The Mint Chip Shake

July 10, 2017
Mint Chip Shake

I have always loved the combination of peppermint and chocolate – it is a classic. And mint chip ice cream? It’s like a Summer dream…well, except for the nightmarish amount of sugar it typically contains. And if you are dairy intolerant – the pain & discomfort that can follow.

Never fear – I have created a delicious, nutritious and easy superfood mint chip shake that rivals mint chip ice cream – but it has no sugar, no dairy, and is loaded with superfoods – yes, really!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened alternative milk (I like to use Ripple pea protein milk)
  • 1/2 of a small avocado
  • 1/2 scoop (approx. 2 teaspoons) of moringa powder  (or substitute a greens powder if you can’t find moringa)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia or hemp seeds
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil (such as doTERRA, or you can use peppermint extract)
  • 3/4 tsp. of organic stevia & monk fruit powder (I like to use Pyure)
  • small pinch of Real Salt (brings out the flavors and sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract (I prefer to use this alcohol-free brand in smoothies)
  • optional – 1/2 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder (I like Warrior Blend Vanilla)
  • Ice as needed to thicken – about 1/2 cup
  • a small handful of dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid into the blender, add the chia seeds and let them soak for a couple minutes.
  2. Add the avocado, moringa or greens powder, peppermint oil, the pinch of Real salt, vanilla, protein powder (if using) – blend until smooth.
  3. Add in the ice, blend until smooth and desired thickness.
  4. Add in the dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs – blend until mixed in.
  5. Enjoy!

About Moringa:

Also known as the horseradish tree and the drumstick tree, the moringa tree is native to North India – and it’s leaves & pods offer a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Moringa is an excellent source of iron, vitamin B6, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and other important vitamins and minerals. It may help to reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and chronic inflammation.   There is not enough research to determine if moringa is safe during pregnancy – so therefore talk to your doctor first.

About Peppermint:

Did you know that peppermint can be a useful remedy for headaches and digestion issues?  Peppermint has a mild numbing, cooling, and anti-spasmodic effect, and can even improve the flow of bile, and kill certain types of bacteria.  Peppermint may help reduce bloating and gas, and indigestion.  However, persons with reflux or GERD may wish to avoid using peppermint.  Peppermint may also help to thin mucosal secretions and help to decongest stuffy noses.  Applied to the temples (make sure to avoid the eyes!), peppermint may help relieve headaches in some individuals.

Please read:

Please be very cautious with using peppermint essential oils – as they are very powerful and could burn if applied directly to the eyes or skin, or mouth.  Peppermint oils should NOT be used on infants or small children, or taken internally with persons with GERD or reflux.  Talk to your doctor before using peppermint oil if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.  If using peppermint topically – always dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil. If consuming peppermint oil internally, always make sure it is a certified therapeutic grade essential oil – and use only 1 or 2 drops diluted in your beverage or food.  Learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

References/Resources:

http://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-moringa-oleifera

https://draxe.com/essential-oils-for-headaches/

Peppermint oil

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Riced Cauliflower & Broccoli Saute

July 3, 2017
Riced Cauliflower & Broccoli Saute

I love cauliflower and broccoli – my favorite way to make has usually been to cut it up into small florets, toss in avocado oil, season it, and roast it in the oven….that is, until I discovered how quick and easy it is to saute riced cauliflower and broccoli.  This dish comes together in about 5 mins, and is delicious, satisfying, filling, and very nutritious!

Cauliflower and broccoli are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables which are high in sulfur compounds, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – they support our cardiovascular, digestive, immune, inflammatory, and detoxification systems.  Consuming cruciferous vegetables at least once a week has been associated with lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, and supports healthy cholesterol levels and heart health.  Just one cup of broccoli has over 200% of the RDA for vitamin K, an important nutrient for bone building; it also has over 100% of the RDA for vitamin C.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of each Riced cauliflower & Broccoli
  • approx. 1 tablespoon of avocado, olive or coconut oilRiced Cauliflower & Broccoli
  • you choice of spices to taste – I like Trader Joes 21 Seasoning blend, and crushed alleppo pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

You can ‘rice’ cauliflower and broccoli by grating it with a boxed grater; or you can roughly chop it and then pulse it in the food processor until “riced” – meaning it is broken down into rice sized pieces.  But I recently discovered already riced organic cauliflower and broccoli in the freezer section of Sprouts – which just makes it super easy when you don’t have time to grate it or pull out the food processor.  I think you can find it at Trader Joes too.

