Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Coffee talk

Bullet proof coffee has been the big thing lately in the nutrition world, especially in the Paleo community. Of course I had to try it and see what all the hype was about. Since then this is how I’ve made my coffee every morning. It’s a great way to get more gelatin and coconut oil in your diet, two super foods. If you haven’t tried coconut oil and started to incorporate it into your diet yet you need to get on that! Coconut oil deserves its own post but I want to share some of the major benefits of this healthy fat. Coconut oil can actually burn fat in the body. Farmers began giving coconut oil to their cows in hope that they would put on more fat, but instead the cows all became extremely lean. The same thing happens in us. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that increase energy expenditure in the body. Coconut oil can also reduce your hunger. If I’m going to be working out first thing in the morning I drink my bulletproof as my pre work out and don’t need to eat until after my workout. 
Gelatin is also another one of my daily super foods. Since adding gelatin to my diet consistently over the past three months my nails and hair have grown so much. Gelatin is a great source of dietary collagen. Gelatin is great for skin, hair and nail growth and also great for joints in the body. I always recommend it to anyone who has arthritis. The standard American diet is limited in the two amino acids glycine and proline. Gelatin is a great source of both of these amino acids. These amino acids are anti-inflammatory, gut healing and help the body have optimal immune function, weight regulation, and help with sleep. I have other recipes that I plan to share on how to get more gelatin into your diet. This is my version of bullet proof coffee. I like using coconut oil but butter and ghee will work as well or a mixture of healthy fats. 

10oz of hot brewed coffee
2 tbs grass-fed Great Lake's gelatin (only the green one will work in this recipe)
1 tbs coconut oil
stevia or maple syrup if needed

1- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend for 30 seconds
2- Pour into a coffee cup and enjoy 

  Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                             Lisa and Nichole

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do! 
You can’t even tell there are avocados in this nutrient dense pudding that tastes amazing and is full of healthy fats and potassium. It is also free of the most common food allergens. 
Serves two

photo credit : Megan Theriault 

Grain-free, raw, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free

2-3 avocados depending on size
One-fourth cup cocoa powder
2 tbs canned coconut milk
One-fourth cup grade B maple syrup

1- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

2- Transfer to a dish and serve

  Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                             Lisa and Nichole

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Cucumber ginger juice

Hey everyone! Just wanted to pop in quick with a super simple Thirsty Thursday drink. I have been using my juicer a ton lately and this is one of the simple combinations I came up with. I love ginger and it has some amazing health benefits. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory root and can bring relief to many inflammatory conditions. It is also great for gastrointestinal problems and provides immediate relief to nausea. Cucumbers are a great choice for beginner juicers because they do not have an overpowering taste like some of the greens do but provide a lot of liquid. 

photo credit: Megan Theriault 

2 large cucumbers 
2 inches of fresh ginger root

1- Put ingredients thru juicer and enjoy

Stay tuned for a new recipe coming on Tuesday!

                                      Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                             Lisa and Nichole

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chicken Sausage and Peppers

Hi blog readers! Lisa and I started our last semester of our graduate program two weeks ago and have been very busy with our two new classes! We are taking Virtual Clinic and Botanical Medicine. We are learning so much but it is a lot of work to keep up with. We wanted to take a break from homework and share an amazing recipe. This recipe was inspired by these peppers that I found at the farmer's market and could not pass up. I have to give special photo credit to Michael Theriault who took these amazing photos that belong in a cookbook and Megan Theriault who helped him! 

Chicken Sausage and Peppers 

Photo credit Megan Theriault 

2 Applegate farms chicken sausages
2 cups chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup cup chopped onions
3 tbs olive oil divided

1- Brown sausage in 1 tbs of olive oil
2- Remove sausage from pan
3- Add 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil and the peppers and onions
4- Cook covered for around 20 minutes until peppers and onions are softened
5- Add back in sausage and heat through

                                                         Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                             Lisa and Nichole

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Beet Banana Smoothie

I have been obsessed with beets lately and here in Connecticut they are all over the farmer’s markets. The banana gives it the perfect sweetness and the beets make this smoothie a beautiful pink color. Beets are full of nutrients. They contain potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin A, folic acid, and Vitamin C. Beets help cleanse the body and are wonderful for the liver, purifying the blood, and can prevent you from developing cancer. Beets can be used in fresh juice, but roasting them in the oven is my favorite way to enjoy them. 

