Energizing Pineapple Green Smoothie

drinks quick meals Jun 21, 2018

We had just gotten back from a day of hiking adventures and the boys were starving (per usual).

Especially in the summer, if my kids are hungry for a snack in the afternoon, I like to take that opportunity to get something nourishing into their bodies rather than just eating packaged food from the pantry.

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Green smoothies (or any type of smoothie) are our go-to solution for this. There's no cooking, I can always mix it up and they love helping me make them. 

I don't know if it's the bright green color that excites them or that they actually taste really good, but my little dudes get super excited about green smoothies.

For green smoothies, here's how we build ours:

1. Pick one or more greens

Swiss chard, spinach or kale work great!

2. Add 1-2 whole fruits that are naturally sweet! 

Pineapple, pears, oranges, mango and banana work really great with the greens. We just throw the fruits in whole instead of using juice so...

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Fluffy Buckwheat Protein Pancakes //

As much as I love finding a good gluten-free pancake mix, there's something nostalgic about whipping up our very own batter of fluffy, divine pancakes.

Not only is it waaaay less expensive when it comes to gluten-free, it's usually superior in taste simply because of the love that went into it.

Am I right??

My boys enjoyed adding all of the ingredients, including cracking the eggs. Cooking is a fabulous way to teach your kids math as well as improve their fine motor skills. 

Let's talk about how much protein + fiber these pancakes have. What this means to you is that you will stay full much longer and not have the "pancake crash" you normally get. 

Protein: 25 grams total (about 5 grams per person); if you add 1 T peanut butter, that gives you an additional 4 grams)
Fiber: 29 grams (about 6 grams per person)

To further reduce getting the pancake sugar crash, we make a berry sauce for the top and omit syrup all together. I find this to be a heavenly addition to the top...

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Fried Potatoes w/ Smoked Sea Salt and Marjoram //

Hey buddy...you wanna help me pick some herbs to put on the potatoes we are cooking up?

*bounds abruptly out the door with glee*

My oldest has a keen interest in the garden.

Every morning he checks on the plants and runs to get me so I can look at them with him. He's eagerly anticipating picking from it all year and being in charge of fetching various veggies and herbs for me as I'm cooking. 

I truly believe the best way to teach health to your kids is to involve them in the growing, preparing and cooking of food. 

Before we picked the majoram for our potatoes, I had him smell and touch it so he could get a better sense of this amazing herb. 

You can throw this herb onto pretty much any dish you like. We love it on eggs, salads, potatoes and radishes.

+ 3 T coconut oil 
5-6 red potatoes, diced
+ 1/2 large onion, chunked...we like the chunks big so they hold up in cooking 
+ smoked sea salt (to taste)
+ smoked paprika (to taste)
+ pepper (to taste)

1. Heat a...

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GF Chocolate Chip Maple Cookies

dessert gluten free Jun 08, 2018

I'm sorry, but if a gluten-free cookie tastes like cardboard..it ain't a cookie.

They need to be chewy and soft in the middle with flavor that actually taste like a cookie. 

Lastly, there can't be 2 thousand cups of sugar in them to where I'm tasting sugar crystals as I eat the cookie. 

Oat flour is officially my new favorite thing on the planet. 

I discovered it's amazing taste after finding the most delicious GF bread on the planet at our Natural Grocer's here in Denver, made by a company in Colorado Springs.

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And yep, it's made with oat flour. 

Never in my life would I have thought I would prefer a GF bread over a slice of the real stuff. But I do. 

And now I'm doing as much experimenting as possible to see how many yummy things I can make with my new discovery. 

Oat flour is not paleo....which is why you don't hear about it much. Almond and coconut flour kinda...

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Beaver Brook Trail //

hiking outdoor adventure Jun 06, 2018

Here's the thing, I find parenting easier when I'm in the woods, so that's typically where you will find the boys and I during the summer. 

My plan is to share with you the majority of the trails we visit this year so you also can branch out to some new places with your littles. 

Anxiety, arguments, restlessness/boredom seem to calm down as we get out in nature. 

I'm not sure if it's the fields of wild flowers, mud puddles, rocks to throw in rivers or endless piles of pine branches to make forts out of, but the behavioral challenges we face at home seem to lessen to a degree when we step outside. 

Aside from that, as a functional exercise specialist, I want my kiddos to challenge their bodies in a variety of different ways, of which nature provides a perfect setting to do so. 

Hanging from or climbing trees, balancing on logs, throwing giant rocks over their shoulders, climbing uneven terrain of fallen pine trees...

