Naturally Made… Shredded Beef Taco’s, Black Beans and a side of Lemony Green Beans

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I love experimenting.  Trying new flavors, spices, and seasoning is so exciting for me.  One thing I love about eating healthy and clean, is that it does not mean tasteless food.  My personal feeling is that eating clean is full of flavor and excitement for your palate!  I consider myself an adventurous eater!

Traveling so much at a young age has really attributed to that!  I have traveled to France and England while in high school, I studied abroad in Italy in college and then backpacked throughout Europe, and also went on a mission trip to Cambodia,Thailand, and Burma in my mid 20’s, to name a few. Although I grew of a vegetarian and did not eat meat until the age of 12, I do, at times, have difficulty experiencing different meats.  You will likely not get any pork or fish recipes from me, unfortunately.

This recipe is one of my favorites since it is made in the crock pot.  I don’t have to think about dinner the whole day, except for the few items on the side, which take a few minutes to pull together.

Naturally Made Shredded Beef Taco’s

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Chuck Roast (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 Tbs Chile powder
  • 1 Tbs Cumin
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Optional Toppings

  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • real jack cheese
  • full fat real sour cream
  • Fage greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • black olives
  • salsa

Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • Organic Corn tortilla’s (always choose organic, due to GMO’s and processed ingredients)
  • 2 or more Tbs of coconut oil

*Fry tortilla’s in coconut oil. Its a healthy fat.  Don’t be afraid of fat, its good for you!

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Start your meat in the crockpot first thing in the morning. Add water, onion, garlic, to the meat. I added the seasoning later so I can taste it, but you can add seasoning now as well.

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Set your crockpot for 8 to 12 hours for best results.

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Once cooked, if you haven’t already, add your seasonings.

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Using two forks, shred your beef.

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It should look like this when complete.

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Naturally Made Black Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans of rinsed black beans
  • 1 c filtered water
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 pinches of cayenne
  • salt/pepper to taste

*Bring all ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. About 20 min until most of the water is evaporated.

Naturally Made Lemon Green Beans

  • 1/2  lb Organic Green Beans
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Salt/pepper to taste

*Steam green beans for 5 or 6 min MAX to maintain flavor crispness and vitamin content.  I use a steaming basket to keep vegetables out of the water.

 

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Drain water, drizzle with Olive oil, lemon and add your sea salt and pepper

 

Simple. Easy. Healthy. Delicious. Enjoy!

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Build Your Own Custom Green Smoothie

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There are so many recipes on the internet on making the “perfect” green smoothie, but sometimes you just don’t have that one ingredient on hand.  I personally am at the point where I just “dump and pour,” with whatever I have or need to use up!  Our family has one per day and it has literally been life changing.  We have so much more energy, have lost a few unwanted pounds, my twins are growing like weeds and we are all healthy!  I am a green smoothie super fan for sure!  Here is list of what you need to get started…

Create Your Custom Green Smoothie

Step 1: Select Your Liquid (6 – 8 oz)

  • Water
  • Almond Milk
  • Hemp Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Water
  • Rice Milk
  • Coconut Milk

Step 2: Select Your Greens (1 Cup or large handful)

  • Kale 
  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Romain
  • Butter Lettuce

Step 3: Select Your Fruit ( 2 servings of Fresh or Frozen)

  • Banana
  • apple
  • Pear
  • grapes
  • orange
  • peaches
  • berries (all kinds)
  • Mango
  • melon
  • lime
  • papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Persimmon
  • Pomegranate
  • Kiwi
  • Guava
  • Apricot
  • plum

Step 4: Super Charge It! (Add as many as you would like!)

  • 1 Tbs Chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs Flax Seed (Use ground unless you have a powerful blender that will grind them up)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 Tbs Goji Berries
  • 1 Tbs Hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil, Flax Oil, Hemp Oil
  • 1 Tbs Natural Nut Butter ( Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, etc)
  • 1 tsp Raw Maca powder
  • 1 Tbs Raw Cacao nibs or powder
  • 1 Tbs Bee pollen
  • 1-2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (great during cold/flu season)
  • 1-2 tsp Green powder (Very Green, Spirulina, Chlorella, etc)
  • 1 Tbs Mulberries

Step 5: Sweeten It up! (Optional)

  • 1 or 2 Dates

Step 6: Blend it up!

  • You can add 3-4 Ice cubes (optional)
  • Serve over Ice
  • Drink and Enjoy!

I know Sometimes getting started can be overwhelming!  You want to “do it right!”  There really is no right or wrong way, but following this simple mix and match guide is a no brainer!  Here are my favorite Green smoothies…

  1. Coconut water, Spinach, banana, mango, and Coconut oil
  2. Almond Milk, Kale, banana, Cacao, Chia, Maca
  3. And Everything but the Kitchen sink!

