Ghee, What a Pal

I’ve recently started adding a certain fatty substance to my diet and cooking, and I wanted to share it with you all today.  As a Paleo based {eh, more so dairy-free} type of person, I shockingly haven’t been with the times, and utilizing this substance like many already do.  But let’s be honest here, when I say “Paleo”, what I really mean is dairy-free combined with clean eating as much as possible {lean meats, subbing veggies for grains whenever I can, etc}.  Some Paleo alternatives can get really “fatty” if you’re not careful, which is obvi no bueno.  It’s all about doing your research and understanding the who’s, what’s, and why’s as to what you’re putting into your body.

Anyway, cue announcer voice…

Coming into the ring, at a mere 8oz as a buttery yet non-dairy cooking oillllll…Ghhhheeeeeeee

{Jock Jams, Let’s Get Ready to Rumble, plays in the background}…are you hyped up yet?

So, what is it, you ask?  Traditionally found in the Indian culture, it’s also known as Clarified Butter.  Basically it’s cooked down, grass-fed butter that doesn’t include any water, milk solids, or preservatives.  So it’s butter, without the whole casein, dairy component.  It still has some fat, so you know, don’t go crazy and eat cups of it or put it on everything, but there are actually a lot of great benefits that go along with this cooking substitute.

Here are some of the reasons that I’ve chosen to include ghee in my diet.

High Smoke Point

This refers to “how hot” ghee can get in the pan before decomposing and smoking.  I’m sure if you’ve experimented in the kitchen before, you’ve noticed times with other oils that you’ve accidentally left on a high heat for too long, the pan literally starts to smoke.  Well, with ghee, it’s found to have a higher smoke point than most oils {olive, coconut, etc}, even regular butter, making it great for cooking.

No More Moo-Moo

We’ve already covered this, but because ghee is clarified butter, the milk component is outta here!  Which is great for those attempting to avoid dairy.  **Ehhemm**

Aids in Digestion

Due to the fatty acids that are found in ghee, many believe that it triggers an immune response that decreases inflammation and aids in digestion.

Healing for the Skin

Disclaimer, I have not tried this, but it was something that I found during research.  Similar to the same anti-inflammatory properties we just discussed, it is said that when ghee is applied directly to the skin it can help with things like swelling and burns.  I would test it out for you guys, I really would, but I have to draw the line there.  I don’t think my skin could handle it.  If I burn myself while cooking, I’ll let you know.  Not going out of my way to test that one.

Vitamins

Ghee is also found to be rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Can Help Lower Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease

Because of the fatty acids and compounds found in ghee, it is shown to help lower cholesterol AND the risk of heart disease by protecting you against things like carcinogens and artery plaque.

Now, although we’ve covered all of these great benefits….I want to point out that this is still a FAT.  I kept stumbling upon the idea that ghee is a “miracle weightloss fat”.  That’s a claim that I’m neither going to confirm nor deny.  Yes, ghee has all of these amazing benefits, and when used appropriately and sparingly in your diet, like many other cooking fats or Paleo-based substitutes, this can have a great and positive impact on your overall health.  It’s all about balance.  Figuring out what works for you, and YOUR body, and going from there.  Do I think ghee is your answer for losing weight?  Honestly, no, and I couldn’t go sleep at night if I condoned something like that.  I do, however think it’s a great addition//alternative to one’s cooking and eating habits.  Hence, why it is in my cupboard.

Plus, I forgot to mention that it still tastes all old-fashioney buttery.  Like the kind grandma used to use.  Only, without dairy.

Want more info?  Click here, here, here, and here.

What do you guys think?  Have you ever included ghee into your cooking?  How do you feel about it?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

Peppery Breakfast && Missy Elliott Inspired Playlist

Good morning all!  Today’s actually going to be a double blog day {douubblleee bllloogggg}!!  Just wanted to stop in and share my breakfast and workout inspo before going over part deux a little later.  This afternoon is going to be a real #TransformationTuesday, if you know what I mean.

This morning I got up extra early for a 5:30am Bodypump class at my gym.  That’s been my Tuesday/Thursday ritual for the past week, and I’m excited to keep it going.  I increased my weight for today’s class….shewwwieeee, baby!  Definitely glad I did that, definitely going to be sore tomorrow.  I stayed after to run through a 9-mile stationary bike interval workout {I’m a little behind on my #150byVday}.  While I was biking I listened to my new and most favorite playlist.  In honor of Missy Elliott arriving at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I created a Misdemeanor-inspired collection.

If you follow me on Spotify, you can “follow” this playlist and it will sync directly with your own Spotify app.  If you don’t have Spotify, I still wanted to make sure you guys got it!  {{P.S.- not all of the songs on here are edited, I just went with what I could find on the app}}.  In total it’s about an hour long and totally took me back to high school.  Do I know every word to every song on the playlist?  Maybe.  I freaking loved Missy Elliott, and seeing her on Sunday night made my week.  I’ll be honest I was waiting for Snoop Dogg or Juicy J to come out with Katy Perry since they’ve collabed together…but seeing Missy was better.  These throwback jamz are definitely what I needed to get through a fun workout.