1 cup roasted beets that are cooled
1 frozen banana
1 cup whole milk or nondairy milk


1- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! Enjoy 

                                                       Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                             Lisa and Nichole


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blueberry Corn salad

This is a great salad to enjoy your fresh summer produce. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any produce. Berries in general are low glycemic, meaning they do not contain as much sugar as most fruits and do not raise your blood sugar as fast. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber and copper. Corn is technically classified as a vegetable when you are eating the whole corn kernel off the cob but a grain if it is processed in any way (cornmeal, corn syrup, corn starch). Be careful when buying corn to choose organic because 90% of the corn crop in the United States is genetically modified. Corn is a great source of both fiber and potassium. 

4 basil leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh corn off the cob (grilled or raw)
juice 1/2 of lime
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper

1- Chop basil leaves 
2- Mix together cumin, lime juice, evoo, salt, pepper and chopped basil
3 - Add blueberries and corn and stir
4- Store in refrigerator 

                                                    Yours in Health & Happiness, 

                                                             Lisa and Nichole

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Natural Beauty Post - How to Wash Your Hair Naturally

The skin is our largest organ and absorbs 60% of the chemicals in products that we apply topically directly into the blood stream. The makeup, shampoo, conditioner, moisterizer, shaving cream, hair gel, deodorant, and sunscreen all count! In nutrition we always say to look at the ingredients list on food, but do you do the same for products? I didn’t until I got into the nutrition field and started researching some of the chemicals that were in the products I was putting on my skin. Let me just tell you, it’s scary. My theory was if I wouldn’t eat that chemical then I should not be putting it on my skin. I started buying more organic natural beauty products with more natural ingredients and learning to make my own. Buying beauty products from Whole Foods and the health food store is not cheap so I stick with making my own for the most part.  Today I am going to share with you the method I use for washing my hair. I have had great results making my own shampoo and conditioner. 

Shampoo - 1/4 cup baking soda mixed with 1.5 cups warm water (I do this in the shower)
Pour baking soda mix over head, massage into scalp. Rise the baking soda out of your hair.
- Or 2 tablespoons honey mixed with 1.5 cups water. I switch between these two methods. What works better for you may depend on your hair type. 

Conditioner -
Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar plus 2 cups warm water
Pour mix over head and let sit for two minutes then rinse well
The vinegar smell will go away as your hair dries. You would think this technique would make your hair dry but it makes it shiny and super soft. I am down to washing my hair this way two times per week and have to do nothing in between. 

                                               Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                               Lisa and Nichole

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Homemade Cashew Milk

Non-dairy milks can be full of additives and preservatives that we do not want to be consuming. Carrageenan, found in most non-dairy milks may cause digestive issues, inflammation, and is being studied for its possible carcinogenic properties. Making your own non-dairy milk can be simple. Unlike almond milk, cashew milk does not need to be strained after blending. Cashews are a great source of copper, zinc and selenium and magnesium. They are also a great source of mono-unsaturated fat. This nondairy milk also lacks the extra sugar that many of the store brands have. 

2 cups unsalted raw cashews (whole or pieces will both do)
5 pitted dates
3.5 cups water
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp cinnamon

1- Place cashews and dates in a bowl and cover with water
2- Let sit four hours up to overnight
3- Drain cashews and dates
4- Put all ingredients in blender and blend until milk forms
5- Enjoy anywhere you would use milk 

                                                                                        Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                                  Lisa and Nichole

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Plantain Bread

A great flour free recipe to make in the summer when zucchini is in abundance. This recipe is inspired by Purely Twin's plantain bread that I make once a week! 
Plantains are a great flour substitute in grain free baking because of their high starch content. The riper the plantain is the sweeter this bread will be. For this one I recommend ripe brown plantains. Plantains are a great source of vitamin A, B6 and contain more potassium than a banana. Grade B maple syrup has a higher mineral content than grade A. 
Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy -free, paleo 

Photo credit Megan and Michael Theriault

2 plantains
4 eggs
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs maple syrup (grade B)
2 tbs c.oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1- preheat oven to 350 degrees
2- put all ingredients in blender except the chocolate chips and blend
3- Fold in the chocolate chips
4- Pour batter into two greased pie pans or a 9X3 glass pan
5- Bake until tooth pick goes into center and comes out clean around 30 minutes
6- Let cool, cut and enjoy

                                                                         Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                                         Lisa and Nichole

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Health Nut Favorites: July Edition

In the world of nutrition and healthy living there is an overwhelming amount of products being discussed and new ones coming out on a daily basis. Both of us love being guinea pigs to these products and as individuals in the nutrition field we feel it is important to inform clients of our opinions. We are planning on doing a post at the end of each month highlighting some of our new favorite supplements, food items, and natural beauty products. 

