Chocolate~Strawberry~Banana Smoothie

My intention was to make chocolate fondue for Valentine’s dessert.  Well, we were so full from our champagne + cheese fondue, we didn’t get around to dessert. Now I have tons of strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, oranges & banana that were going to be dipped into dark chocolate.  We’ve been munching on the raspberries, and today I decided to make a smoothie with the strawberries.

Chocolate ~ Strawberry ~ Banana Smoothie

Ingredients for 1 smoothie:

  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder this is what I use
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 8 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds (optional)
  • 3 ice cubes

Instructions: Blend all ingredients & enjoy!

chocolate-strawberry-banana-smoothie Clovers & Kale

 

Because my strawberries were fresh, not frozen, it was a little more liquidy than icy.  Feel free to add 4 to 10 ice cubes if you want that thicker consistency.

XO, Siobain

 

20 Days of Real Food Conclusion

It’s Valentine’s Day!  Yesterday concluded my “20 day re-set” where I committed to

  • No Gluten
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed Foods
  • No Sugar

I lost a total of 6 pounds in the last 20 days!

My energy was very high.  I was never hungry.  I did not count calories.  I re-set my cravings.

I still have about 9 pounds I want to drop, but I am going to enjoy Valentine’s Dinner with my husband and pop this beautiful bottle of Veuve Champagne (accompanied by a cheese fondue).  After tonights celebration of love—I plan on going back to eating very close to how I was eating during the re-set.


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Happy Love Day, lovers!

XOXO, Siobain

Cherry + Blueberry Smoothie

It’s Day 20 of my 20 Day Re-set!

20 Days of

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No sugar

This was my yummy post 5k smoothie.  I ran one loop around the Rose Bowl this afternoon… knowing I will be drinking champagne and eating fondue tomorrow on Valentine’s Day.


Cherry + Blueberry Smoothie - Clovers & Kale

 

Cherries are an excellent source of potassium.  Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body. Eating cherries helps keep potassium and sodium in balance, and can prevent hypertension from occurring. One cup of cherries has the same amount of potassium as a banana making it a great substitute when you are not in the mood for another ho-hum banana. source

Dark Cherry + Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup dark red cherries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 3 ice cubes

Instructions:

Blend ingredients + enjoy!

XOXO, Siobain

 

 

Rutabaga fries

rutabaga - clovers & kale

Health Benefits of Rutabaga

Vitamin C–1 cup of rutabaga contains 35 milligrams, that’s 47% of the recommend daily intake for women and 39% for men.

Dietary Fiber–1 cup of rutabaga contains 3.5 grams of dietary fiber

Ways to eat rutabaga…

  • roasted with other root veggies
  • boiled and mashed (like potatoes)
  • in soups (replacing potatoes)
  • julienned raw to add crunch to salads
  • stir-frying with other veggies
  • cut into veggie sticks for dipping into hummus

Today I made Rutabaga Fries as an appetizer (along with sweet potato fries)

Baked Rutabaga Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 rutabaga
  • salt & pepper
  • paprika
  • olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425° F

Wash and peel the rutabaga

peeled rutabaga - rutabaga fries - clovers & kale

Cut into french fry slices

rutabaga fries - clovers & kale

Spray or lightly toss with olive oil

ready to bake - rutabaga fries - clovers & kale

Season with salt + pepper, paprika (other ideas: rosemary, minced garlic, garlic powder)

baked rutabaga fries - clovers & kale

Place the slices on cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes (turn the fries halfway)

baked rutabaga fries - seasoned - clovers & kale

 

Enjoy!

XOXO, Siobain

Days 14 to 17 (Meal Prep = Successful Weight loss)

For me, the biggest key to success with eating clean is being prepared.  This quote really hits home when you are trying to eat clean.

Benjamin-Franklin

When do we most often cave and grab a bag of chips, or hit the fast-food drive through? It’s when we are starving because we have gone 6 hours without eating. I can’t reiterate this enough. The more prepared you are, the more successful you will be.

These are the 3 things I have been doing to help me stick to my 20 day reset.

  1. Plan meals 5-7 days out
  2. Stick to the shopping list when at the grocery store or farmers market
  3. Meal prepping 1-2 times a week: washing, dicing, peeling, cutting and storing…lettuce, veggies etc. Making salad dressing. Hardboiling eggs. Making hummus. Cooking quinoa.

There is no right or wrong way to “Meal Prep”

The one thing I always prep each week are my leafy greens. As you know, I rarely purchase bagged/pre-washed greens. I buy heads of lettuce, kale, chard, spinach. I buy bunches of parsley, cilantro, carrots, and celery. Once or twice a week I spend an hour or so washing and cutting my veggies that I store in my glass pyrex bowls. I am obsessed with these for storage.

lettuce prep - clovers & kale

It’s not difficult to meal prep.  But it does take time.  It is 100% worth it.

