Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin-SpiceIt’s that time of year again…pumpkin spice abounds! Supermarket shelves and coffee shops offer every concoction imaginable. the problem is – most of those spicy fall like treats are far from healthy. So, with that in mind, I came up with this recipe. Healthy and delicious. :)


2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 T ground flax
2 T hemp seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 T almond milk
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all the wet ingredients. Add spices and dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Spoon batter into lined muffin pan.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
*These make great mini-muffins, just adjust the cooking time to 12-15 minutes.

*optional add-in ingredients: pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, pecans



Vitamix Personal Blender – Discount


Looking for a high speed blender designed for tight spaces and people on the go – that is built to last?

Look no further than the Vitamix S3o.

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Vitamix, a world leader in professional-grade blending equipment for home and commercial use, presents the S30—the first high-performance, personal blender from the brand trusted by consumers and professional chefs alike.

Featuring the versatility and durability that are synonymous with the Vitamix name, the S30 offers a sleek, compact design that allows users to easily create smaller batches and individual servings and streamlines everyday kitchen tasks. Equipped with two perfectly sized containers for individuals and small families plus a lightweight base, the S30 makes it simple to quickly blend and take recipes to go.

The small but mighty S30 boasts a powerful 790-watt motor, metal drive system and the signature laser-cut, stainless-steel blades—a staple of Vitamix machines. The result is a smoother blend, even with tough ingredients. The machine also gives users control over blending, with a Variable Speed Control and a Pulse feature to effortlessly create a variety of textures.

Designed to perform like no other, the efficient S30 comes with two unique, shatter-resistant, BPA-free containers. Users can choose the right one for the task at hand, making it simple to prepare individual servings of smoothies and juices, quickly chop vegetables, grind grains and produce smaller batches of soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, frozen desserts and more. An interlock ensures the container is securely in place before starting the machine. The 20-ounce double insulated beverage cup quickly blends single-serving recipes and becomes an instant travel cup—perfect for most cup holders—with a flip-top lid.  Its double-insulated material maintains temperatures while on the go. The 40-ounce container offers fast processing, a mess-free pour and the versatility to create single and double servings of favorite Vitamix recipes.

The removable blade base on the S30 makes it safe and easy to extract thicker creations, like peanut butter and dips. For added convenience, both containers, as well as the tamper and blade base, are top rack dishwasher-safe.

“We have created the ideal machine for the on-the-go fitness enthusiast, the home chef who wants to produce small batches of sauces or dips, and the family who wants to make their own personal blends with minimal clean-up,” said Karen Haefling, vice president of marketing, Vitamix. “With the introduction of the S30, we’re redefining the personal blender by combining convenience and portability with the power and versatility Vitamix machines are known for. The S30 is adaptable enough to help create every meal of the day, yet small enough to accompany you anywhere.”

Because of its smaller stature, the S30 can conveniently be stored in or under kitchen cabinets and the containers fit easily on refrigerator shelves. This machine is also perfect for the gym, office, vacation home, business trip… or anywhere there is a need for personal blending.

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Garlic Press Review


I recently received this garlic press to try out – it came at a good time actually, since my garlic press was on it’s last leg. I’ve been using the Zyliss brand for many years. It’s worked out great, but the outer coating was starting to peel off, exposing the aluminum…and honestly I’d prefer not to use anything aluminum. Thankfully, the Orblue Propresser Garlic press is stainless steel.

I use a lot of garlic when I’m cooking and I’m not a fan of crushing or chopping it by hand, I prefer to use a press instead. Just a personal preference.

Here are the good points with the Propresser:

  • Easy to use. No need to peel the cloves.
  • Easy clean up.
  • Heavy Duty Stainless Steel. Very durable.

Overall, I am impressed. Given how solid this item is, I doubt that I’ll have to purchase a new one for a very long time.