Warm saute pan on medium high, add oil and let it get hot.  Add in your riced cauliflower and broccoli, season and saute for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through to your desired amount.

Serve!   This dish can be a side dish, be added to salads or soups, and mixed with rice or pasta.  Enjoy!!

Sources:

  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Skinny Summer Cocktails

June 27, 2017
"Skinny" Summer Cocktails

Note: these recipes contain alcohol and are for ages 21 and up.  You can also make these “virgin” cocktails by omitting the alcohol.

Hot steamy Summer nights just seem to call for a summery cocktail.   But did you know that a typical 8 oz. margarita has about 8 teaspoons (or more) of added sugars???  That’s more than a woman should have all day! Plus, a lot of drink mixes have preservatives, colorings, and other stuff that we (or our livers) don’t need.

That’s why I am sharing my 3 favorite Summer cocktails – these are all very simple, and “upgraded” versions of Margaritas, Mojitos, & Moscow Mules!

hey, why do all the best Summer drinks seem to start with “M”?

Mexican Mule

The Mexican Mule

My version of a Moscow Mule is actually technically a “Mexican Mule” – because instead of the traditional vodka, I like to use tequila.  In fact, I am using tequila for all of these drinks, because tequila has some unusal benefits that other alcohols don’t have.

Read: 10 Surprising Benefits of Tequila You Never Knew to learn more about the unique health benefits of tequila (note: make sure you choose a good quality tequila, and moderation is also key!)

  • 1. 5 oz. tequila (good quality, blanco – such as Casamigos)
  • 7 – 8 oz. of Zevia ginger beer mixer (1 can) – which is a zero calorie stevia-sweetened soda mixer
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice (about the the juice of 1 lime)
  • A slice of lime for the rim
  • Ice

This drink is traditionally served in a copper mug – if you like, you can chill it in the freezer for 5-10 mins before making this to keep your drink nice and cold. Pour all into the cup, stir to combine, add ice.  Serve! How easy is that?

The Classic Margarita

  • 1.5 oz. tequila (good quality, blanco)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. orange juiceAgave Five
  • 1 oz. Agave Five Syrup from Madhava.  (organic, and less than 5 calories per serving)
  • 1 oz. cold water (sometimes I like to use sparkling – I know it’s not traditional)
  • Ice
  • Lime and Real Salt or Tahin for rim of glass

If salting, prepare your glasses first. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, then pour some salt or Tahin on a plate, and roll or dip the glass into the salt or Tahin.

Mix all your ingredients, shake or stir, pour over ice into glasses. Serve!

The Coco-Mojito

Usually a mojito is made by muddling the mint and sugar, and then mixed together with rum and sparkling water.  Again – I am swapping the traditional rum for tequila in this drink – because I just prefer tequila.  You can use the traditional rum if you prefer.  And I am hitting the “Easy Button” – by skipping over the muddling and using KeVita Mojito – a probiotic beverage that is dairy free, naturally sparkling, and delicious.  Each bottle of KeVita has 4 billion CFUs, and 4 strains of probiotics- good for the gut, mood, and immunity. Many of their flavors make delicious and probiotic mixers – their Lemon Ginger is delish, and so is the Mango Coconut!KeVita Mojito

Mix into a glass, add the mint sprig and ice – and voila!

The Essential Sparkling Citrus Cocktail

Out of citrus fruit? No problem – as long as you have citrus essential oils!Essential Citrus Cocktail

I love my doTERRA essential oils in the summer.  I add a drop to sparkling water all the time – it is a refreshing treat.  You can also make a really clean cocktail this way too.

  • 1.5 oz.  tequila (good quality, blanco)
  • 7 oz. sparkling water
  • 1-2 drops* of your favorite essential oil – I like lime, grapefruit, wild organge, lemon – or a combo of two.  Make sure to only use the highest quality food grade essential oils, such as doTERRA*.
  • Optional – stir in 1 teaspoon of Madhava Agave Five Syrup to slightly sweeten. You could also add a mint sprig to decorate if you have it!

Shake and pour over ice; or stir together ingredients into a glass, add ice & serve!

