that “piece” was 1/3 of the entire cake! But one muffin is one muffin (unless of course they are jumbo…but I digress…).

I don’t like putting a bunch of “substitute ingredients” in my recipes. I’d rather have what I want with minor adjustments and just eat less of it, instead of putting all sorts of things in something and choking it down but being able to say it’s “healthy”. So, in the name of staying close to the real thing, I just tweaked a recipe a bit without changing too much about it (remember when everyone used applesauce in recipes instead of butter?? Gag me. I did it too! It just never was the same. I’m happy that people are less afraid of healthy fats and that has, for the most part, gone by the wayside!).


INGREDIENTS: Cake

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups oat flour (I just blended old fashioned oats in the food processor until fine)

INGREDIENTS: Topping

  • 8oz cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F & prepare muffin tins with liners or oil/butter (makes approx. 1 dozen).

Whisk together dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. In separate, smaller bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Combine mixture from small bowl with mixture in medium bowl and stir until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Divide mixture evenly between muffin liners and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely before adding topping.

For topping, blend cottage cheese alone in food processor until creamy. It is SO yummy like this. If it is grainy, keep blending! Should just take a minute or two. Once cream cheese is ready, add remaining ingredients and mix well.

We leave the topping in a separate, sealed container in the fridge and just add to our muffins as we eat them.

 


*WARNING: these are so tasty!! You might need to hide them 🤓

Enjoy!!

XOXO, Jess

Stress and adrenal fatigue

Chances are if you’re part of this fast paced, over stuffed, over stimulated, over stressed culture you have experienced adrenal fatigue.  This is an issue plenty of people deal with, however there is very little knowledge about it in mainstream medicine and therefore our society in general. Typically, doctors don’t recognize a problem until the adrenal issues have gone to an extreme level and thyroid issues ensue.  This is not to point at doctors, it is simply outside of the realm of the modern medical perspective at this point in time. I will add though…awareness seems to be slowly occurring and I remain hopeful.

So what exactly is adrenal fatigue?  Our adrenal glands are small walnut sized glands located above the kidneys.  They create corticosteroids like cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline that then communicate specific messages to our brains that release certain hormones in response. I am going to keep it simple for the moment and focus on “CORTISOL”.adrenal glands

Our bodies are amazing and designed to work in very intricate ways with impressive communication skills. Cortisol may be a familiar word to some as it is linked to stress and weight gain.

Here is what happens: stress comes in different forms, physical, emotional, mental.  What is stressful to me may not be to you and vice versa.  We all have different tolerance levels of stress as well as different ways in which we deal with (or avoid) stress. However, when stress becomes chronic, our bodies become overwhelmed.

If I am dealing with a high level of stress for a prolonged period of time, rather than stress hormones spiking and then returning to normal, they will remain at an elevated level.  Specifically focusing on cortisol today…if I have an overload of cortisol I will likely experience things such as headaches and backaches, cravings for junk foods (salty and sweet…refined stuff), sleep will be an issue perhaps having a hard time falling or staying asleep and then feeling tired even if I do get an adequate amount of sleep.  A big one for a lot of people is weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Cortisol tends to make us hold on to body fat especially around the belly (aren’t we lucky?).  Then it gets overzealous and won’t let go.  Some people will experience depression and/or anxiety as well as gastrointestinal issues.  Infections and allergies are also more prevalent with high levels of cortisol.  And one more…it can kill your sex drive.

Anyone relate to any of this stuff in conjunction with some stress you’ve been dealing with?  Yup.  We all do at least at some point in life…especially in our crazy, fast paced society that has too much, is too busy and far too distracted.

If these type of stress responses continue for long, because we are not able to change the level of stress in our lives or haven’t figured out how, then our adrenal glands get worn down.  **newsflash**  We are not meant to have chronic stress in our lives. After a while our adrenal glands say…”well, I’ve put in my hours.  This ‘overtime’ was not in my job description…I’m out”. They end up slacking off, but it’s because they aren’t equipped for the overload.

When adrenal glands become fatigued, the symptoms are like those I mentioned above.  The symptoms often become more pronounced and you will likely have a more difficult time “shaking” whatever you feel you are dealing with.

I went to a naturopath several years ago because of this heavy fatigue I was experiencing that I didn’t understand.  I eat healthy and balanced and exercise regularly…but the doctor sat and talked to me about my life in general.  He even talked about past stress (yes, some childhood questions came up).  He essentially brought to light how spread thin I was and how my body just needed rest (not just the sleep kind of rest) and more balance in all areas.  I do struggle with this and have learned to be aware of it and manage it far better than ever before. This whole issue with our adrenal glands can really be a good thing…IF we listen!!  It can motivate you to seek balance in your life.  And balance, as we know, is one of my favorite things. <3

stress

My hope is to help individuals to start recognizing the havoc that is being reaped on their bodies BEFORE it gets to such a critical level that medication and other things are necessary just to regain some form of “normal”.