Now…for the health benefits of garlic:

This info comes courtesy of Worlds Healthiest Foods -

With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, allium vegetables—such as garlic—belong in your diet on a regular basis. There’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable—such as garlic—in your meal plan every day. If you’re choosing garlic as your allium family vegetable, try to include at least 1/2 clove in your individual food portion. If you’re preparing a recipe, we recommend at least 1-2 cloves.

Garlic is a wonderful seasoning to add aroma, taste, and added nutrition to your dishes. We often recommend using raw chopped or pressed garlic in many of our dishes to take advantage of the benefits derived from garlic. However, if you cannot tolerate raw garlic, you can add chopped garlic to foods while they are cooking. It is best to add it towards the end of the cooking process to retain the maximum amount of flavor and nutrition.

  • You can increase the health benefits you receive from garlic by letting it sit after you’ve chopped it or crushed it. If you give your chopped/crushed garlic time to sit before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of acidic food like lemon juice), it will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work on behalf of your health. For example, in the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties. Immediate boiling of whole, intact garlic will also lower these properties, as will immediate addition of a very low-acid ingredient like lemon juice.
  • Some of garlic’s unique components are most durable in food (versus processed extract) form. Allicin—one of garlic’s most highly valued sulfur compounds—stays intact for only 2-16 hours at room temperature when it is present in purified (extracted) form. But when it’s still inside of crushed garlic, allicin will stay viable for 2-1/2 days.
  • Garlic may help improve your iron metabolism. That’s because the diallyl sulfides in garlic can help increase production of a protein called ferroportin. (Ferroportin is a protein that runs across the cell membrane, and it forms a passageway that allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed.)
  • In addition to being a good source of selenium, garlic may be a more reliable source as well. Garlic is what scientists call a “seleniferous” plant: it can uptake selenium from the soil even when soil concentrations do not favor this uptake.
  • The cardioprotective benefits of garlic may partly rest on the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic (called polysulfides) and use them to produce H2S. This H2S in turn can help our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Interestingly, some processed garlic extracts cannot be used by our red blood cells in the same way and do not seem to provide the same level of cardioprotection that is provided by garlic in food form.
  • While still in its very early stages, research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our body. 1,2-DT (1,2-vinyldithiin) is one of the unique sulfur compounds in garlic that has long been recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties. But only recently have researchers discovered that some of our fibroblastic cells (called “preadipocytes”) only evolve into full-fledged fat cells (called “adipocytes”) under certain metabolic circumstances involving inflammatory system activity. 1,2-DT may be able to inhibit this conversion process. Since obesity is increasingly viewed by researchers as a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, the inflammation-related benefits of garlic’s 1,2-DT may eventually be extended into the clinical area of obesity.

Read more here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Improve your Nutrition, Improve your Health

BLOG lifestyle transformation

Improve your nutrition, improve your health.

Sounds simple enough, right?
Unfortunately that’s not always the case. With the loads of mis-information floating around the internet combined with the outright lies the food industry has been feeding us for decades, navigating the waters of healthy eating can be rough to say the least. One of the biggest problems that I see are the millions of fad diets…low fat, low carb, high protein, high fat, calories counting, point counting, etc. Everyone looking for not only a quick fix, but a way to justify their bad eating habits.

You’ve heard it before – “diets don’t work.” But when you’re faced with contradictory information online and physicians that have little to no training in nutrition, you may be left feeling lost and confused about how exactly to take charge of your health and make the lifestyle changes that are necessary for optimal weight and good health.

The good news is, there’s no reason to go it alone. I have developed several programs to help you set your course. Everything from a basic introduction to more personalized long term programs that guide you every step of the way. My aim for you is not a short term quick fix. Instead,  I will teach you in a relatively short period of time, how to make changes that will last a lifetime.

Figuring out healthy eating and living often takes a bit more than simply counting calories and exercising a few times a week. A healthy lifestyle is something that is a part of who you are – not just something you do once in awhile.

The food you eat can make you energized and healthy or it can make you fatigued, unhealthy and overweight. By learning good nutrition and cooking techniques, you will have the tools to create the lasting change you want.