For breakfast I reheated one of the Paleo-Stuffed Bell Peppers that I made last night for my frat bro’s and myself.  In total I made four, but there were some leftovers.  The recipe was banging, for lack of a better term, and I’m super proud of myself for coming up with it off the top of my head  {the ingredients part, not the whole “stuffed pepper idea”}.  Jimmy gave it multiple thumbs up {= two thumbs up, on numerous and separate occasions}.  I promise to share it with you some time this week.

You can turn anything into a “breakfast food” once you slap a fried egg on it.  I LOVE FRIED EGGS.

Coffee, grapefruit, and squeeze a little avocado in there…because I can.

Alright, off to get a few things done today.  Be back later with that Transformation Tuesday post I was talking about {hint:  it has nothing to do with weight loss.  Although, there is a loss of something here}.

BBL

That means “be back later”, for those of you who didn’t use AIM.  What can I say?  I was just talking about Missy Elliott.  I can’t help myself.

What did you guys have for breakfast this morning?  Were you as excited to see Missy Elliott as I was?

Tags: , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

Post Run Green Drank

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but it has been down right beautiful in the Carolinas the past few days {part of the reason why I moved back 😉 }.  Had some time today to squeeze in a 4-miler before the sun goes down, and I wanted to share my post workout recovery drink with you guys!

The Ingredients::

::1 cup of coconut water
::1 cup/handful of kale
::2-3 spinach cubes {spinach, blended up and formed into ice cubes…I’ll discuss later} OR 1 handful of organic spinach leaves
::1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
::1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
::1/2 avocado
::1 cup pineapple {can be frozen}

Blend the ingredients above and viola!

I also hand a handful of almonds for a protein kick while I cleaned the kitchen. {it neeeeeds it}

Disclaimer::

This drink tastes very GREEN.  I know some people still can’t quite get over the “veggies in liquid form”taste//texture…which I can understand, it takes some getting used to, it did for me as well.  One way to still get all the benefits of this bev is to add some additional fruit to overpower the kaley-ness of it all, like an apple or a ripe banana.  Or even a few drops of agave nectar/raw honey.  Just a thought.  If you’re wanting to be able to handle the taste of a GREEN drink, but you can’t quite get past the taste, start by adding different fruits and then week by week remove one piece of fruit until there are zero fruits {not sure if this is proper grammar here…probably not}.  But you get the idea, it’s like weaning yourself off of a fruit smoothie.  Works like a charm.

Tonight Jimmy and I have plans to see American Sniper and I absolutely cannot wait.  I’ve heard nothing but good things!

See y’all tomorrow!

What do you guys like to recover with?  Have you seen American Sniper yet?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Today, I wanted to share a soup that’s become a staple at my apartment.  I originally learned about the recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s insta {Christine’s unite!}, who actually got it from celebrity chef, Ina Garten {The Barefoot Contessa}.  It’s her Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.

This is hand’s down the best tomato soup I have ever had, and I’m pretty much convinced it’s the best that I ever will have.  It’s definitely a soup to make on a Sunday afternoon when you have some time.  So throw on some good music, and get to cookin’.

Side note:  My favorite cooking music is Pandora’s station, Carolina Beach Music.  It’s actually the only reason I still use Pandora.  We used to listen to it all of the time at La Famiglia {where I worked in college}, and it brings back some of the best memories.

{this was also a great opportunity to use my new cameraaaa}

Below are the ingredients (info taken from the link above):

3 pounds of ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup AND 2 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 Tbsp of kosher salt
1 1/2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsps unsalted butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-oz) canned plum tomatoes with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Instructions:

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

and then viola…

While the tomatoes are roasting, chop the remaining ingredients as needed

I loved how much fresh basil was used!


In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

and then about 40 minutes later you’ll get this…

I don’t exactly have a food processor, but my Ninja worked just fine for the job.

This will make about 6-8 hearty servings of tomato soup.  Like with any food, if you’re eating it repeatedly for days in a row, it’s easy to get burnt out.  With that being said, I normally freeze some.  In addition to the thickness making it extremely filling, it also allowed Jimmy and me to get creative with it.  A few days after making it, we used it as sauce for Chicken Parm {Jimmy makes a mean Chicken Parm}.  Having this soup as the sauce made the chicken extra delicious!

It’s going to be a dreary week in this part of the Carolina’s, so some homemade soup will do just the trick to pass the weathery blues!

Have any of you ever made this soup before?  What are some of your favorite homemade soups?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

Feel Better Tea

It’s that time of year.  Everyone around you is getting sick.

On Monday morning, at least four of my coworkers that sit immediately around me came to work complaining about sore glands, throats, noses, heads, etc.  After staying as far away as possible {bye Felicia}, I decontaminated my area.  Unfortunately, around lunch time yesterday I was feeling a little…off.  You know, when you’re not sick {yet}, but from the eyes up you can feel your head getting foggy.

Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuuun.

I refuse to be sick.  On top of that, I refuse to hastily reach for Nyquil when I’m not feeling my best.  It’s au naturel for as long as possible.  That means teas, extra sleep, vitamin C, and yes, garlic cloves.

Haven’t you ever heard the saying– Swallow a couple garlic cloves, put on some red lipstick, and throw yourself together?

Pretty sure that’s how it goes.

Whenever I’m not feeling well I will always make this tea as a cold remedy.  There are plenty of variations of this all over the web.  I’m not sure where it originally came from, but below are the measurements that I use.

8oz {a mug full} of hot water
2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp of Raw Honey
The juice of one lemon
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 green tea packet or 2 Tbsp of loose leaf green tea

It wasn’t until I put everything together to take a picture that I realized that I might have a Trader Joe’s problem {but is it really a problem?}

Each one of these ingredients helps heal the body in a variety of ways.  The apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body to help kill bacteria, cinnamon is an effective antiviral, the raw honey is full of anti-oxidants and nutrients {vs. other shelf honey because it has not been pasteurized yet, which kills all kinds of important benefits}, and then hot tea/lemon water help boost the immune system and loosen ya up.  I prefer green tea when you’re feeling under the weather.

In addition to the tea, make sure you’re getting tons of rest, drinking lots of water, sweating it out {ahem..exercise!}, and properly nourishing your body– even if you’re craving starchy foods or have lost your appetite.  {Say no to starchy foods!!!}

Of course, if you’re truly, disgustingly on your “death bed”, go to the doctor.  I’m not a medical professional.  However, I like to do everything I possibly can before booking that appointment.

Also, Hot Toddy’s work.  But let’s be healthy here.  Try the Feel Better Tea first.

What are some of your favorite natural wellness recipes and tricks?

Tags: , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

A Very Grinch-y Recovery Drink ‘N Other Festive Shakes

After a nice, long, and unseasonably warm 5 mile run yesterday, I came up with this incredibly tasty recovery drink.  It’s Christmas in your mouth.

Below are the ingredients:

1 cup of coconut water
1 banana
1 Tbsp of cocoa powder
2 Tbsp of Almond Butter
1 Tbsp of Flax Seeds
1 Handful of Spinach
1 Candy Cane {or a few drops of mint extract}

Did I add cocoa powder, peppermint, and spinach {for the green-effect} in my Ninja just so I can say it’s a “Grinch Themed” bev?

Yes, yes I did.

Keeping in line with the holiday spirit, I’m quickly reminded of the two other smoothies that I created last year while writing the Marshall Rec blog…the Peppermint Mocha Protien Smoothie and the Cranberry Salad Protien Smoothie {yes, inspired by Grandma’s Cranberry Relish Salad}.

Another seasonal drink I’ve been interested in trying was recently posted on Fabletics’ Insta a few days ago.  Doesn’t this Gingerbread Smoothie looks to die for?

The ingredients:

1 cup almond milk
2 pitted dates
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1.8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup ice

What do you guys think?

Any holiday smoothies/bev’s your currently crushing over right now?
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana

Nutty Soup && Christmas Vacation

Last night I rushed home from work because I had BIG plans.

My frat bros and I were going to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7pm.  Always all about that Christmas spirit.  First, I wanted to make sure I squeezed in a quick workout, so I hopped on YouTube and completed the Tone It Up Kettletoning workout that I talked about a few weeks ago.

{Yep, there’s a little sneak peek of my headboard!  I’m obsessed with it, but to be honest I want to wait until I have better pillows so the pictures turn out all pretty…gotta wait until it’s in the budget}.

Then it was time for dinner.  I was initially inspired by a post from the Women’s Health Insta account earlier {blogger, Keri Glassman, took over for the day}.  Knowing I wanted a warm but hearty meal, I decided to heat up some organic creamy tomato soup from Trader Joe’s, but with a twist.

Flax seed and nuts for added nutrition!  Right now I only have these cashew pieces, so I added a handful {1/4 cup-ish} of cashews and a tablespoon of flax seeds to the soup while it was warming.

I also sauteed the rest of my brussels sprouts with a little garlic, S&P, and raw honey.  It was deeelish!

Top the soup off with some fresh parsley and you’re good to go.  This was the first time I’ve ever added anything like this to soup, but I was incredibly please/shocked/full with the new addition.  It will definitely be something that I will continually add to my soup in the future.

As I’ve said before…I have no pretty bowls, but I have tons of pretty mugs.  So we’re gonna mug the soup today {for the pictures sake}.

And that about sums up my night…cashew infused soup, honey brussels sprouts, water, wine, Christmas Vacation, and a pine scented candle.  Pretty much everything I wanted last night in one picture.

What did you guys have for dinner last night?  What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by Qumana