Try one of these or make your own!

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Make these for breakfast tomorrow… Naturally Made Grain-Free Banana Pancakes

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love pancakes! Unfortunately, the ones IHOP makes are out of the question!  I have been on a mission to make a grain-free version of my favorite banana pancakes! After working on this one for a bit, and using my kids and hubby as taste testers, they finally approved!  So here it is…

Naturally Made Grain-Free Banana Pancakes 

Ingredients (Makes 2 large pancakes)

  • 1 large banana
  • 2 organic free-range eggs
  • 1 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)

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Mash banana with a fork.

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Add eggs and mix well.

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Stir in coconut flour

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Pour in a preheated pan with the coconut oil melted and hot. These will take a couple minutes longer to cook than regular pancakes and should look like this when done.

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Top with your favorite NATURAL topping or just have plain. They are naturally sweet from the banana!

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Your kids will love them too!

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh berries
  • Berry “sauce” (For these I had frozen boysenberries from my parents garden that I just heated on the stove in a kettle. No sugar needed!)
  • 1 tsp of REAL Maple syrup
  • Natural Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc)
  • Greek yogurt and berries

Let me know what you think of these easy to make grain-free pancakes! They are healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

Naturally Made Raw Coconut Maca Chia Power Balls

Image   I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands to workout since I am a stay-at-home mother of 20 month old twins.  Life is so busy!  I commit to making it to the gym two days a week and three if I am lucky!  The other days I try to stay active and will take the boys for a run in my jogging stroller or a walk to the park.  In any regard, when I am able to hit the weights, I want enough energy, power and stamina to lift heavy and lift hard.  I want a power workout!  I have one hour to get as much done as I can, so it has to be good.  These power balls are a fantastic way to incorporate these special super foods God has blessed us with.  I have already talked about the benefits of adding Maca to your diet (here) and Chia seeds (here) but this is a delicious, healthy treat to add and have as a snack or dessert!  Maca is not only known for its ability to increase stamina, but also fertility and libido… so be prepared! 😉

I also want to share the benefits of raw cacao since I have incorporated it into a couple recipes now.  Here are the top five benefits of raw Cacao according to Livestrong.com:

  1. Eating raw cacao helps the body repair itself and resist free-radical toxins
  2. Promotes cardiovascular health
  3. Protects against toxins
  4. Rich in magnesium which helps balance brain chemistry
  5. The antioxidant flavanoids helps with circulation, regular heartbeat and blood pressure

Naturally Made Raw Coconut Maca Chia Power Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • 6 Tbs Organic Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Organic Vanilla
  • 3 Tbs raw Organic Maca
  • 2 Tbs Raw Cacao
  • 2 Tbs Raw Organic Honey
  • 1/3 cups Chia Seeds
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Add Coconut and remaining ingredients to your food processor, except Chia seeds.

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Pulse to blend. It will look like this when ready for the next step.

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Put Chia in a small dish. Roll Maca dough into a ball in your hands and then roll in the Chia Seed.

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Continue to roll the the dough into balls and then into the Chia Seed. I press the seeds into the dough a bit to make sure they hold.

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They are sweet, delicious, and oh so good for you!  Your body will thank you!  Store in the refrigerator.  Keeping them cool will harden them a bit because of the coconut oil.  Enjoy!

Naturally Made Toasted Walnut Kale Pesto

One of my newest favorite foods is Kale!  I don’t know about you, but growing up I only new of Kale to be a garnish on a plate to make it pretty… but to EAT it!?  That was a different story.  I absolutely love it now and we literally eat it almost daily, if not daily.  Kale is delicious in smoothies, salads, as Kale chips, or sautéed as a side, and yes even as Pesto!

Why is Kale so good for you? Kale is actually one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet (I really want to emphasize that!).  Just 1 cup of Kale  is LOADED with 1,020 % Vitamin K, 5 grams of fiber, 15% calcium and B6, and 200% of vitamin C, just to name a few.  According to WebMD, “Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer.” This is why I consistently emphasize the importance of eating a nutrient rich, natural, organic diet… It prevents CANCER (and many other diseases)!

Food is healthcare!  Medicine is sickcare! Our bodies can only take on so much punishment (processed foods, alcohol, chemicals, toxins, etc) before they get sick.

Here is a delicious way to increase your Kale intake…

Naturally Made Toasted Walnut Kale Pesto

Ingredients

  •  bunch Kale, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts toasted (6-8 min in oven) plus 2 Tbs
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Pecorino cheese grated
  • 1 clove of garlic
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Rinse kale and remove the leaves from the stems.

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Place kale in a steaming basked above boiling water and steam for about 4-6 min. Kale will be a bright green when ready.

