Feb 23

Just 19 Inches of Snow in 24 Hours

A few weeks ago we experienced Super Bowl 2015, but in Chicago, we had Super Bowl on-top of  a hefty snow storm. Record breaking actually, and somehow my insane (awesome) friends still made it to our party. However, being the hostess of the mostest wasn’t my priority (honestly I didn’t think people would show), but rather I crafted a list of foods I could prep and have in the house for a week plus to handle the snowy, cold and inability to pull out of our alley.

To relate, this situation can be applied to many circumstances such as:

  • when we return home from a vacation and need something to eat; and more likely than not, something really healthy.
  • power outages,
  • any weather pending event,
  • and/or weeks when there is not time to make it to the store or batch cook, etc.

In creating an action plan I think these questions:

  • Do I have freezer space?
  • What non-perishable goods can I get and like?
  • How many days do I need to consider and what meals do I need to prep for myself and the family?
  • What do I already have, what food groups do I really need?

With any health journey, a crazy weather circumstance or not, we need a soft plan. No doubt, “when we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” I capture such in my smart phone, using the notepad app. Too many times I have made a grocery list and left it at home. Rarely do I forget my phone.

  • First, I choose a store – and while I love Costco and often shop there weekly, I went with a standard grocery store this time to easily get all I needed.
  • I thought of the meals I needed and what I had on hand. Fortunately in my freezer I already had frozen grass-fed, organic beef, wild salmon burgers and some cod. I also had frozen berries, organic Normandy vegetable blend and scallions. Other staples I already had – canned wild skipjack tuna, onions and garlic.
  • Proteins I needed – a whole chicken (I planned to roast one and extend it over 3-4 meals as a main dish then the following days I plan to top the meat on salads or make into lettuce wraps), eggs (I go through them like oxygen) and I can also use the proteins I had stocked at home. Canned seafood is cheap, delicious and nutritious. Best of all, it can be made into a meal with little prep and can be quite handy for road trips, camping or when we don’t have electricity.
  • Produce – bananas (I use them in so many ways, from smoothies to banana pancakes), mustard greens or romaine lettuce for my “wraps,” green apples and oranges (my current favorite fruits and they both last numerous days), acorn squash (a family favorite), raw veggies such as cucumbers, carrots and lastly some arugula. For my veggies I had plenty of good olive oil at home.
  • Dairy – I need to make sure I have plenty of Kerrygold butter on hand. I use it in my eggs, on my banana pancakes and roast vegetables with it.

The above are some basic ideas to get me through the week and when in need I can resort to my perishable goods already stocked in my kitchen.

What meals and foods to you plan to have on hand when you have a situation like this or a busy week ahead?

 

Jan 02

Unconventional Weight Loss Summit!

 

7 days of 28 presentations on scientific methods of how-to lose weight.
With-heads-b-600x150Purchasing the summit provides all 28 talks in mp4 video format, audio files, transcripts and slides – as well as a HUGE bonus pack of fitness, nutrition, mindset ebooks, videos, audio files and ecourses. Pre-launch has begun and the actual event runs from Sunday, January 4th to Sunday January 11th.

This is perfect timing for all of those people making another New Year’s Resolution to lose weight! Register for the event, which is Jan 4-11th here for FREE, or purchase the summit and materials by clicking here. 

rsz_the_bonus_package

Dec 18

Organizing A New Year’s Plan

The new year welcomes an opportunity for a new start. This January I implore you to not make a New Year’s resolution (they don’t last long enough), but to strive to build habits that help you gain on your health. Here are a few ideas:

