Choosing Health’s Blog

Healthified Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before digging out your old cookie recipe that’s full of sugar and flour that’ll send your blood sugar through the roof (and make you more likely to catch whatever nasty cold is going around), consider this: A completely healthy cookie recipe that TASTES just as delicious….maybe even more delicious. Send your excuses packing (i.e. “I don’t make cookies that often so I’ll just eat the “good ones”, “Those healthy cookie recipes aren’t as good”) and kindly stop and listen. You can enjoy delicious tasty treats that are also good for you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temp (preferably grassfed and/or organic) OR coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1-1.5 cups coconut Lakanto (monk fruit and erythritol blend) OR palm sugar OR xylitol OR Swerve (I used 1 cup and it was perfect, but I like things less sweet)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate, chopped into chocolate chip sizes. Lily’s chocolate chips, Equal Exchange and Alter Eco are all great. You can also use ChocoPerfection Bars which are sweetened with chicory root.

How to:

  1. Blend butter, egg, vanilla, and sweetener thoroughly in large mixing bowl with electric mixer.
  2. While mixing, add in the rest of the ingredients (chocolate last).
  3. Preheat oven to 325.
  4. Place dough into tablespoon sized balls and push flat (3/4 inch thick) on parchment paper covered cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 17-20 mins or until golden brown. Cool completely.

These cookies were so super delicious–and even better that they don’t have an immunosuppressant effect OR send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride to Lethargy-ville like treats with sugar and flour. Makes about 24 small cookies. Enjoy!

Unbelievably DELICIOUS Gluten Free, Paleo Fried Chicken

I’ve got a fantastic recipe to share with you today!!!
First off, in case you didn’t hear, my new eBook Pleasure Meditation: Your Guide to Joyful Stress Reduction launched last week! The reviews have been awesome and I am so grateful to everyone who got a copy and helped spread the news about this simple 3-minute guide, that teaches you exactly how to boost your feelings of pleasure AND melt away feelings of stress. It’s changing people’s lives (and goodness knows we could all benefit from feeling less stress!).
Thank you!!! To show my gratitude, I’ve decided to keep it on sale for 99 cents for another week. Grab it up if you haven’t already. Click the following links to hear my podcast interview on Wellness Force Radio and video interview on SoulGarden Health.

Okay, recipe time! My hubby’s favorite birthday meal from his childhood is fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and peas.

For his birthday this year, I looked at probably 15 different recipes online and in cookbooks to try to find one that I’d feel good about eating and feeding to my family. I decided to go with this recipe by Crunchy Mama with a couple of adjustments and it was AWESOME!!! See my modified ingredient list below:

  • 3 lb chicken pieces with skin and bone
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (original recipe calls for almond milk, but I wasn’t happy with the ingredients in all the almond milks I reviewed)
  • 3-5 TBSP melted butter or olive oil (I used butter!)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Cajun spices (I didn’t have these)
  • 1 tsp white pepper (oops, I was out so I had to use black)
  • 1 tsp paprika

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Prepare an oven grilling tray. You can use a lined baking sheet and set a grill rack on top. Brush some butter or olive oil on the grill so the chicken won’t stick (I just used my ceramic baking tray and the chicken didn’t really stick to it and it came out nice and crispy).
  3. In a small bowl, mix together all the seasoning except for paprika and then divide in half
  4. Add paprika to one half and mix this well into the chicken pieces. Set aside.
  5. Take the other half of the seasoning and mix with almond flour in a bowl.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together egg and milk
  7. Taking one chicken piece at a time, dip in egg and milk mixture and coat in flour mixture and set on a plate. You can make this process go quickly by using one hand to dip the chicken in the egg and using your second hand to handle the chicken in the flour. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes
  8. Coat each chicken pieces in flour again (not the egg!) and set on the grilling tray
  9. Drizzle butter or olive oil over all the chicken pieces
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken pieces are nice and brown and cooked through

Our family LOVED this fried chicken and we will definitely be adding this to our family favorites. Try it out and let me know what you think. 🙂

Adrenal Boosting Elixir

Do you love tasty drinks that support your energy & health? Me too!

Check out this AWESOME video so you can start enjoying your own Adrenal Boosting Elixir.

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Healthy by accident

If I asked you whether you thought either health or sickness happened by accident, what would you say? In this modern day and age, poor health, symptoms, imbalanced weight and disease have become the default: Health doesn’t happen by accident.