*essential oils are very powerful – all you need is a drop of two!

*Please remember if you do choose to drink alcoholic beverages, to do so in moderation & responsibly. The word “intoxification” means – we have literally ‘made ourselves toxic.’ Ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, which is a toxin that is eventually broken down into acetic acid to be excreted from the body. If we consume more alcohol than can be broken down to acetic acid, the body will be experiencing the negative effects of the acetaldehyde in our blood and tissues. Excessive drinking overtime can raise our risk for developing cancer, nutrient deficiencies, digestion issues, and heart attack.

Learn more by reading these Natural Hangover Prevent Tips

Also- 20 Signs Your Liver Might Need Some TLC

Interested in learning more about doTERRA essentail oils?  Let me know!

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Mom’s Pumpkin Bread (gluten & grain free)

April 28, 2017
Mom's Pumpkin Bread

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things was pumpkin bread – I would look forward to the fall when my mom would make her famous recipe – it was so moist and delicious.  I still love pumpkin bread – but I don’t eat wheat or gluten any more – so I can’t make my mom’s recipe exactly.

But I di use her recipe for inspiration!  This recipe is based on the pumpkin bread that my mom used to make me when I was a kid – except this one is gluten and grain free.  Instead of regular flour, this pumpkin bread is made with cassava flour – which is a root vegetable that is also known as a yuca root. Cassava is both grain and gluten free!!  Learn more about cassava flour.

Although it does have organic sugar, this recipe has quite a bit less sugar than my mom’s original recipe (and most other pumpkin bread recipes) – and you could probably even reduce the sugar content by swapping some 1/2 cup of the sugar for 2 Tablespoons of stevia (I might try it next time).

This recipe even passed the kid test –  my kids loved it and gobbled it up (and they are not always big fans of gluten or grain free recipes)!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted organic butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup organic cane sugar  (or you could swap out 1/2 cup of the sugar for 1 Tablespoon of organic stevia – so use 1 cup of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of powdered stevia – I like the brand Pyure)
  • 3 eggsOtto's Cassava Flour
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups cassava flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon gound nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease 3 mini bread mold tins.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients, set aside.
  4. Cream together butter, oil and sugars – mix until creamy.
  5. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing well until it is creamy and a light yellow.
  6. Mix in pumpkin puree & vanilla.
  7. Add in dry ingredients to wet (about 1 cup at a time) – mixing gently.
  8. Pour into greased mini bread molds.
  9. Put into the preheated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes – or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using regular size bread molds, cook longer – about 60 mins.

Prefer banana bread?  You can substitute 3 ripe bananas for the pumpkin in this recipe to make banana bread! 

Articles:

Cassava Flour: The Best Grain-Free Baking Alternative?

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar Free!)

April 7, 2017
coconut oil chocolates

If you know me – you know I am a fan of dark chocolate.   I am kind of a chocolate snob actually – it has to be DARK, and high quality.

I am also a huge fan of coconut oil.  Coconut oil is my favorite oil – it is high in medium chain fatty acids – which are boosting to the metabolism, and a good source of energy.  Coconut oil does not require bile salts for digestion – so it is a good fat for people with gallbladder issues. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antiviral, so it helps to prevent bacterial overgrowth while helping to lubricate the digestive tract. This makes it a useful remedy for constipation.  There is even some evidence that coconut oil could potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia/Alzheimers (or reduce the symptom and progression of those with an early diagnosis).  This is a very delicious way to get someone to eat their coconut oil.

I like to make my own chocolates using coconut oil – usually I use raw cacao, but this recipe is way easier – because instead of making it all from scratch, I just use chocolate chips and coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Lily’s Stevia sweetened chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • Optional – add 2-4 drops of peppermint essential oil (this makes a yummy and tummy soothing mint chocolate) – make sure to only use therapeutic food grade essential oils.

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil (in a glass container in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or on a double boiler on stovetop)
  2. Once melted, stir together all ingredients.
  3. Pour the chocolate and coconut oil into the silicon ice cube tray – cover, and put it in freezer.
  4. They should be ready in about 15 minutes.
  5. Store any extras in freezer so they do not melt.

This makes 1 batch/tray of mini chocolate squares – I used the square one of these silicon ice cube tray molds (this is nice as it comes with a cover).  If using a larger mold like this heart shaped one, then double the recipe and cover with plastic wrap.