  • Track. Have you ever captured what you eat in either an app (I like Myfitnesspal, Lose It and Fooducate) or on paper? Research shows a strong correlation with those who note lose weight by eating better. This process makes us accountable and we are most likely to strive for eating well when we share the journal with others. The apps allow for this feature, but you can also buddy up with a friend and exchange logs over time. Data from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found those who wrote everything down lost 2x as much weight as those who didn’t. How is that for motivation? A small task can give big results.
  • Pack your meals for work. When we control what we pack for breakfast and/or lunch, we can control the portion size and ingredients. Use the structure of going to an office to your advantage. Having this boundary and packing meals/snack, you can leave your options to healthy ones, even when at home you wouldn’t follow through. For example, my afternoon snack in the office used to 1-1/5 cups of raw vegetables and nuts. At home I’d be less tempted to eat all the vegetable, but if I was in an office and was hungry, I’d eat what I had on hand.
  • Sleep. First sleep needs to be appreciated and then it needs nurtured. On average for US adults our clocked hours in bed are about as appalling as the current obesity rates. We feel like we do not have enough time in the day and we forgo sleep to makeup for it. This might be common sense, but we will never have more than 24 hours in a day and the best ways to slow down time is to 1) organize ourselves, 2) be mindful (do you every pause before eating?) and 3) meditate (Headspace is a go-to app/podcast). So back to sleep – as adults we need a bedtime and a bedtime routine, just like children. We shall not abuse caffeine as it not only hurts our sleep it can hurt our hormones (health) too, which can lead to insulin resistance, making blood sugar control harder to manage and cravings more prevalent. If you haven’t made sleep a priority, know it is more important than your exercise routine and right up there with diet. More tips on sleep here. 
  • Treat. As a woman and a new mom, I now more than ever, have realized how we are often more than willing to jump and help a family member of friend when the need presents, but we don’t go out of the way for ourselves. 2015 shall be the time to slow down and schedule personal dates that may include – an early morning at the book shop with coffee and exciting read, a mani/pedi (I know guys that loves these too), massage, some locations even have a monthly membership, a new accessory or piece of apparel. On a similar note, but slightly different page, maybe you schedule in some charity time – soups kitchens, walkathons, etc. Research shows, when we contribute or give, we get more out of it than receiving. Know what makes you tick and pleasure your soul.
  • Move with interest. Likely we can all agree that movement is good, but make sure it’s something you enjoy. Yes, we may judge an interval workout will give a bigger burn than Pilates, but if Pilates is something we really want to do, it benefits the body and the mind. Find new things that excite you, and rotate the activity each month, before it dulls.
  • Assess. Pick a time at the end of a week to review the actions you intended to reach for your latest health goal. Write down what works and what doesn’t, and re-evaluate what you can do differently moving forward.
  • Gong. I am 100% stealing this brilliant idea from one of my favorite podcasts, The Health Bridge. It’s a 100 day Gong, or what can be defined as in Chinese it’s a designated amount of time to practice a daily task. Data shows a habit takes about 90 days, so this time-frame is a beautiful amount of time to commit to a healthy action. January 1 I am committing to a 100 day Gong to #1) have warm greetings with my husband, #2) have a 1 sentence gratitude journal, and #3) to part-take in a min. of 20 minutes of exercise a day. If I miss an actual trip to the gym, there is the luxury of being able to do squats, push-ups, jump jacks etc, anywhere. As for warm greetings, this encompasses just that. Rather than yelling down to my husbands office, “good-bye” when I am off to an errand, I intend to put in more effort with our departure. What type of task would you like to commit to?
  • Theme/word. What theme or word would you like to empower for 2015? There are so many goals I want to reach, all-while aiming to be domestic and nurturing with my family; especially with a second on the way. I want to slow life down as much as I can as well.  Running a business and soon to have 2 children under 2!! I get a little stressed thinking about it. But, I want to expect more out of myself and not be held back with fear or thoughts. My word for 2015 is,”Believe.” I will believe in myself to accomplish more things and to be pleasantly surprised with what I can succeed to.

Life and health is a journey. No need to hold guilt over your head if you fall off track of what you intend. Just aim to take 3 steps forward with less back. Progress is a win. Cheers to good health and Happy New Year!

Dec 09

Healthy (Real Food) Holiday Recipe

This weekend I am headed to a Friendsmas party and will be bringing one of my favorite paleo-based bread recipes. I have really enjoyed the ideas presented on paleoleap.com, which this recipe came from.

Since my son is allergic to eggs, I have altered the recipe to include flax eggs (1 tablespoon of flax meal soaked in 2 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg). I also sometimes add gelatin to increase the protein content and add a punch of gut health. Lastly, I make this recipe into muffins verse a loaf, which helps with portion control.

What recipe will you be bringing along this holiday season?

pumpkin-banana-bread-main-large-2

Pumpkin Banana Bread

  • ½ cup coconut flour;
  • ½ cup almond flour;
  • ½ cup very ripe banana, pureed;
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree;
  • ½ cup melted clarified butter or almond butter;
  • 1 tsp. baking soda;
  • ¼ cup raw honey;
  • 4 eggs;
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract;
  • ½ tsp. salt;
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped; (optional)

Prep:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, clarified butter, honey, ripe banana, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Mix everything together until you get a smooth texture.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until thoroughly combined. This is also a good time to add the chopped pecans if you’re using them.
  5. Pour the batter into a well-greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pumpkin banana bread cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nov 03

Controlling Blood Sugar

Anyone can relate with this topic, and blood sugar control does not pertain to only those with diabetes. Stable blood sugar is something we should all aim for when striving to eat a healthy diet and living a mindful lifestyle. Stable blood sugar offers optimal digestion, sleep, energy, mental clarity and more.