Renola - by Larabar 

A blend of non-GMO fruits, nuts, and seeds, Renola™ is a granola truly worthy of the LĂ„RABAR name. Free of grain but full of flavor, Renola is Reinventing Granola.™” I love Larabars and when I saw Renola I had to try it! It comes in berry, cinnamon nut, and cocoa coconut. I have tried both the cocoa coconut and cinnamon nut flavors. I add a little coconut milk and it is delish! I love that this product only has 5g of sugar and is made from nutrition packed nuts and seeds. It can be easy to make your own grain free granola but this is a nice on the go option. My only complaint is they need to make bigger bags of it! You can find this at most grocery stores in the nutrition bar section.  

Essential oils

Over the past month or two I have developed an obsession with essential oils! I started off with a few basic ones; lavender, tea tree and lemon but wanted to expand my collection. I have been doing a lot of research on companies to see which one I wanted to stick with. I chose Young Living essential oils They have been used for thousands of years for health, cosmetic, and dealing with emotions. These oils can help balance the emotions, purify your home, refine your skin, or provide spiritual awareness. Essential oils can be taken internally in a supplement form, applied topically to the skin, or diffused in the air.  Each oil has different uses and instructions that go along with it. Essential oils have thousands of benefits and uses. I love using lavender on the bottom of my feet to help me sleep at night, and lemon to clean with. I will be sharing more information on the blog about the different oils and the fun things I make with them. If anyone has any specific questions and wants to learn more email

Digestive Bitters-

Digestive bitters can seriously work wonders for a sluggish digestive system! Digestive bitters is a combination of herbs that work together to stimulate the digestive system/process. Most people, especially those eating the SAD diet ( Standard American Diet ) have greatly decreased the amount of bitter foods they consume. The bitter taste of herbal bitters begins to work the digestive system, stimulating digestive juices as soon as it hits your taste buds! Not only that, but it helps to stimulate the liver and gall bladder to do their job in the digestive process as well. They are generally taken 10-15 minutes before meals mixed with a little water. Millions of Americans are experiencing digestive problems and jump right to taking antacids and proton pump inhibitors . However, you may just need a little help from this simple remedy for digestive problems. I have tried herb farm which can generally be found at your local health food store or online.  *If you have serious GI issues always see your doctor. 

Calm - by Natural Vitality   

This is one of my new favorite supplements! Natural Calm is a relaxing magnesium supplement. Magnesium is involved in many functions of the body including healthy muscle function and relaxation (it is even known as the mind mineral). Unfortunately lots of individuals are deficient in this important mineral. This supplement comes in a powder form that you mix into water. I take one teaspoon in water before bed and it helps me sleep great! I love this product because it is gluten free, Non-GMO verified and made in the U.S. 
Here is a link to where I buy mine: amazon


Do you have trouble falling asleep? Staying asleep? Lots of Americans do. We have hectic busy lifestyles with lots of stress. While some of us fall asleep in a matter of minutes and sleep like babies ( I envy you ). Some of us need a little help. However, going to the doctor and filling a prescription drug may not be the best choice. There are many things that can help, including diet and lifestyle changes but today we will focus on Melatonin. Your doctor can now even prescribe it. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain and has many functions. When it gets dark, the brain responds by producing melatonin to put us to sleep. Melatonin enhances REM sleep which is our deepest, most restorative sleep time. There are many factors in our lives today including stress and certain medications that decrease this important hormone. It may be what you are missing to have a good nights sleep. I have used the sublingual (dissolves under tongue for easy absorption) NOW brand which can generally be found at your local health food store or online.

*Note from the Health Nuts - Always talk to your doctor before trying any new supplements/herbs. Negative reactions due to certain health conditions or interactions with medications are possible. This information is also based on our own personal experience using these products

Yours in Health & Happiness,
                                               Lisa and Nichole