If you

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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“Skinny Starch” Raspberry Cream Tart (dairy, gluten & grain free)

February 15, 2017
Skinny Starch Raspberry Cream Tart

Have you heard of “skinny starch”?  It is also called “resistant starch” – because it resists digestion.  What that means is that it moves slowly through the digestive tract – so it helps to keep your blood sugar more stable, it is a prebiotic – meaning that it serves as “food” for the good bacteria in our colon. It is called the “skinny starch” because it can improve digestion, blood sugar, energy, and gut bacteria – all of which could potentially mean flatter bellies and weight loss.  But before you run out and eat a lot of skinny starch – realize that like any fiber – especially a prebiotic one – you want to begin to incorporate it slowly, or it could potentially cause digestive upset.

One of the best sources of resistant starch in my opinion comes from a small tuber called a tiger nut.  You can eat the nuts whole, or I like to add tiger nut flour to my daily smoothie.  Resistant starch can also help you sleep – so this Tiger Nut & Cashew Horchata drink is a nice thing to have before bedtime.  I also like to add tiger nut flour to desserts – like this raspberry tart!

"skinny starch" raspberry cream tart

 

“Sugar Cookie” Crust:

  • 1 cup of blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of tiger nut flour (I like this one from Organic Gemini)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut sugar cookie crust
  • 2 Tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 dates (pits removed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of organic stevia (I like this product called Pyure)
  • 3 Tablespoons of cashew butter (you could sub for almond butter)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Real salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

CrustPut all the ingredients into a food processor, process until still crumbly, but starting to come together.

lightly grease a tart pan, and press the crust into it (I like to use my fingers to spread it around, then a flat bottom measuring cup to get it even. Press it so it comes up about halfway up the sides of the tart pan.

Put into freezer for about 20-30 mins.

 

Raspberry filling:

  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen organic raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons of organic steviaraspberry filling
  • 1/4 cup tiger nut flour
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend)
  • pinch of Real salt

Put all of the above into the Vitamix, and blend until combined.

Take crust out of freezer, and pour filling onto the crust – spread with a spatula or spoon.  Return to freezer to set – at least 2 hours, up to a day ahead.  Remove from freezer before you want to serve, add the raspberries, and whipped cream if you like (see below).

Toppings:

  • Fresh raspberries

Coconut Whipped Cream (optional)

  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk (just cream) – store in refrigerator for at least 12 hours beforehand)raspberry tart with coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Put the coconut milk in refrigerator the day before you want to make the cream.  Open the bottom of the can, and pour off the coconut water (reserve for smoothies, or another recipe).

Scoop out the coconut cream and put it into a bowl with the other ingredients, using a electric mixer – whip it up.  Taste and adjust.  Spoon onto slices before serving.

 

Want to learn more about Resistant Starch and get more delicious recipes – including “skinny starch” chocolate nut butter cups and cookie dough balls?  Take my Resistant Starch eCourse!

Enter code Fox5 to save 20% – expires February 28th!!

All About Resistant Starch

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

December 17, 2016
Duble Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

 

My hubby and I are invited to a holiday party tonight and my friend asked me to bring a “healthy but yummy Sara” dessert.  So I decided to come up with a new recipe!  I used my ‘formula’ for flax muffins – and took it the chocolate peppermint route.  They turned out delish!!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins (free of wheat, gluten & grains)

Double Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (to reduce the sugar content, replace 2 Tablespoons of the sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of powered stevia, or 20 drops of stevia liquid)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk or coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup of ground flax meal
  • 3-4 drops of peppermint essential oil*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon high quality salt (like Himalayan)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like 60% or higher cacao)
  • Optional – crushed candy canes (I use the kind without artificial colorings)
    *Always make sure to use high quality certified therapeutic grade essentail oils if ingesting them. Essential oils are strong 3-4 drops is plenty.  You could substitute 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract if you do not have essential oil.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Double chocolate peppermint muffins
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Line your mini-muffin pan with muffin papers
  4. Mix together the eggs and sugar till well combined, then add in and mix together the rest of the ingredients – adding the chocolate chips last.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin papers in the tin, coming up about 3/4 of the way up (they will expand and rise).
  6. Put into the preheated oven (I sometimes press a few extra chocolate chips on the top).
  7. Bake for about 15 mins – until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and right away sprinkle on some of the crushed candy canes if using – I kind of put them in the center.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Serve & enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container.

