GF Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

They're. KILLER!

They’re. KILLER GOOD !!

Don’t these tease “fall”? I’m ready for scarves, boots and skinny jeans. You can be too.

So. I’ve decided. This isn’t going to be your regular food blog. I’m a Cardiac nurse, not really a food blogger.Sure, I’m both, but really I’m a teacher. I think food is beautiful too. And- I’m skilled in the art of food prep and finding/making healthy recipes. But, let’s be clear— you eat to live not live to eat. That’s why I became skilled.

Once upon a time children weren’t suffering from Type II diabetes, obesity, asthma, autism, and autoimmune diseases. And worse, cancer is a child’s number one killer. Once upon a time, cardiovascular disease wasn’t the number one killer of women (which IS completely reversible through lifestyle changes), and obesity didn’t affect the majority of our country. People weren’t having their stomachs cut open to have them sutured, stapled, sleeved and tied to prevent their bodies from addressing what their minds refused to. Gastric bypass just makes you susceptible to further obesity and chronic disease even more so, because it doesn’t address the core issues AND it creates total malnutrition.I actually don’t know how those surgeons sleep at night. The real issues that span chronic obesity are emotional, mental, lack of knowledge and preparation, and worse- lack of nutrition. Most chronically obese folks show malnutrition. More on that later. The battle isn’t between the fork and the mouth. It’s between the ears. The brain. Cutting the stomach- doesn’t fix the brain. If you’re struggling, you’ve become addicted to that, and food is a crutch. I term it best as “emotional stuffing.”  I understand it, because I’ve done it. And under my oath of nursing, I’m here to say- you have to be honest with why you are where you are when you lead a life of struggle. That’s step one. Admitting powerlessness over a food addiction- any addiction. I will help you, BUT I’m honest. You have to be too.

It used to be, that people took more responsibility for what they consumed and weren’t sheep led by a very deceptive food and drug market. BUT, here we all are, MANY hooked on anti-depressants and food. Depressing? Certainly. Reality? Absolutely. But, sucky statistics and all, and I’m here to say, with education and proactive responsibility, we can change it. Now, to the ones who don’t care, I can’t help you. To the ones who just don’t know where to start, or have started, I’m your resource. SO, let’s talk sugar for just a few. Your body requires glucose for normal cellular function. So, not ALL sugar is bad. However, the food (and especially sugar) industry, along with the drug industry, I would say, is the most deceptive of all.

Let me go back in time for a minute. In the 1970’s, high fructose corn syrup was added to the American diet. It’s cheap, doesn’t make you sick to eat it, but acts as toxic as alcohol is to your liver. Only, you don’t get sick immediately like you do with drinking. Well, OH, but you DO get chronic disease sickness. High fructose corn syrup, along with hydrogenated oils is the main cause of all cardiac diseases, as well as fatty liver, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, obesity, and diabetes. It elevates blood triglycerides and stores as either body or organ fat. That’s why 3 year old’s are walking around with high cholesterol, fatty livers and severe vitamin deficiencies with a diagnosis of ADHD. Understand, HFCS is in over 85% of ALL processed foods, and our food chain is 95% processed. How sad. It’s a choice to eat that crap. That doesn’t have to be YOUR reality. Making your food in batch preparation and completing a weekly food prep will prevent this in YOUR home, as it does mine.Yes, it takes learning, commitment, and a little bit of time. But I promise you, it will SAVE you time, money, and assist you to keep YOUR commitment to getting healthier.

To learn how to begin food prepping, view my “Getting started” food prep webinar. 

Back to the sugar. What sugars are good, and what’s bad? Well, the sugar industry changes the names of them constantly to fool you and I, so you must READ LABELS. Stick with what’s truly natural. I’m not going to break every sweetener down here, because honestly, the information is already out there and they change the names of sweeteners a kajillion times.

I will say- one of the BIGGEST irritations I have is when I see healthy food bloggers using agave, truvia, sucralose, and powdered stevia. I would rate agave at having fooled most people as a healthy sweetener. Agave goes through more chemical processes than HFCS. Friends, cactus isn’t sweet. Synthesized chemical sweeteners are NOT healthy. Read this, The 4 best and 3 worst sweeteners to have in your kitchen, and message me with questions.

I will add that chemical sweeteners I DO NOT CONSUME are: Sucralose, Aspartame, Xylitol, Erythritol, Agave, High fructose corn syrup, or powdered Stevia.

What I WILL CONSUME is: Maple syrup (most often my go to), liquid Stevia, Honey, Coconut sugar, Turbinado organic cane sugar, and that’s about it. You don’t require more than those. Honestly. Read the article link I have posted. It’s good stuff.

Now, as for these gorgeous, almost “fallish” looking cookies, I used a coconut sugar, and actually, they were so sweet, I may cut back the amount on the next batch. Again, not all sugar is evil. Here’s hope:

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup Whole oats

2/3 cup organic coconut sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup organic coconut oil- melted

1 organic egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup of organic dried cranberries

Course crushed sea salt flakes

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind whole oats in blender to make a fine oat flour (SO EASY!)

Combine oat flour, baking soda and sea salt, into a mixing bowl.

In separate bowl, cream egg, coconut sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add dry oat mixture until well blended. Stir in chocolate chip and dried cranberries.