To keep a body functioning...

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Broccoli Cashew Salad (a crowd-favorite)

What is on this salad? How can it be so good?

That's usually what people say when I make this dish. 

I have no answers as to why this salad is so good (well broccoli, duh), but I can tell you that all of the other recipes on the inter-web will tell you to add like 1/2 cup of white sugar. 

Excuse me??? Why must we turn our salads into desserts?

The good news is this salad still has a wonderful sweetness to it that will make you think you aren't actually eating salad. 

Broccoli is basically the perfect food. It reduces the growth of cancer cells and cuts down on sugar cravings. Win!

I recommend getting 2 cups of cruciferous veggies on your plate every single day for optimal health!

We serve this salad with burgers, chicken, meat balls or by itself for a big afternoon salad. You're getting lots of good protein and fat from the nuts and healthy mayo so eat to your heart's desire...and double it because it will go fast. 

Kid hack--if your kids won't eat the...

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smoked paprika sweet potato rounds //

gluten free quick meals Jun 02, 2018

I get asked often about "easy sides" or party appetizers and I can't think of a better option than the oh-so-easy sweet potato rounds. 

We prep these almost every week and use as sides to burgers, eggs, chicken dishes and more. Get creative with different sauces to add to the tops and you have a great party dish!

When I'm not feeling like a full-body workout that involves cutting sweet potatoes into cubes (ha!), these chop and cook up in a very short amount of time with almost zero sweating involved. 

How we use them:

+ as buns for chicken or a burger (add some greens, of course!)
+ on the side of a salad
+ as a side to morning eggs
+ as an appetizer with different sauces

Cooking tip:

**these will get soggy once cooked and put in the refrigerator so we warm them up in a bit of butter in a cast-iron pan to bring back the crisp :) Any time you need any food to crisp up, a cast-iron is the answer. 

Smoke Paprika Sweet Potato Rounds

+1-2 large sweet potatoes (try to...

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Creamy Protein Mocha

drinks May 31, 2018

I may or may not be obsessed with early mornings and cacao + gut-healthy fats and protein in my coffee.

Mornings feel so fresh and new and full of opportunity.....but the pureness of them can easily get swept away by checking emails, scanning our phones and getting anxious about the to-do list ahead. 

The best way to begin your day away from the screen is to create a ritual that starts your day off with intention.  

It doesn't have to be an hour long (although it certainly can be)....just 5 or 10 minutes to claim you are committed to self-care and a day ahead that will be lived out from the heart rather than rushed through. 

Here's a sample morning routine you may just love:

*make hot drink of choice or a glass of water lemon water (lemon cleanses the live and warm water stimulates healthy digestion)

*grab your yoga mat and find a quiet place in your home with some dim lighting

*sit on mat with your drink and legs crossed, turning your attention to your...

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Ouray + celebrating 10 years //

adventure hiking travel May 30, 2018

Looking back to our honeymoon, it's almost comical that we chose to go sit on a beach....because ten years later, our idea of a romantic vacation apparently entails 18 miles of hiking in 3 days while wearing winter coats in May. 

We fully embrace our weirdness. 

This past weekend we took a 4 day trip to the San Juans to celebrate a decade of being married. 

(Apparently we married young and I regret nothing)

Our stay included early-morning coffee + reading on our front porch with to-die-for views, 18 miles of gorgeous hiking, an evening at Orvis Hot Springs watching the sun set over the San Juans, artisan pizza and brews, cinnamon rolls, naps on top of rocks, losing our dog for an hour after he chased a deer (that was seriously horrible and I was a hot mess), lunches beside waterfalls and air so fresh you never wanna leave. 

 

Here's to another 50 years of adventuring with my mountain man!

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Bear Creek Trail //

adventure hiking May 30, 2018

Five years ago, before we were Colorado residents, my hands would sweat just looking at mountains. 

Now here I am, voluntarily going on hikes that require you to hug cliff walls. 

No big deal. 

Bear Creek Trail was hands down the most breathtaking hike I've done in my time here in Colorado. 

If you aren't afraid of heights and have a decent level of fitness built up, this is a must-do trail in the San Juans. 

With a roaring river, multiple waterfalls, mining caves and canyons that make you feel like you're on top of the world, this trekk was one where you simple couldn't capture the vastness with a camera. 

We stopped as often as we could to just be in the wilderness and let our senses take it all in. 

Looking out into the valley at the dark green pines contrasting with the light green aspens and deep blue sky could almost bring you to tears. 

On our way back, we met a couple who has been doing this trail every year for the past 20...

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