You will learn what true healthy eating really is. You will never need to count calories or points, weigh your food, or track and log every bite.

Put you health as you number one priority. When you are committed to that, everything falls into place.

For more information, visit my website or connect with me on Facebook.

Eat Healthy & Thrive


Homemade Chocolate Almond Milk



I received a sample of Freedom Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder…so of course, my first thought was – time to make chocolate almond milk!

The product was rich, chocolate-y and delicious! I give it a thumbs up.

If you’ve never made your own almond milk – you absolutely must give it a try. It really is quite easy and sooooo delicious. Once you’ve tasted homemade, you’ll never buy store-bought almond milk again!

•1c raw almonds
•4c filtered water
•1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
•4 pitted Medjool dates
•2 TBSP Cocoa/Cacao Powder (to taste)


Soak almonds in water over night. (8-12 hrs) Drain the water from the almonds.

In a *Vitamix, blend almonds and dates in 4c of filtered water.

Pour mixture through a cheesecloth or *nut milk bag into a large pitcher or bowl. Return milk to vitamix and add vanilla and cacao powder and blend until combined. Store refrigerated, in an airtight container. Can be stored for 4-7 days. Shake before serving.

*A nut milk bag works much better than cheesecloth.




Benefits of Almond Milk:

•Almond milk is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The flavonoids in almond milk also help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, protecting you from a number of degenerative diseases that occur with again, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
•Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats, so it won’t damage your cardiovascular system. Almond milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which off many benefits including lowering your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
•Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals.
•Almond milk is a great milk substitute choice for those who are trying to lower their fat and calorie intake.

*Almond Milk is Not Safe for Those with Tree Nut Allergies


*Vitamix is one the BEST investments in your health that you can make!
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Eat Healthy and Thrive


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Looking for Healthy Cookware?

View More: http://kateandco.pass.us/360_quarter3

I am often asked about my recommendations for cookware. The way you prepare your food is just  as important as the food you are preparing. You want to retain as many nutrients as possible. It is a well known fact that non-stick cookware is an unhealthy choice. The chemicals leech into your food and are known endocrine disruptors. Yes, those teflon pans may be inexpensive and convenient, but the cost to your health is way too high.

Ceramic coated cookware really isn’t a better choice either due to chemicals in the ceramic and the possibily of lead.

Aluminum? Definitely stay away from it.

Enameld cast iron is a great choice (as is regular cast iron, depending on what you’re cooking) – everyone should have at least an enameled cast iron dutch oven in their cupboard. The only downside is price….these babies are tough on the budget.

For my day to day use, I am a fan of high quality stainless steel cookware. Some brands are better than others. My top preference is stainless steel waterless cookware. A brand that I recently became aware of is 360 Cookware. Manufacted right here in the great old US of A.

Not only is this brand made from high quality stainless steel, they use vapor technology. Which means, that you can cook at lower temps and without the need for oils or water. And to top it all off, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Featured Benefits

360 Cookware products are all made with the following features and benefits:
• Multiple layers T-304 stainless steel (highest quality) and alloy construction
• Ergonomic, stay-cool handles
• US owned and made by 1 of America’s greenest companies
• Lifetime warranty
• Vapor technology cooks food faster & more evenly with less energy
• No need to add grease or water
• Oven-safe to 400º
• Bakes on stovetop

I have used other high end waterless cookware brands before and I think the 360 brand is on par with those. Cooking with them takes a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never turn back. Read more here

Eat Healthy & Thrive



The Truth about Protein Powders


If I had a nickel for every time I am asked about “getting enough protein”……
It’s no surprise, our society os protein obsessed. Everybody is worried about somehow being protein deficient. (that aint gonna happen folks!) And big food companies keeps feeding the frenzy… high protein Cheerios anyone?
This misconception is particularly rampant among the gym crowd. People think they need more protein to build bigger muscles. (sorry, muscle is built in the gym, not in the kitchen). The sale of protein powders and shakes has skyrocketed in recent years. Not only are these shakes completely unnecessary, you can in fact be doing more harm than good. I recommend that all of my clients (even elite athletes) ditch the protein powders and look to whole plant foods instead.