One of the consistent findings I see with clients who are non-diabetic and show signs of blood sugar swings, includes the need to have something/chocolate about 30 minutes after a meal. Note this can be other things like low serotonin, etc, but can also be insulin resistance. And with this I suggest tactics on modifying lifestyle to best manage blood sugar including:

  1. Each meal needs to ideally include no less than 25 grams of protein, and it’s most important to meet this goal at breakfast.
  2. Eat 3 square meals a day, and around the same time of day. This is metabolically helpful and can aid in weight management. When we eat somewhat consistently we can best gauge how much food we need.
  3. Stress management. Wow, I can 150% agree it’s easy to get wound up or double-booked in our fast-paced society, but no one is going to press pause. We need to make a cautious effort to not only smell the roses, but take a mental break involving deep breathing and meditation. I am a big fan of the HeadSpace podcast.
  4. Stimulants. Are you borrowing time from tomorrow with that cup of joe? I am not saying we need to go caffeine free, we just need to  be able to function without it. And indeed, in some folks, caffeine can cause a cortisol response, which makes us more insulin resistant, which can aid in weight gain. NO thank you.
  5. Going further on the idea of eating 3 meals a day – you want to have a meal that lasts at least 4 hours. Ideally snacks are not necessary. And when we snack we are asking our bodies to produce/stack insulin (or if we have diabetes, such as myself, I bolus more insulin), which can cause a dip in our blood sugar levels. This one snack therefore turns into 2 snacks. Not ideal.
  6. Supplements – I can write a book on this but review the benefits of taking ALA, Chromium, Cinnamon, a probiotic, quality fish oil and fiber to optimize blood sugar management. Personally I take Cod Liver Oil, ALA, a probiotic and B vitamins. I have a smoothie (Raw Protein Powder) protein powder that has chromium in it, I use an insane amount of cinnamon in my cooking and my fiber intake is easily around 30-40 grams a day.
  7. Sleep. When you sacrifice sleep, you are asking for a surge of cortisol, which again causing insulin resistance, and an afternoon and evening of carb cravings. Make a rule to get no less than 7 hours, and aim for 9.
  8. Hydration. We wake up mildly dehydrated and this not only slows our metabolism, it is also a disadvantage to blood sugar control. Start your day with water, and keep the momentum going by having water with you at most times.
  9. Eat whole, real, low glycemic food. I have a book coming out in 2015 that can offer more insight on my point here. I suggest my book, because this topic can be covered at length.

What actions help you most with blood sugar control? Can you relate to any of the ideas mentioned above? We would love to hear from you.

Cheers to good health!

Kel

 

Oct 10

Easy Lunch Ideas

As you may know, I am a big fan of discussing ways to execute a healthy lifestyle, as it’s often the hardest puzzle piece to work. Along with keeping meals creative and satisfying, they also need to be well-rounded and easy to make. Here are some go-to lunch ideas.

  • Nom Nom Paleo hit the nail on the head with her hot-dog as the bun lunch box idea. Using a good hot dog (such as Applegate Organic and grass-fed beef dogs), split it down the middle and load in some sauerkraut and peppers. Pair w/ more veg and fruit.
  • An apple-sundwich (sliced apple w/ sunbutter in the middle) paired with roasted Brussels sprouts and grilled chicken tenders.
  • Salad of many sorts
  • Tuna salad or salmon salad wrapped in romaine lettuce or butter lettuce. Needing more carbs? Sweet potato chips on the side.
  • Make meatballs on the weekend, and come the work week, pair some of the meatballs with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
  • Soup galore. The slow-cooker is a miracle kitchen tool.
  • Shrimp cocktail with acorn squash (I roast mine on 400F for about an hour and when it’s done I drizzle it w/ cinnamon and coconut mana).
  • Smoothie – so easy and nutritious for an on-the-go lunch.
  • Mini meatloaf muffins
  • Nine times out of 10, my lunch is a derivative of dinner. For example I made a whole chicken in a slow-cooker yesterday and I am using that meat for lunch, combining it some roasted cinnamon, ginger carrots and a spinach salad.

If your lunch is looking limp, dress it up with some guacamole, homemade chunky apple sauce, a piece of dark chocolate or some kombucha. There are many real food lunch ideas, just step back and try to think outside of the box.

 

Sep 24

A List of Real Foods

Click on the image to enlarge/read.