 

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact sara@rebalancelife.com

Signature

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Cranberry Orange Flax Muffins

December 9, 2016
Orange Cranberry Muffins

I was walking by the bakery section of the grocery store and got a whiff of fresh baked muffins. I knew I had to bake some muffins when I got home (those store muffins have about 8 teaspoons of added sugar – more than a woman should have all day long!).

I have a fool proof recipe for Flax Raisin muffins that I have made many times, but I decided to take that recipe and spruce it up with orange and dried cranberries!  And since I have been really getting into essential oils lately – I thought – instead of grating orange peel, why not just use a few drops of orange essential oil instead?  They turned out amazing!! I hope you enjoy them!

Orange Cranberry Flax Muffins (free of wheat, gluten & grains)

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (could use a combination of coconut sugar and stevia if you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of ground flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 drops of orange essential oil* (or you could add 1-2 teaspoons of zest)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon high quality salt (like Himalayan)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (you could add 2/3 cup if you like more)

Optional – sprinkle a little cinnamon coconut sugar on the tops before baking them.
*Always make sure to use high quality certified therapeutic grade essentail oils if ingesting them.

Cranberry Orange Flax Muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Lightly grease mini-muffin pan with some coconut oil (or line with muffin papers – I tend to like this best – less mess to clean up)
  4. Mix together the eggs and coconut sugar till well combined, then add in and mix together the rest of the ingredients – folding in the dried cranberries last.
  5. Put into prepared muffin tin and put into the preheated oven (I sometimes press some dried cranberries in top because they are pretty).
  6. Bake for about 15 mins.
  7. Remove and allow to cool.
  8. Serve & enjoy! These are extra yummy with a little grass fed butter on them.

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact sara@rebalancelife.com

 

Signature

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Healthier Holiday Lattes – Pumpkin Spice & Peppermint Mocha

November 6, 2016
Healthy Holiday Lattes

Do you look forward to the holiday lattes at Starbucks all year long?

People take their holiday lattes seriously – even the holiday cups are highly anticipated each year – last year when Starbucks released a plain red cup – people went crazy!  Now, in 2016 – they went with a green cup, which was meant to symbolize unity – but people are freaking out because there is no red cup (Starbucks says the red is coming).

So many people enjoy indulging during the holidays with the special holiday latte drinks. But just one grande (16 oz.) latte has more than double the added sugar than a woman should get all day (approx. 50 grams of sugar, or 12 teaspoons)! So indulging too often, can mean we are consuming way too much extra sugar…and likely getting a head start on the holiday weight gain.

So I have made over your favorite holiday drink with less sugar & less guilt, and more healthy ingredients. And for the many people who can’t tolerate or are choosing to avoid dairy – the good news is that these holiday creamers are dairy free too!!

The Pumpkin Spice Creamer:

serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (look for a brand with no carregeenan – like So Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup of full fat organic coconut milk (from a can) – adds creaminess and richness
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar (or you could cut the sugar content in half by swapping out 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup for 3 teaspoons of an alternative natural sweetener like Pyure – an organic, non-GMO stevia blend. Or replace all the maple syrup with 6-8 teaspoons of Pyure)
  • 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I prefer the kind without alcohol for this)
  • Either 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice  <or>  1 drop each of clove, cinnamon and ginger essential oil* (use only certified therapeutic grade)
  • Dash of Real Salt brand salt (brings out flavors and sweetness)
  • Optional – a dash of cinnamon sugar (made with ceylon cinnamon and organic sugar) to sprinkle on top.

