Posts Tagged ‘Paleo’

Easy Breakfast Bars!!


Breakfast Bars Serves: 12-16 bars

1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup avocado oil
¼ cup raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup blanched slivered almonds
¼ cup raisins


 1. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
2. In a large bowl, combine avocado oil, honey and vanilla
3. Stir dry ingredients into wet
4. Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and raisins
5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with avocado oil
6. Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting your hands with water to help pat the dough down evenly
7. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes 8. Cool bars in pan for 2 hours, then serve

Thank you Elanas Pantry for this recipe!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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A NEW Brussels Sprouts Recipe – BACON!!!

This makes for an AWESOME side dish & great lunch leftovers.  And the best part is that it is something NEW!  Oh and that it has BACON in it 🙂  Everything is better with bacon!

1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
Sea salt & pepper
4 slices of bacon, diced
Aged balsamic vinegar (malt free)

Preheat your oven to 400 degree’s F.  Trim the ends and any old outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts.  (don’t throw away the leaves – toss them into a container and keep in the fridge so you can make Brussels sprouts chips later).  Cut the sprouts in half & toss them with melted fat, salt & pepper.  Dump them on a foil lined baking sheet, making sure to keep everything in one layer.  Sprinkle the diced bacon over everything and pop the tray into the oven.  The sprouts take about 30-35 minutes to roast, so set your timer for 10 minute intervals to regularly rotate and flip the goods.  Once roasted, pour into a bowl, add salt (if needed) and drizzle some of the vinegar on top.  Toss & serve!!  This recipe also works with cauliflower & broccoli!!!


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Avocado Dip = AMAZING!


This avocado dip is the dressing recipe that I have posted before.  I made this last night to go with our dinner and today at lunch I dipped my veggies in it!!  I use this “dip/dressing” on my green salad, on top of my “Ben’s Famous Turkey Burgers“, as a dip for my veggies (I found this jicama already cut up at Trader Joe’s) & also on my crock pot pork!  It stays fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days!  Here is the recipe as a reminder:

2 avocados
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsps coconut aminos
Juice of 1 lemon
Dill (I used dried but fresh is best)
5 tbsps warm water

Use a Vitamix or food processor & blend. Serve immediately.


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Amy Approved Frozen Treat!!!

Banana1Charly likes a snack each night before bed so last night I whipped this frozen treat up.  If you let it blend long enough (about 5 minutes) it whips into creamy ice cream!!!  She LOVED it!!!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 frozen banana
4-5 pitted dates
Dash or 4 of cinnamon
Dash of coconut milk

Put everything into your Vitamix and use “variable” speed to get the chunks of bananas blended.  Use your tamper and really push down to assure everything is mixing.  Blend for about 4-5 minutes or until creamy & smooth.  We did find that it melted fast so ENJOY immediately 🙂

And it makes for a HAPPY toddler!!! Banana3

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Sizzlin’ Summer Circuit – home or gym!!!



Warm-up with a 2 mile run or 15 minutes of alternative cardio

3 sets of each “superset” (do 3 sets of each paired exercises)

Single Legged Squats (holding a TRX or bar) x 10 each leg
Push-up / Jump Tuck x 10 (one push-up followed by one jump tuck – jump feet in then out)

RUN or STEPMILL – 3 minutes HARD

Single Legged Roman Dead Lifts – 15 each leg
Pike Push-ups x 15

Seated Oblique Twists w/ 20lb DB x 30 (lighter weight if needed)
Scissor Kicks x 20

RUN or STEPMILL – 3 minutes HARD

DB Bicep Curls in Plie x 15 (pick a weight that is fatiguing by 15 reps)
Plie Jump Squats x 20 (touch hands to ground)

Tricep Skull Crushers w/ barbell or db x 15  (pick a weight that is fatiguing by 15 reps)
Jump Rope x 100


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Homemade Coconut Date Rolls

I have been buying these for years and yesterday my Mom showed me how EASY it is to make them!!!  The only ingredients are dates & organic unsweetened coconut.  I always have dates on hand as I buy a big tub at Costco.  The coconut I buy at my local health food store or online at
daterolls daterolls2 daterolls3
Take the dates & blend them in your food processor or Vitamix (I used my vitamix) until they are “mashed” up.  Put your coconut in a pie sheet.  Roll the dates into balls, roll them into the coconut and put them on wax paper.  I LOVE mine kept in the freezer so I took a big glass container, filled it up & put them in the freezer.  The mini balls are the perfect size treat!!!

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Food Prep Tips – KEY to eating clean!!!