Barring severe genetic predisposition, humans are designed to be in perfect health or pretty close to it. Imagine if we ONLY had healthy food & beverage options available, didn’t have the option to work more than 8 hours a day, and all got between 6-8 hours of sleep every night.  We wouldn’t see many of the daily symptoms or disease development that we currently do. We’ve gotten so far off course with self-care that many people can’t even fathom where to begin to turn their health back around. It’s more common to feel lost and overwhelmed with endless to-do lists, so much so that we can’t imagine a world in which we are prioritizing our own health. This backwards thinking is preventing us from being our best selves in the world.

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You and only you

If you’re reading this blog post, you are probably already doing better than many because you’re aware that no one can maintain good health for you. You’re looking for solutions and support, which is AWESOME. I’m high-fiving you. Your efforts and awareness set an example to everyone around you. Who knows how many people you are inspiring simply by demonstrating the notion that you are worth it and that by taking care of yourself first, you’re better at helping others, better at your job, and put a better attitude out into the world. I don’t know anyone who feels like crap and is able to do these things on a regular basis. Think about the people in your life and how the ones that feel good are able to show up and put energy into everything they care about. When you feel lousy, this just isn’t possible even if in your heart you’d like it to be otherwise.

You already know what to do

I honestly believe that very few people truly don’t know the basic building blocks of how to be healthy: that whole foods are better than processed foods, that sleep matters, and that they need to move their bodies throughout the day. Sure, there are LOTS of diet books, fitness books, and books on health and many of them provide useful suggestions BUT many folks are on such information overload that they use it as an excuse to do nothing at all…OR they lack the belief that taking such action matters. Self-care matters. If you don’t steer your ship, you will eventually get lost at sea or end up on the rocks. That’s the default. If you want to stay healthy, YOU have to take action. You are the one responsible, no one else. Find easy, actionable steps that you can take every day. Consider how making small changes over time become habits when repeated enough (IF they are repeated with an empowering message that these changes matter as opposed to making yourself a healthy meal and thinking the whole time how much you resent eating it and wish you were eating something else).

Keep it simple

Here are some examples for supporting your health:

  • Next time you grocery shop, choose whole foods rather than packaged foods OR change out 1 packaged food for a whole food (i.e. bake a chicken rather than frozen, breaded, chicken nuggets)
  • Change your position (if you sit a lot, stand up whenever there’s an opportunity, walk around the office, stretch your arms up to the sky, go for a walk). We are designed to move.
  • Get a nice water bottle and drink from it throughout the day
  • Give and receive hugs
  • Chew your food completely before swallowing
  • Spend quality time with friends
  • Stretch for a few minutes where you feel tight
  • Eat protein for breakfast (i.e. eggs, sausage, soup, protein smoothie)
  • Get to bed by 10pm
  • Cook so you have leftovers (I love eating leftovers for breakfast or lunch the following day)
  • Breathe from your belly
  • Tell yourself that your health matters and that taking care of yourself first is the best insurance that you’ll stick around to be able to take care of those you love.

Getting healthier doesn’t have to be hard or painful and it sure beats the alternative. If you need support, ask for it. I, for one, am rooting for you!

 

How I healed my back for $10

In 1997, I was taking a dance class at UCSC when my instructor pointed out to me that my left hip was higher than my right. She didn’t know it at the time, but she’d made a vital discovery that started me down the path to unlocking a major stressor in my body.

Fast forward to 2016. I’ve visited back specialists, chiropractors, physical therapists, shiatsu practitioners, acupuncturists, Feldenkrais practitioners, bodyworkers, rolfers–all of whom were amazing and added key pieces to this difficult puzzle–but no one could (or would) answer the big question on my mind: Is this posture imbalance something I can correct (a functional imbalance) or not (a structural imbalance)? I was told early on that I had a slight scoliosis and that my right leg appeared to be shorter than my left leg…but that could just be my body’s way of compensating. Through a customized fitness program and a lot of Egoscue postural therapy, I was able to improve dramatically and stay mostly pain-free (prior to that, in my early 20’s, I had daily back pain)…but it always felt like I was hanging on by a thread and that I had to work really hard to maintain that progress. And then more recently, it became impossible.

My neck started feeling tense all the time and seemed to slip out of alignment hours after getting it adjusted. I decided to go back to my rolfer and see if she could shed some light on why my body was no longer holding herself in alignment. She looked at my spine and posture and not only was my neck WAY out of alignment, but so was my pelvis, back, and shoulders. I reminded her of what I’d observed over the years and the unanswered question about my leg length and she placed a booklet under my right foot. Except for my neck still being slightly out of alignment, EVERYTHING else was aligned! I left her office and bought an insert for my right shoe. I put it on in the store and walked around. It felt SO weird! But after about 20 minutes, I started to feel great. My energy increased, I felt stronger in my body…I wanted to move, to dance around! It was a major A-HA moment. The following week I met with an osteopath and he confirmed that I do in fact have a structural leg length difference and that my right lower leg is 1/3 of an inch shorter than my left. My body was working to compensate all these years more or less successfully. All the tools I learned along the way still hold value and while I wish I’d gotten “the answer” a lot sooner, I am so grateful to have it now. The greatest lesson here was to firsthand experience how depleting biomechanical stress can be to a person’s energy and wellbeing. Most people that I work with have functional imbalances–they are correctable. I wanted to share my story to encourage the investigative process for anyone who is dealing with symptoms and thinking that they should just give up.