It makes life SO MUCH EASIER when I get home from work and have 80% of my ingredients washed and chopped for a sauté, or a beautiful salad.  This is what saves me from reaching for processed junk or going out to eat when I am tired after a long day of work or school.

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Having veggies like bell peppers, celery, carrots–ready to eat–saves me from sabotaging my ‘healthy snack’ with chips & crackers.  Tip: Store cut veggies in a covered bowl filled with water (in the fridge).  This keeps them from drying out and keeps them extra chilled.  Perfect for dipping into hummus & guacamole.

My 16 day weight loss total is 4 pounds!  I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I should be. I’ve gone to yoga 3 times this week but that’s it.  3 more days of

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No Sugar

Then it’s Valentine’s Day!

XOXO, Siobain

Day 12 + 13 (+ 40 Non-Food Weight Loss Rewards)

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So many times in my life I have wanted to lose weight for a particular event.  Examples: a weekend in Palm Springs, being a bridesmaid in a friends wedding, a vacation, a 4th of July pool party, a class reunion…the list goes on.  Sometimes what would happen is I would procrastinate “losing weight” until there was only a few weeks until the event.  You know how the saying goes, Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We turn to fasting, green juice cleanses, the Master Cleanse, water pills, appetite suppressants, whatever new pill/supplement Dr. Oz is taking about, slimfast shakes (throwing it back!), nothing but salad, coffee and cigarettes… you name it! We try it.  And you bet your sweet a$* we lose weight and we lose it fast!  BUT, 4 months later is that weight still off?  Not for me.

The fact of the matter is this.  If you want to have a low body fat percentage…you have to work damn hard and make sacrifices.  If it was easy, everyone would have a perfect body.  Maybe you aren’t trying to have a “perfect body” maybe you just want to be “healthy” that’s awesome, but the same thing applies.  It takes time and discipline to both decrease body fat and maintain a healthy weight long-term.

So, what happens when we go a week of eating clean?  Pat on the back & high five? No, we reward ourselves with a cheeseburger and fries!  Or, when we get in an awesome cardio sesh at the gym, we go out with our friends and have one too many cocktails and fried appetizers…because “hey, I deserve it!”  This is a habit we need to break.  We need to stop telling ourselves we deserve a “treat” everyday.  And, more importantly, we need to STOP USING FOOD AS A REWARD.  Change your habits and you change your life.  Treat yourself to a mani-pedi after a week of clean eating.  If you workout 16x in a month, go buy yourself a new top at Anthropologie (or Forever 21).

My 12 day total weight loss is 3.4 pounds.  Slow weight loss is the goal.  Yes, it’s tempting to want rapid weightloss. (Rapid weight loss means losing more than 3 pounds a week).  It didn’t take me 3 weeks to put on 15 pounds, so what makes me think I’m going to lose that much FAT in 3 weeks?!

Tomorrow will be my 14th day of

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No Sugar

I am rewarding myself with and appointment for eyebrow shaping + tinting at Zoey Van Jones – Brow Studio (the best eyebrow place in Pasadena!)  Below, I listed other ideas to help us get away from food rewards.

40 Non-Food Weight Loss Rewards

  1. Mani-Pedi
  2. Eyebrow shaping
  3. New perfume
  4. New nail polish or lipstick
  5. get a spray-tan
  6. buy a new Sports Bra
  7. get a good bikini wax!
  8. splurge on some designer yoga pants
  9. rent a movie on demand
  10. go to Huntington Library, or Norton Simon, The Getty (or your local art museum)
  11. buy yourself a glass straw from simplystraws for your morning smoothie
  12. get a massage
  13. get a facial
  14. give yourself a facial at home!
  15. buy yourself a bouquet of flowers
  16. sign up for a charity walk or running event
  17. take a bubble bath!
  18. buy yourself a new book
  19. buy yourself a fancy water bottle
  20. take a cooking class, or a sewing class, or golf lesson!
  21. go to a concert or comedy show
  22. buy a new candle
  23. get a wash & blow-out at a local salon
  24. play hookie from work for a day
  25. buy a new pair of running shoes
  26. buy some new panties or a bra!
  27. buy a new healthy cookbook
  28. buy a kitchen gadget you’ve been wanting!
  29. get yourself some comfy slippers
  30. subscribe to a magazine
  31. Download a new app for your phone
  32. Get your teeth whitened
  33. go horseback riding
  34. buy a cute throw pillow for your couch
  35. buy yourself a piece of jewelry
  36. get a gym membership, or yoga studio membership
  37. take a calligraphy or photography class
  38. go to the beach with a best friend and take a long walk
  39. buy some fancy shampoo or a beauty product you’ve been wanting
  40. take a progress selfie!