ATTENTION:  once we reach critical levels with our health in general, we risk never being able to return to “normal” without the aid of modern medicine…which can often lead to other issues.  It is super important to address problems and symptoms when they are manageable!

Our issues are an opportunity to create healthy change!!!

As I finish this I am noticing it is nearing midnight.  Oops.  I am a work in progress 😉

Good night sweet friends…
XOXO,
JESS

 

 

 

Shrimp, Avocado & Lime Salad

Summer salads are happening a lot at my house lately! It’s been unusually warm, so we’ve been inspired in that direction in the kitchen. I’ve also been LOVING broccoli slaw. Anyone else love that stuff? Mmmmm! Such a great addition to a salad. This recipe took no time at all, which was great after a day spent at the coast….we were HUNGRY!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 diced Roma tomato

Directions:

Prepare shrimp: have thawed and ready to rock if it’s frozen.

Place lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, honey, chili powder & salt & pepper into food processor & blend until smooth (cilantro will still be a bit chunky).

Heat skillet and sauté shrimp in 3 Tbsps marinade for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Divide remaining salad ingredients between 2 plates. Place shrimp on top of salad and use remaining marinade as dressing. *optional: crush blue corn or quinoa chips over top of the salad for extra crunch and flavor.

Light but filling all at the same time!! Goes nicely with a glass of wine 😉🍷

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Jess

Mango Coconut bars

These guys are Larabar-like 🤓 So yummy…so easy! 

What I love about bars like this is that it’s just nuts and fruits mushed together. That’s. It. No weird chemicals and preservatives. No fillers. No SOY (I swear it’s in EVERYTHING)! Plus, how fun it is to play with different combinations 🤗 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried mangoes
  • 1.5 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

Blend all ingredients in food processor until they stick together and it is mixed well. 

Press mixture into an ungreases casserole dish. Refrigerate 1 hr to firm up a bit. Cut and enjoy!!

We’re Better Together: Part 2

I’ve had the privilege of health coaching this guy who has done such a phenomenal job of staying committed and just working dang hard to follow the program.  It’s inspiring in a big way!! He doesn’t even realize it.  It’s hard for people to stick to stuff, so my heart is happy watching it! Because of his dedication he’s lost 30 pounds so far and, according to him, has 5x more energy! Freaking awesome.

What else is freaking awesome about the whole thing is that his girlfriend is the one who connected us (adore her!) and her gentle support and encouragement is so cool.  I mean SO cool. There’s not an ounce of “shoulding” on him from what I’ve seen.  It’s just been about rolling up her sleeves and doing it with him and cheering him on along the way.  She gets into the shopping and cooking and helps him where he needs the help to make his healthier choices easier.  Tonight as they got ready to leave he paused, turned and said “I couldn’t do this without her” as he hugged her.  *watery eyes moment!* They are awesome.

I’ve thought a lot recently about how THANKFUL I am to have the kind of person in my life that I can share this stuff with.  We have SO. MUCH. FUN. playing, being dorks, creating, exploring, working hard and pushing ourselves together!  LOVE it!  How important it is to be able to do this with your person!!

My guy
My guy <3

Sharing health and fitness in a relationship should be a requirement!  Haha!  I kid…but for reals. The benefits are ridiculous!  Working hard, pushing past comfort zones, setting goals together, getting stronger and feeling SO DARN GOOD!  Why wouldn’t you want to?!

If you’re not currently making health and fitness a thing in your relationship…go do it!  Make it happen!  Just go outside for heck’s sake!!  Take a walk around the neighborhood.  Go to the park. Get on our bike.  You don’t have to run 10 miles!  Heck you don’t have to run ONE…or ANY!  Go for a hike or a swim!  Just get outside and BREATHE fresh air and PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN (unless you’re doing a handstand…we need to see pics! Haha)!  Too many couples just exist, go through the motions, are stuck in a rut, an autopilot, numbed out on TV, being BUSY, alcohol, laziness, electronics, STUFF…you name it.  Regardless of how you feel about it…get up and move! Do it together!  You won’t regret it!

If your person isn’t super excited about this whole health and fitness thing…DO IT ANYWAY!  You might just inspire them!  You might not, though.  Entirely possible.  BUT keep going.  Do it anyway and then keep doing it.  Even if they don’t love it, YOU will be happier and healthier for it and that alone will be awesome for your relationship!

To my guy: THANK YOU for being that person with me!  I look SO forward to more exploring, nerding out on all this, creating more goals, smashing those goals and working hard while just living life vibrantly together!  <3

Now get to it people!  YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

XOXO,
Jess <3

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