We all have different health journeys, but help is out there and the body has an amazing capacity for healing if you remove the obstacles blocking its way. Don’t give up! If you have questions or comments, please email me at rebecca@choosinghealthnow.com. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Meatball Soup

This recipe is very customizable! Make about 6 quarts of beef stock in advance (cook beef bones in a large pot of water for 12 hours with a little vinegar or lemon juice to help release the minerals from the bones).

Use whatever blend of ground meats you prefer (beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, buffalo, venison, ostrich, goat). I used the following ingredients, but this soup is delicious no matter what!

:)

Ingredients for meatballs:

Mix the following in a large bowl:

  • 1.5 pounds grass-fed beef
  • 1 pound pastured pork
  • 1 pound ground “pet food” (ground beef and ground organ meat)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T italian herbs (blend of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil)
  • 1 T red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • Optional, egg to bind the meatballs if they seem dry when you are forming them.

Form golfball sized meatballs and drop into soup stock, medium heat. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, 1 bunch of italian parsley (finely chopped), chives or onion and garlic to your tasting preference (it’s also perfectly tasty without them). Add your favorite vegetables, chopped into bite-sized pieces and cook for 45 mins. For the last 10 minutes its cooking, add some spinach or other leafy greens (kale, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens).

Veggies: 2 large carrots, 4 stalks celery, 1 zucchini, 1 large red bell pepper, mushrooms.

Serve in a bowl and top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Food, Mood & Your Sex Drive

Check out this interview to learn more about the importance of your diet on influencing healthy hormones, mood, energy, and sex drive!

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Bec’s Cocoa Tonic

I’m sharing with you my favorite morning beverage recipe. I love this soothing drink for several reasons: it is high in digestible protein, soothing to the mucosal barrier (and therefore awesome for the immune system and for reducing inflammation), a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron; rich in important fat-soluble vitamins & fatty acids like CLA; oh and it is also delicious!

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of hot water
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 2 tsp-1 T Great Lakes Gelatin (beef or pork)
  • 1 T cocoa powder (I prefer Navitas Naturals)
  • 1 T raw butter (you can use unsalted organic butter, but raw butter has a very different flavor and provides additional benefits to the immune system-beneficial enzymes & bacteria)
  • Optional: sweetener such as stevia or honey

How To:

  1. Add gelatin powder to a large mug and cover with cold water so that it dissolves completely (this is important! Otherwise you’ll have a very clumpy drink…you may need to mix with a spoon to make sure all the gelatin powder is covered with water).
  2. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil.
  3. Add cocoa powder to the mug.
  4. Once the water boils, add to the mug and stir thoroughly to mix the cocoa and gelatin.
  5. Add the raw butter and stir well. Enjoy!

 

Eat Like A Goddess

Join nutritionist & author Rebecca Hazelton and Naturopathic Doctor Holly German for this fun and informative class complete with hands on food demos and tasty samples! Register online here.

  • Wed, Feb 10th@ 6pm-7:30pm~West side New Leaf.

Nutricious Delicious

Learn how to:

  • Nourish your inner Goddess with healthy and delectable meals and snacks
  • Balance your hormones with nutrient-dense foods, herbs, and spices
  • Keep your moods steady with the right ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Experience joy in taking care of yourself in the most fundamental way: eating well

Banana Custard

This dessert is FANTASTIC! Five wholesome ingredients, simple prep, and amazing taste make this dessert one you’ve got to try. Thank you The Sour Path Is The Sweetest! We will be cooking this in Paleo-inspired Desserts Cooking Class this Wed, April 1st at 6pm at the west side New Leaf so come join us for a taste test.

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Ingredients for custard:

  • 3/4 cup salted pasture butter (OR 3/4 cup coconut oil + about 3/8 tsp salt)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 pastured eggs

How To:

  1. Warm the honey and butter until just melted.
  2. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until blended and foamy (30-60 secs). Mixture will be thin.
  3. Pour into a greased 9″ round pan and bake at 275 degrees for 85-90 minutes, or until the center is set and barely starting to brown. 
  4. While cooking the custard will puff up, but it will deflate when you take it out of the oven. 
  5. Let cool before cutting and serve with whipped cream or coconut cream if desired. YUM!