What’s your favorite Non-Food Reward?? I’d love to know!

XO, Siobain

 

 

Day 10 + 11 (+ Ginger Digestive Strips)

Day 10 + 11 of:

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No Sugar

CONFESSION: I almost opened a jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce last night to go on top of zoodles! I was SO CLOSE. I know I’ve committed to “no processed foods” but it was a moment of weakness.  What saved me was reading the label and the ingredients listed:

  • organic tomato puree
  • organic tomatoes
  • organic soybean oil
  • ORGANIC PARMESAN CHEESE (made from organic milk, salt, POWDERED CELLULOSE, MICROBIAL ENZYMES)
  • organic garlic
  • organic garlic powder
  • organic basil
  • organic oregano.

I didn’t realize that this particular sauce had dairy in it. Very unnecessary.  Not to mention, do you want some wood pulp on that spaghetti?  Powdered cellulose aka Wood Pulp!!! is a cheap a$* filler that is used to increase fiber, decrease fat content, and keep cheese from clumping.  Uh, no thanks.  I’m not a beaver or a termite.  And microbial enzymes? That basically means it is a synthetically developed coagulant. It would be safe for vegetarians but I think it’s better to use products that say “vegetable rennet” If you are a veggie like me, I would completely avoid it if it says “enzymes” or “animal enzymes” because those enzymes come from the liver, pancreas, or stomach of animals! yikes!  I ended up making myself a big kale salad: 1 bunch of lacinato kale, 4 heirloom carrots, 1 medium cucumber + dijon vinaigrette dressing.  At the farmers market tomorrow I’ll pick up ingredients for a homemade spaghetti sauce that I can drench my zucchini noodles with—a gluten free, processed free, dairy free, sugar free, wood pulp free, totally healthy, version of it.

No weight loss or gain these last 2 days.  Which is fine.  There are a lot of contributing factors that can cause the scale to go up and down on a daily basis. (That’s why I normally don’t weigh myself more than once a week) I will continue to weigh daily and update you while I’m doing this Real-Food re-set.

I finally got some more lemons, Thanks Karen!

lemons

Today I made some digestion stimulating ‘ginger strips’ with some of these beauties.

lemons and ginger

 

Ginger-Digestive-Strips

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • fresh ginger
  • sea salt
  • a mason jar with lid

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze 1 cup of fresh lemon juice into mason jar
  2. Cut up a couple knobs of peeled fresh ginger into thin strips (about 1 inch)
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt
  4. Seal the lid on the jar and shake to mix contents.
  5. Store in the refrigerator

I make a double batch because peeling ginger is a pain.  Be careful of those fingers!!!

peeling ginger

slicing ginger strips

Ginger + Lemon = Heaven

ginger in jar 2

I eat 1-2 pieces of the ginger before meals.  It helps activate our salivary glands, which produce digestive enzyme (amylase) to break down starches and sugars we eat.

Read more about the benefits of ginger here

ginger digestive aid strips

A big thank you to those of you who have reached out to me through phone calls, emails, text messages, and in person, to let me know that you are learning & getting inspired by these posts.  It means a lot.  Love you all!

Okay, time for my Non-Wine-Wednesday featuring “Organic Artisanal Chamomile + Apples + Vanilla Tea” from Sugarbird Sweets & Teas

XO, Siobain

 

Day 9 (+ Sautéed Swiss Chard)

Day 9 of:

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No Sugar

For the 9th day in a row, my first meal was my blueberry breakfast smoothie.  My husband just let me know he drank the last bit of the almond milk in the fridge.  That means no blueberry breakfast smoothie for me tomorrow!  I haven’t juiced since I started this 20 day re-set, so thinking breakfast tomorrow will be a green juice. I forgot to write down my scale weight this morning, so I don’t have an update on that..but I’m feeling great!

This evening I had a walk planned with one of my girlfriends and I wanted to eat something prior to walking.  Still trying to stick to not eating between 8pm and 8am.  I made sautéed swiss chard and had it with 1/2 cup of the quinoa I cooked yesterday.  It was a perfect pre-workout mini meal.

meatless monday rainbow chard and rainbow quinoa

Chard is the most beautiful vegetable & it has a lovely peppery taste.  There are recipes that call for covering it in powerful balsamic vinegar, or heavy cream…I highly recommend trying it like this. So simple.

To start, wash your chard well.

rainbow chard recipe

 

Remove the leaves from the stems.  Spin the leaves dry in a salad spinner.

 

how to prepare rainbow chard

 

Cut the leaves into ribbons…or however you’d like.

 

rainbow chard ribbons

 

Cut the stems in half lengthwise, then into bite size pieces.