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While the Kale is steaming, place walnuts on a baking pan and put in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 6-8 min.

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Remove kale from steamer basket and let it cool in a colander for a few minutes.

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Once its cooled down a bit, squeeze out all excess water.

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Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse to blend.

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It will look like this when done! Add the extra 2 Tbs of chopped walnuts for a great textured crunch.

Enjoy this tossed with your favorite whole grain pasta, spaghetti squash, or on top of pizza (I have a pizza crust recipe in the works!) to replace pizza sauce!  I love feed back… let me know what you think!

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Rocco eating his Kale at 10 months old!

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Maximus reaching for his Kale at 10 months old

These are a couple pictures of my boys taken almost a year ago in May.  I wanted to share these to show that it is never too early (or late) to start feeding your kids a variety of nutritious foods early on.  I introduced my twins to Kale in the beginning.  I wanted them to enjoy a variety of flavors and have a broad palate!  It worked!

Naturally Made Chia Pudding

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Chia seed is a fantastic way to increase fiber in your diet.  1 Tbs has 5 grams of Fiber!  You can sprinkle it on top of yogurt, salads, replace them for poppy seeds, add to your smoothies, oatmeal or make a delicious, powerful, Chia Pudding!  What is so great about Chia is that unlike Flax Seed, Chia doesn’t need to be ground to get all of its benefits.

The word Chia actually comes from the Mayan language which means “strength.”  Thousands of years ago the Aztec warriors believed that it provided them with strength and power and it was a staple in their diet!  It makes complete sense why the Mayans were so fond of Chia seeds, they are the richest plant source of Omega-3‘s (which is perfect for me since I do not like fish!) and contain MORE Omega 3’s than Salmon! Because of their high fiber content, they will help you feel fuller faster.  Chia seeds also benefit those with diabetes since the Chia slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood stream, which then helps controls blood sugar levels.

Although, this recipe contains sugars, they are NATURAL sugars that provide essential minerals to your body.  Try this NATURALLY MADE Dessert and feel good about it!

NATURALLY MADE CHIA PUDDING (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of your favorite non-dairy milk (I used all natural coconut milk for this batch)
  • 1/2 cup of Chia Seeds
  • 3 Tbs Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Natural Vanilla
  • Natural Sugar to taste ( I don’t like it super sweet,  so I only used 3 Tbs of coconut palm sugar… but my husband wished it was sweeter!)
  • pinch of sea salt
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Pour milk, Chia, and salt into bowl.

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Add raw Cacao

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Add Vanilla.

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Add Natural Sugar.

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Stir to combine in bowl. Pour in pretty glasses, cover with a Saran wrap and let sit for 3 hours in refrigerator. The Chia will turn to a gel and will be a similar texture to tapioca.

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Top with your favorite fruit. I used banana’s for this one, but fresh berries would have been amazing!

Enjoy!!  I LOVE feedback… so please leave me comments! 🙂

Increase Energy and Stamina with this Superfood… Raw Organic Maca!

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Superfoods are all the rage right now!   However, in the United States superfoods are limited to blueberry’s, pomegranates and kale.  Don’t get me wrong, those are fantastic and SHOULD be added to your diet, but there are SO many more superfoods available to add from around the world!  What is a superfood? A superfood is a nutrient powerhouse that packs large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease and prolong life.  People who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t.  Maca root is one of them!

Maca is grown in Peru in the mountains at an elevation of 7,000 to 11, 000 feet.  It is the highest altitude growing plant in the world! For thousands of years, Peruvians have used it for its vital health benefits and have used it for both nutritional and medicinal benefits.

The health benefits differ for men and women, but both definitely benefit. Traditionally, women have used it to cut down on their PMS  and menopause symptoms. Many women notice a dramatic decline in their night sweats and hot flashes. Throughout history men have used it when preparing for battle for its ability to increase stamina, energy and endurance. Both men and women have also used it to increase fertility. It is known to be VERY beneficial for women with PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome for its ability to help balance hormones, control their PCOS symptoms and help conceive.  Both men and women have found that it can also increase libido, sex drive and the general feeling of well being. Recently, many athletes are using it in replacement for anabolic steroids for increasing muscle definition and increasing stamina in the gym.

Personally, since it has been part of my diet, physically, I feel stronger, and I have seen a significant improvement in my abilities at the gym.  I can complete a workout quicker, and overall I just feel good (this is in conjunction with a clean diet).

Is Raw Maca Root for you? Here are some of the benefits you can see by adding this SUPERFOOD to your diet:

Men

  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones

Women

  • Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
  • Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Balance hormones

If you are interested in incorporating Raw Organic Maca into your diet, you only need to add 1 tsp to your favorite smoothie or juice. You can buy it HERE!!