Food prep is a huge part of eating clean MOSTLY at your lunch time!  Here are a few reminder tips!

  • Hard boil a dozen eggs.
  • Steam 2 bags of kale.
  • Saute one head of chopped cabbage in coconut oil.
  • Roast diced squash.
  • Roast 6-12 sweet potatoes/yams.
  • Saute 2# of ground meat (beef, turkey, pork etc)
  • Slow cook 2-3# of chicken breasts or pork loin in the crockpot with sliced onion and peppers, a can of diced tomato and spices. Shred the meat when it’s done cooking.
  • Cook in a couple big batches. I do one big cooking day on Sunday and another small one during the week. The rest is heat and eat.
  • Make staple items like cooked veggies and meats which you dress up with different seasonings and spices.
  • Invest in an army of proper storage containers. It will keep food fresher longer than flimsy plastic wrap on top of a bowl! My favorite is Glasslock Snapware (online here or at Costco). It does NOT leak, and I prefer the idea of heating up glass better than plastic.
  • Wash and prep produce as soon as you get it home from the market (ex: slice or dice peppers, dice onions, etc) and store in individual containers.
  • Portion out all lunches, for example, for the week at one time.
  • Freeze extra portions if you make too much (works especially well for crock pot or casserole type recipes).
  • Keep a running shopping list on your phone so you can easily edit.
  • This sounds obvious, but don’t do a task twice if you don’t have to. Go through 6 hard boiled eggs a week? Do it all at once instead of 3 now and 3 mid-week. Learn what quantities work best for you and stick to them so you can go on autopilot at the market.

Devote a few hours one afternoon each week to food prep.  It gets a huge chunk of the week’s cooking out of the way!!!  These tips will help make your life easier and eating clean a guarantee!   Try some of these if you’re feeling stuck in a rut!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony through Fitness & Whole Foods – YOUR Fitness Superstore



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Spaghetti Squash Goodness – who needs noodles???!!!!

I made spaghetti using spaghetti squash as our noodles and it was AMAZING!  I have been doing this for years and tonight I was reminded how yummy it is!!!

Ingredients (including turkey burger & spaghetti squash)
Cook upside down at 375 for 45 minutes.  Take out of oven once it’s squishy on top.
Squash4It will look like this once it’s done.  A fork will scrape out the insides like noodles. Squash2Homemade spaghetti sauce that only took a few minutes and did NOT come out of a jar! Squash3END RESULT = YUM YUM YUM!!! Squash1Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
1lb turkey burger
Coconut Oil
1 onion
10 cloves of garlic
1 orange pepper (or color of choice)
3 zucchini
4-5 heirloom tomatoes
4-6 chopped mushrooms
Lots of fresh basil
Salt / Pepper
Organic garlic salt

Cook your spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 375 or until squishy on top.  Turn it over once it’s out of oven as it’s SUPER hot.  In meantime put a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan and sauté chopped onion, garlic & bell pepper.  Add in turkey meat and brown.  Chop up and add the tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & basil.  Season GENEROUSLY with salt, pepper & garlic powder or salt.  Put a lid on it and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Use a fork and scrape out the squash like noodles.  Serve the meat sauce on top.  Top with nutrition flakes (if desired) which will resemble parmesan cheese.

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30 Day Exercise Challenge

Day 1:  5 Burpees
Day 2: 10 Burpees
Day 3: 15 Burpees
Day 4: 20 Burpees
Day 5: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 6: 20 Burpees
Day 7: 25 Burpees
Day 8: 30 Burpees
Day 9: 35 Burpees
Day 10: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 11: 35 Burpees
Day 12: 40 Burpees
Day 13: 45 Burpees
Day 14: 50 Burpees
Day 15: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 16: 50 Burpees
Day 17: 55 Burpees
Day 18: 60 Burpees
Day 19: 65 Burpees
Day 20: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 21: 65 Burpees
Day 22: 70 Burpees
Day 23: 75 Burpees
Day 24: 80 Burpees
Day 25: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 26: 80 Burpees
Day 27: 85 Burpees
Day 28: 90 Burpees
Day 29: 95 Burpees
Day 30: 100 BURPEES

Can you take on the challenge??
Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well
Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods – YOUR Fitness Superstore

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The Hottest New Diet of 2015 That You Haven’t Heard Of


Allow us to introduce you to… the Pegan diet! This plan combines the healthiest qualities of two popular eating plans to help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and improve heart health.