The article below is from Dr. Joel Fuhrman. To read more, click here

“Isolated protein in the form of powders — especially whey and soy protein — that are blended into shakes and smoothies are wildly popular, especially among men attempting to build muscle at the gym. Is this a healthful way to build muscle?

Exercise is the primary factor that determines muscle mass.
The first important thing to note is that it is exercise — not food — that stimulates muscle growth. After a workout triggers muscle-building, dietary protein provides the raw materials that muscles need in order to grow. If you are following a Nutritarian diet, which includes many protein-rich whole plant foods, you can easily consume adequate protein for muscle growth by increasing your total caloric intake based on your level of hunger. Another factor is to time your meals — because excess protein calories are not stored as protein (they are stored as fat), it is important to provide the body with raw materials for muscle growth following a workout, as the muscles begin their recovery period. Naturally, we will become hungry within an hour or two of a workout, and having a protein-containing meal closely following exercise is advantageous for recovery and muscle mass. Taking care to include protein-rich plant foods, like green vegetables, beans and seeds will provide sufficient raw material for muscle growth.

What’s wrong with protein powders?
Protein intake, especially animal protein, is known to be the major dietary determinant of circulating IGF-1 levels. When we consume animal protein, the body increases its production of a hormone called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). IGF-1 is one of the body’s important growth promoters early in life, but later in life IGF-1 promotes the aging process. IGF-1 has been shown to promote the growth, proliferation and spread of cancer cells, and elevated IGF-1 levels are linked to increased risk of several cancers. Our society’s obsession with over-consuming protein is a contributing factor to our epidemic of cancer. In addition to the issue of IGF-1 and cancer, excess protein may negatively affect calcium stores, kidney function and bone health, and promote cardiovascular events.
Learn more about IGF-1 and cancer.

IGF-1 is elevated primarily by animal protein and soy protein.
It is the amino acid profile of animal protein that sparks IGF-1 production. However, of all plant proteins, the essential amino acid profile of soy is said to be the most “complete,” meaning the closest to animal protein (other plant proteins contain more than adequate amounts of essential amino acids for human nutrition). Therefore, unnecessarily high intakes of animal protein or soy protein could be harmful.

The soy products that are problematic are those that contain unnaturally concentrated soy protein, such as protein powders and meat substitutes — highly processed foods that retain little or none of the beneficial nutrients contained in whole soybeans. There should be a variety of beans in the diet, not just soybeans; furthermore, soybeans should be eaten in their minimally processed forms — edamame, tempeh, tofu and unsweetened soy milk.

Can you build muscle while keeping IGF-1 levels in a safe range?
IGF-1 is very important for growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. However, muscle growth is not dependent on only the amount of IGF-1 circulating in the blood — muscle tissue produces its own IGF-1 in response to strength training to fuel muscle growth.14 So a combination of strength training and a Nutritarian diet will result in lower, cancer-preventive levels of IGF-1 levels circulating in the blood, while still allowing for local production of IGF-1 for muscle-building.

Is there a healthier alternative to protein powders that can support muscle growth?
Whole food sources of protein are the best choice. For blending into shakes and smoothies, instead of nutrient-poor protein powders, I recommend high-protein plant foods such as sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and Mediterranean pine nuts. These same foods can be incorporated into post-workout meals, along with generous amounts of green vegetables, beans and intact whole grains (such as oats, quinoa and wild rice) which are rich in micronutrients as well as protein. For those that insist on using isolated protein powders, hemp, rice and pea proteins are better choices than soy protein, since their amino acid profiles are not as close to that of animal protein.”
-Dr. Joel Fuhrman, http://www.drfuhrman.com

Eat Healthy & Thrive