Foodlist

Sep 23

Real Food Breakfast Ideas Beyond Eggs

It’s easy to quickly come up with dozens of paleo, real food breakfast ideas, but when asked to list 10 clean breakfast options sans eggs, it can take some thought. Indeed I got creative hence I want to suggest meals that are higher in protein, which is my bottom-line recommendation for anyone to start off their day.

  1. Smoothie – maybe I am cheating because this is an no-brainer for an eggless breakfast, but how appetizing does a metabolism spice boosting cocoa recipe sound? Blend 1 cup coconut milk (from a carton), 6 ice cubes, 1 scoop (vegan) chocolate protein powder, 2 tablespoons of collagen/gelatin blend, 1 tablespoon of cocao, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 cups spinach, 1/2 frozen banana. More smoothie recipes here. 
  2. Homemade sausage patties with roasted vegetables and guacamole. I urge you to simplify this meal by roasting your vegetables ahead of time and if need be, resort to Wholey Guacamole packs or Costco’s pre-made guacamole. The easier you make the process, the more likely it is to stick to a real food meal. This is a great freezer recipe for sausage patties.
  3. Spaghetti squash with ground beef. You can prep the ground beef ahead of time as well. The beef can be cooked in a skillet with bacon and/or spices such as sea salt, pepper, garlic and some smoked paprika. Add an onion to the mix for extra nutrition, love for your liver and more.
  4. Smoked salmon, lemon and avocado wrapped in nori.
  5. Pumpkin Pudding
  6. Fruit, pumpkin, nut butter bowl – super easy. Portion out some canned organic pumpkin, spice it with cinnamon, ginger, the likes, and top with a spoonful of nut butter and sprinkle on some berries.
  7. Grilled ham and fruit – you can even cook it all in the same skillet. I do this often with Canadian bacon and strawberries with sliced banana. Sometimes I crave an all around warm meal to start the day.
  8. Soup – the options are endless as it’s simple to make a soup based on real food. Some ideas can include chicken vegetable, pumpkin ginger soup, chili, and paleo ham soup.
  9. Salad – top some greens with last night’s protein leftovers.
  10. Bacon and veggies – I find it most enjoyable and easier to roast a large batch of veggies to kick-off the week.

In closing you may be wondering why I emphasize protein at breakfast? There are many reasons, but a few of the import points to highlight include:

  • A high protein breakfast has shown to optimize gastrointestinal hormones, which signal the brain to adjust appetite and satiety. (1)
  • High protein breakfast eaters trend to make better food choices throughout the day. (2)
  • Can lend to weight loss and feeling more energized.
  • Help regulate blood sugar (3)

1. Gut hormones and appetite control: a focus on PYY and GLP-1 as therapeutic targets in obesity. De Silva A, Bloom SR. Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK. Gut and Liver. 2012 January;6(1):10-20.

2. http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/eating-well/benefits-of-eating-well/benefits-of-breakfast.php

3. Consuming High-Protein Breakfasts Helps Women Maintain Glucose Control – http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2014/0429-consuming-high-protein-breakfasts-helps-women-maintain-glucose-control-mu-study-finds/

 

Sep 15

“Paleo Unveiled: The Balanced Paleo Diet.”

Last week, “Paleo Unveiled:The Balance Paleo Diet,” book was published by a company in Austin, TX called Snap Kitchen. This is a free book to download and you will also come across an interview with me along with other health experts in the field. Enjoy! More information here. 

 

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Aug 13

Upcoming Event: DiabetesSisters.org Conference in LA – October 2014

View More: http://izabellawest.pass.us/kellyschmidt2014I am ecstatic about my next speaking engagement in Los Angeles come October.  I will be presenting on 2 topics, and overall the agenda is stacked with amazing topics and even more spectacular speakers. I can’t wait! Perhaps you will be there?

“Eating for Blood Sugar Stability,” Saturday, October 25, 10:15am-11:25am
Beyond carb counting, Kelly will discuss other tools and tips to consider to control blood sugar.From everything related to sleep, digestion, supplements, spices, food, hydration and stress management, Kelly will enlighten you on some good practices she has seen in research and her client population to best manage glucose levels.

“Diabetes Diet Trends: Clean Eating,” Saturday, October 25, 2pm-2:55pm
Clean Eating maybe a new trend, but what does it really mean? And what is the most important message about this movement? Kelly will breakdown Clean Eating into simple terms, discuss what foods are best for us, and she will fill us in on some easy ways to prep meals when time is not abundant.

More on the agenda click here. 

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