Archive for December, 2015

December 11, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

by ashley

  Trying to keep your diet in check during the holidays? Want to impress guests with a healthy, delicious and fun vegetarian breakfast alternative? This recipe is ridiculously easy, yet the results will amaze guests who’ve never had avocado egg baskets before.

Avocados are one of nature’s superfoods, full of vitamins and antioxidants it is a perfect detox food. My approach to detoxing is relatively simple, instead of worrying about juicing or expensive supplements, instead fill your detox diet with real foods that are low calorie and nutrient dense. Forgo anything processed or with refined sugars. Of course, the point of the Holiday detox is to work these foods in around your holiday celebrations. Plan your cheat meals wisely, keep the “cheating” to a minimum, but enjoy yourself. You only live once!

Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

Serves 2

One hass avocado

Two eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

Optional: caramelized onions, chives, basil, fresh pico de gallo, etc. for topping once out of the oven

Preheat oven to 400F.

I like to use a muffin tin to bake the avocados as it keeps them in place better. Use the coconut oil to grease two openings in the muffin tin to prevent any egg white spillage from sticking to your pan.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use a spoon to create a slightly bigger hole in each avocado half to allow an egg to sit in the hole. (I like to eat the extra at this point! You can also reserve for another recipe later in the day, just remember to squeeze some lime or lemon on it to keep it from browning.)

Place the halves onto the muffin tin, skin side down, resting in one of the openings you greased with coconut oil. Carefully crack one egg into each avocado half, trying to avoid spilling the egg white.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the egg white is set but the yolk is still soft.

After removing from the oven, this is where I like to get creative. Work with your own tastes and whatever you have on hand at the time. Top with chopped fresh basil or chives. Add some caramelized onions. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh tomatoes, pico de gallo or salsa. There are so many things that pair nicely with this!

***If you are allergic to latex, talk to your doctor before adding avocado to your diet. People with a serious latex allergy may experience symptoms after eating avocado.

 

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December 7, 2015

When the Holidays Don’t Feel Like The Holidays

by jem614

Two weeks ago, I lost my brother.  The one that, up until three weeks ago, called me on Facebook every night to talk to my son and hang out while he showed him his latest train or car.  My son loved talking to him so much that as soon as he heard my phone ringing, he knew exactly who it was.  “Uncle Chris, Uncle Chris, come on let me show you”.  His little toddler self thought Uncle Chris was the funniest person in the whole world.
Right after our rushed Thanksgiving meal, we had to get on a plane and fly out to Colorado to bury him.  It was sudden, though we knew he wasn’t doing well.  It was heartbreaking.
My point in posting this is to remind you that during the holidays, not everyone is surrounded by people they love.  Some people live alone or feel alone and the holidays are just one more reminder of that.
If you are reading this and feel alone, we’re sending out one giant hug to you.  Talk to us, tell us about your favorite memory, what your favorite holiday dessert is, something you are challenging yourself to do in the new year or how you hate holiday traffic.  Tell us anything!  If you comment, we’ll ask for your address and send out a Christmas Card (do it soon or you’ll get it for New Years instead ;).
To leave this on a positive note, let me brag about our amazing friends:  We had people offering to care for our kids, picking us up from the airport, booking discounted hotels, people sending us plants (if you ever decide to send flowers to someone’s family, plants are such a beautiful gift because it’s a reminder of life).  My best friends were there for me 100%, spending time with me, offering to pick us up at the airport at midnight or spending time with my husband.  I even had one that left her own husband and children for five days so she could help us in Colorado.
My mother had someone driving her from Iraq to Turkey on a 7 hour trip just to make it to the airport after the Iraqi/Kurdistan airport had closed down because of Russian planes in the area.
Please remember to tell your friends and family how much you care for them this holiday season.  Make sure that every single one of them feels loved because life is so fleeting and you never know when that last conversation will happen.  Make sure they know that they are in your thoughts.
And because this is a food blog, we will talk about food too.  Our favorite place was Adam’s Mountain Cafe.  Despite the Yelp reviews, we never had to wait long for our food.  It has this ski-lodge feel with tons of drink options and a very specific menu so you know they take time to develop the foods and make them absolutely perfect.  You can’t go wrong with any of their desserts either.   Good food is good for the soul.
http://www.adamsmountaincafe.com
http://www.heartofjerusalemcafe.com

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December 3, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Publix Edamame Steam-in-Bag

by ashley

 Like most of the country this past week, I ate waaaayyy too much over Thanksgiving. Too many desserts to count – who can say no to ricotta pumpkin cheesecake? I learned I definitely cannot! And so many savory carbs like bread, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, rice and gandules, russian potato salad….ehhh. Needless to say, it’s only the beginning of December and already the holiday pounds are starting to creep up on me. I don’t want it to get out of hand so I’ve decided to start my “new year’s resolution” early – instead of January, why don’t we start in December IN BETWEEN all of the horrible eating that accompanies this time of year? This will be a mini-series of posts as I go along my holiday season natural detox diet. There will be cheat days, of course, on the days that I have a party or family gathering, but I will limit them and also keep portions in check. Everything in moderation!

This time of year is also one of the busiest, meaning that I don’t have a lot of prep time for my healthy meals. I’m looking for quick, cheap and healthy meals and snacks. So far I raided my local Publix who had a sale on their steam-in-bag vegetables. I love edamame, but had actually never made it at home. Typically in restaurants it comes covered in salt or sauces, which are not part of my holiday detox plan, so the Publix brand edamame is a perfect snack or side dish being that the ingredients listed are just: edamame!

Since I’m a glutton, I need these nutrient dense, low calorie options so I can eat large quantities. I ate the ENTIRE BAG as part of my dinner yesterday and it came out to only 275 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, 27.5 carbs and it gave me a whole 12.5 grams of protein. A great way to add bulk to your diet without packing on the calories. It’s super easy to make: pop in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, let sit for a minute or so to cool and then eat. For the holiday detox, make sure not to add any salt or sauce. The more you eat veggies on their own, the more your taste buds will become accustomed to not needing as much salt. Also make sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day. I try to drink about 16 oz an hour, sipping constantly. Your body will adjust to the increase in your water intake after a few days, but the first couple of days you will go to the bathroom a lot more often. This is great for your whole body, giving your skin a great glow and also cleaning out your organs.

You don’t need to do an expensive juice cleanse or detox pills to really clean up your body and your nutrition. Focus on lots of water, cutting back on refined sugar and sodium, as well as eating lots of whole foods. If you’re struggling with flavor, try adding fresh garlic or herbs to your food. Make sure you don’t use any mixed seasonings that have sodium. You’ll want to limit your sodium intake on your “clean” days as much as possible!

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