Directions:

Put into a blender or a jar and use a hand blender – combine well. Taste & adjust as needed. Add approximately 1/4 cup to your coffee, optionally sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top.  Pour any extra into a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The Peppermint Mocha Creamer

serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (look for a brand with no carregeenan – like So Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup of full fat organic coconut milk (from a can) – adds creaminess and richness
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar (or you could cut the sugar content in half by swapping out 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup for 3 teaspoons of an alternative natural sweetener like Pyure – an organic, non-GMO stevia blend. Or replace all the maple syrup with 6-8 teaspoons of Pyure)
  • 1 Tablespoon of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I prefer the kind without alcohol for this)
  • 1 drop of peppermint essential oil* (use only certified therapeutic grade), you could replace this with a few drops of peppermint extract if you can’t find essential oil.
  • Dash of Real Salt brand salt – brings out the sweetness and flavors

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a blender (or a jar and use a hand blender) – blend to combine well. Taste & adjust as needed. Add approximately 1/4 cup to your coffee.  Optionally, grate a little dark chocolate on top (using a microplaner like this). Pour any extra into a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

If you do decide to pop into Starbucks for a holiday latte, here some some tips to make it healthier:

  • Ask for fewer “pumps” of the syrup – go with 1 pump, or even 1/2 pump – which will lower the sugar content significantly.
  • Skip the sugar free syrups – they have artificial sweeteners – which stimulate your sweet tooth and are linked to diabetes and weight gain.  Add a little stevia if you want instead.
  • Skip the whipped cream, or if you must – ask for just a touch (it has added sugar)
  • Go for whole milk over skim – it will fill you up more, skipe your bloodsugar less, and add more creaminess – so you need less sugar.  Studies show that people who consume whole milk are less likely to develop diabetes, or become overweight than those who consume reduced fat dairy. Don’t believe me? Then read this TIME Magazine article

 

*Interested in learning more about the benefits and uses of Essential Oils?  Contact sara@rebalancelife.com.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Stir Fry Ramen Noodles (gluten free, plant strong)

October 27, 2016
Stir Fry
Categories: Recipes

This recipe is a great way to get lots of veggies in kids, and it is fast & easy – making it a good weeknight meal – my kids love it!!  It is also good cold in a lunchbox the next day too.

Stir Fry Ramen Noodles – serves  4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of cabbage – sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli – cut into small florets
  • about 12 snap or snow peas – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 baby bok chop – sliced
  • 1/2 of a red pepper (or 3-4 baby peppers) – sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 carrot – grated
  • 1 zucchini – grated
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach – sliced
  • 1 pound of chicken thighs or breasts (skip if you prefer a vegetarian option)Lotus Foods Ramen
  • low sodium organic tamari (wheat free soy sauce – if sensitive to soy, you can replace with coconut aminos)
  • free range chicken broth (use vegetable broth if making vegetarian version)
  • gluten free ramen noodles.
  • sesame oil
  • ground ginger
  • ground garlic
  • Lotus Foods Rice Ramen noodles (approx. 1 cake per person) – you could also use zucchini noodles, or rice, or cauliflower rice.
    • optional – spicy pepper flakes or Sriracha
    • optional – gluten free teriaki sauce
    • black sesame seeds

Directions:

 

First do your prep work:

  1. Dice your chicken into bite sized pieces, and salt & pepper it. You could also season it with some garlic powder and ginger powder.
  2. Slice the cabbage, cut the broccoli into florets, cut the snap peas, bok choy and red pepper into bite sized pieces, grate the carrot and zucchini and chop the baby spinach.
  3. Bring a pot of filtered water to boil in order to cook the noodles

 

Now you are ready to cook:

  1. Heat your wok on medium high and add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil  (I use avocado oil because it is a neutral oil that can be heated to high temperatures without becoming damaged/oxidized).
  2. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes (until lightly browned and no longer pink inside). Stirring occasionally so it does not stick. Take out of the wok and put in a bowl or on a plate to rest while cooking the veggies.
  3. Put the ramen into the boiling water and cook according to directions.  Rinse with cold water and set aside until veggies are ready.
  4. Add the veggies to the wok in this order, sprinkling a little bit of tamari each time you add something:
  5. First the broccoli, saute for about 1 minute, then add in the chicken stock, cook another minute.  Add in the cabbage, and cook another minute, then add in the peppers, snap peas, bok choy – cook another minute. Then add back in the cooked chicken, and the carrots, zucchini, and baby spinach.  Put the cooked ramen into the wok, stir until combined.  Taste and adjust seasoning – if desired, stir in some gluten free teriaki sauce.
  6. I like to sprinkle on black sesame seeds and add some spicy pepper or Sriracha to mine.
  7. Serve & enjoy!  ‘

Other good additions:  baby corn, water chestnuts, caulflower florets, fresh basil.

Stir Fry Ramen

 

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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