 

rainbow chard prep

 

Some recipes say to toss the stems, but I think they taste really great!

 

rainbow chard stems

 

I store my chard in a glass pyrex bowl with a tight seal until I am ready to use it.

 

rainbow chard meal prep

 

Swiss Chard Sautéed with Garlic & Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Swiss Chard (leaves + stems)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil and garlic in sauté pan over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  2. Add chopped chard stems.  Sauté stems for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add chard leaves.  Sauté until wilted as desired.
  4. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

That’s it!  I ate this whole recipe myself….but typically I’d say this is enough for 2 people as a side dish.

Health Benefits of Swiss Chard

  • Full of Vitamins K, A, and C
  • Good source of magnesium, potassium, and iron
  • High in dietary fiber
  • anti-inflammatory

Have a great week friends!

XO, Siobain

 

Days 7 + 8

I survived a full week + weekend of:

  • No Wheat
  • No Alcohol
  • No Dairy
  • No Processed foods
  • No Sugar

And not just any weekend, SUPER BOWL weekend!!  I brought a huge Kale & Spinach salad to the Super Bowl party we went to.  I made the choice not to eat: pretzels, macaroni salad, potato salad, a veggie burger on a yummy hamburger bun, chocolate chip cookies, and beer!! I ate tons of my salad and drank about 6 pints of water during the game.

My total weight loss for the first 7 days is 2.8 pounds.  I’m very proud of myself.

Today I washed & prepped Lacinato Kale, Rainbow Chard, and more Dandelion Greens for salads and sautés.  I prepped veggie sticks: cucumber & carrots for convenient snacks.  I cooked a batch of rainbow quinoa using my vegetable broth to last me a few days.  I’m feeling prepared and I’m looking forward to another successful week of eating nothing but real food.

swiss chard meal prep

Rainbow chard is the prettiest.  I’ll share a simple chard recipe for #MeatlessMonday tomorrow!

XO,

Siobain

 

Dandelion Greens

DandelionGreens

I love Dandelions!  I have since I was a child.  No matter how many times I was asked not to blow the seeds around the yard, I ignored my parents pleas.  If I had it my way, the grass and rose beds would have been filled with dandelions for me to make wishes on!

I love all flowers.  I named my first dog “Flower”!  My mom called me her ‘flower child’.  To me Dandelions were just another flower that people didn’t appreciate.  This was my 8th grade yearbook quote:

“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.”     –James Russell Lowell

I first heard of consuming Dandelion root or leaves as tea.  My natural doctor recommend it to treat phlegm from bronchitis.  That was almost ten years ago.  Recently I’ve started eating the leaves!! Dandelion greens are a PERFECT choice for a green smoothie or as an addition to a raw green salad.  You can eat them raw, blanched, or sautéed.  I use them in smoothies, salads, vegetable stir-frys, sandwiches and wraps.  Sometimes alone, but most often combined with other greens like kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, etc. They taste kind of bitter so best to start with a loose handful in your recipes until you get acclimated to the taste.  I use up to 3 cups in my smoothies.  If it’s your first time using these greens, try blending them in a smoothie with sweet fruits like banana, strawberries and pineapple.

Dandy Greens

Reasons I Heart Dandy Greens

  • Calcium: One cup of chopped dandelion greens has 103 milligrams of calcium! You know I’m a kale monster, that’s slightly more than kale! At about 10% Daily Value per cup.
  • Minerals:  calcium, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
  • Vitamins: A & C, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E and Vitamin K!
  • 1 cup of chopped greens provides 1.5 grams of protein and 1.9 grams of fiber
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Natural Diuretic that stimulates you to urinate more.  It helps remove excess toxins and water from your blood which means less work for your liver.  It is excellent to consume during a cleanse or detox.
  • good for allergy relief, boosting immune system, normalizing blood sugar, improved circulation, clearing congestion, healthy intestinal flora, increased energy…the list goes on.

You can find Dandelion Greens at your local farmers market, at WholeFoods, and I’ve even seen them in the Organic produce section at Ralph’s.  Or, during the spring and summer pick them from your backyard before the flower appears!  Pick dark leaves when buying at the farmers market or grocery store.  Like all my greens, I spray them with my Honest fruit + veggie wash, wash them well, and spin them dry.  I store them in an air tight glass bowl in the refrigerator and try to eat them within 4 days.

salad spinner dandelion greens

Today’s lunch was sautéed dandelion greens with spinach, onion, garlic, fresh squeezed lemon, and crushed chili flakes.  I’m serving alongside 1/ 2 cup of rainbow quinoa + 2 cups of my homemade vegetable broth

Note: Check with your doctor before using this or any herb/supplement.

XO, Siobain