When it comes to nutrition, the mind-boggling mix of advice can make anyone’s head spin. Should you eat whole grains, or avoid gluten? Consume lean protein, or be a vegetarian? Go low-fat, or eat plenty of fat with every meal? It’s no wonder we’re all confused about what we should—or shouldn’t—eat.

The perpetual debate can be divided into two main (and seemingly opposing) camps: Paleo and vegan. Devotees of the Paleo (or “caveman”) diet, consume foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods, and most dairy products are forbidden. A vegan diet, on the other hand, consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds—and prohibits anything that comes from an animal.

Followers of each are staunch in defending the benefits of their diet, and science isn’t much help when it comes to differentiating between the two. Studies show both Paleo and vegan diets can help with weight loss, reverse diabetes, and lower cholesterol. How can you tell which is best for you?

“Although they may sound completely at odds, the truth is Paleo and vegan diets have more in common with each other than either have with the standard American diet,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author of the forth coming book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Cookbook (March 2015).

“The foundational principles of both diets—real whole, fresh food in its natural state free of processed ingredients, refined carbohydrates, and additives—are the same,” Hyman explains. “Designed correctly, both a Paleo and vegan diet can provide health benefits like weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and reverse diabetes.”

Hyman decided to seek some middle ground and combined the two opposing diets together. “Taking the best, most healthful qualities of both diets, I wanted to create an eating style that combines the best of two worlds,” Hyman says. The result: Paleo-Vegan, or “Pegan” diet.

To really boil it down for you, it’s made up of eating fresh food in its unadulterated state. “When people get back to these foods, they lose weight, regardless of whether they are Paleo or vegan,” Hyman says.

If Peganism sounds like it’s up your ally, simply follow these 10 principles to reap the best parts of both diets.

1. Focus on foods with a low glycemic load. “They key to weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular health is eating a low-glycemic, high-phytonutrient diet,” explains Hyman. In other words, choose foods that are low in sugar, avoid refined carbs of all kinds, and stick to organic options like fruits, nuts, legumes, and even teas.

2. Fill your plate with veggies. 50 to 75 percent of your diet—and your plate—should be vegetables, Hyman says. And the deeper the color, the better—this signifies a high phytonutrient (aka organic) content that can protect against disease.

3. Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil—it’s highly processed and high in inflammatory omega 6 fats. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, found in olive oil, nuts, coconut, avocados, and in small amounts, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals, Hyman suggests.

4. Treat meat as a side dish. Paleo diets give meat the starring role, while vegans avoid it entirely. So what’s a Pegan to do? “A good rule of thumb is to fill about 25 percent of your plate with a protein-rich food—about the size of your palm,” says Hyman. Veggies should still be the majority, and any remaining plate-space should be given to healthy starches such as winter squash, sweet potato, or black rice.

5. Choose sustainably raised or grass-fed sources. Grass-fed beef has more cholesterol-neutral stearic acid and contains protective omega-3 fats and vitamins A and D that raises glutathione and other antioxidants, Hyman explains. And if you’re going for fish, choose omega-3-fat rich fish such as sardines or wild salmon, which have lower mercury levels.

6. Avoid dairy. Here’s where both diets have it right. “While some people can tolerate it, recent research has shown that it can contribute to ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and may increase (not decrease) the risk of osteoporosis,” Hyman says. Try organic goat or sheep products, and only as a treat.

7. Say no to gluten, and cut down on other whole grains. The debate over gluten rages on, but Hyman recommends that other than an occasional treat, it should be avoided. As for other whole grains? “Eat them sparingly. They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.”

8. Limit legumes. Although beans are a good source of fiber, protein and minerals, Hyman suggests capping consumption to less than 1 cup per day. They can cause digestive problems, and increase blood sugar in diabetics or pre-diabetics—especially big starchy beans.

9. Have sugar only on (very) special occasions. Consider sugar—in all its various forms—an occasional treat. Maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar are okay in small amounts, Hyman says, but skip artificial sweeteners and any added sugars.

10. Banish Franken-foods. Choose foods that are low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs, Hyman says. Translation: No chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG, or artificial sweeteners.

 So what does a typical day in the Pegan diet look like? Pretty delicious! “Breakfast is usually a protein smoothie with nuts, seeds, berries, coconut butter, almond butter, and unsweetened almond milk.” Hyman says. “Lunch might be a big salad with avocado, pumpkin seeds, canned wild salmon, or sardines. Then dinner is usually something like wild-caught fish or pasture raised lamb or organic chicken, two or three sides of vegetables including dark green leafy greens, winter squash, and roasted mushrooms.”

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