Immediately roll into balls and place on baking sheet (this is NOT a dough you want to refrigerate. It gets as hard as a brick;) Bake for 9-11 minutes until done. Lastly, sprinkle with course small sea salt chunks, and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy!! (These have such a delightful heartiness and richness- you don’t require many to satisfy, and the oatmeal combined with the fat– satiates !)

Feel free to add a bit of shredded organic unsweetened coconut or nuts as well. Go raw for your nuts!

I love feedback, so let me know if you loved these as much as I do!

Eat clean.

Prep your food!

Stop eating crap.

Xo!!! Dori

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Fabulous Fried Rice! MSG FREE and QUICK!

You have to make this one. Food prep staple and PERFECT Friday night

You have to make this one. Food prep staple and PERFECT Friday night “take out” at home.

What’s for dinner!? THIS. Can we just start with MSG FREE and fabulously healthy? NO need to order take out. Who doesn’t love fried rice!? One of the first things I teach in my coaching program is to stay away from what myself and Deedee Shaw (You will hear me refer to her often, as we team coach together) claim as “The FATAL Five” That’s fatal toxins commonly found in most foods on the shelves and in restaurants. They are toxic loads to your liver and are:

1.*MSG*  2.*High fructose corn syrup* 3.Nitrates and Nitrites* 4.*Artificial colors and sweeteners* and 5.*Hydrogenated oils.

So, let’s talk MSG for a minute. It makes things very tasty and is extremely toxic to the liver. What these toxins (and many more) do over time is they create a toxic load on the liver, so much so, that it creates health effects such as fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, difficulty releasing weight, and really, a plethora of other health ailments. MSG also triggers migraines, and is found in most Asian dishes as well as ranch dressings. Friends, let’s talk liver for a minute. Did you know your liver is the FAT BURNING FURNACE of your body? If I can encourage you to do ONE thing for your health, it’s to focus on what makes the liver function better because MANY health results will ensue from focusing on THAT. I will help you. Whether your goal is overall better health, or weight release, it MUST be about the liver. Let me give you an example – you could focus everything you have on working out and “diet”, yet completely missing the boat when it comes to results. Why? If your liver or endocrine system isn’t functioning right, weight release won’t happen, and health issues won’t resolve. READ LABELS. Don’t eat out at restaurants, or do so in a limited fashion, exercise, detox and eat RIGHT.

OH. A word about eggs: They do NOT lead to heart disease. Please friends, as a cardiac nurse, I’m here to tell you, that is garbage. The yolk contains half of the nutrients found in the egg and is healthy. What leads to heart disease is elevated triglycerides and cholesterol primarily CAUSED by high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils intake. HFCS elevates blood triglycerides, causes fatty liver disease, and creates inflammation in the coronary walls which leads to plaque accumulation from inflammation. Hydrogenated oils cause the liver to secrete more cholesterol on top of that. The moral of the story is to learn what to stay away from, learn how to READ LABELS, and food prep healthy food for the week so you will be prepared.

“Take the time it takes, and it will take less time.”

I will teach you how to food prep for success.

Here’s a little secret: Coconut oil makes EVERYTHING taste good. I SWEAR! It’s health benefits are giving to the body. Make it your addiction. It’s a good one.

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I added to this skillet:

2 tbsp Coconut oil

2 c Snow peas

1 c English peas

1 C carrots – chopped

—–Saute until just softened—-

“Scoot” veggies over to the side and add:

4 Organic farm raised eggs. Cook sunny side up:)

Add 4 heaping (ice cream) scoops of organic cooked brown Basmati rice

After the eggs have cooked, add rice and stir all together until egg yolks cook slightly over the mixture. ENJOY. MSG and other horrible preservatives FREE!

*Feel free to replace sugar snaps with oven roasted broccoli and add more rice if you like. Store in a mason jar to enjoy all week long.

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Double Chocolate Power Protein Bars

IMG_0413 (2)   Sooooo these are totally kid approved and a complete “experiment”  that turned out YUMMY! My boys ate a whole pan of these over 2 days. I was a little surprised because they aren’t completely sweet like some other treats I’ve made them. But then again, I don’t make very much anymore with processed sugar, usually it’s maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar and added protein, and these are no different. A word about protein. It is to weight control what black is to fashion. Simply, if you’re goal is to maintain a healthy weight or release weight, you must be putting in MORE protein daily. Take your weight and half it, that should be you’re daily intake goal, and higher if you’re weight training.  A couple things to understand about why making sure you’re getting enough is this: Protein satiates your appetite. It helps to normalize and regulate blood glucose levels, and when they bounce around and dip, make you feel like a hunger monster. Especially those suffering from adrenal fatigue (commonly have associated blood glucose dips), and O blood types, require more protein and less carbs. O blood types tend to pack on pounds more easily than the other blood types and crave carbs more than most. Now, a word about carbs. You REQUIRE them. This low to no carb nonsense–IS nonsense. Low to no carb diets lead to one thing- CRASHED METABOLISM. Unfortunately, the danger of dieting is completely screwing up your body. And that’s what diets do. If you WANT to rebound in weight gain. go no to low carb. Your body requires healthy whole carbs for energy and to also put the hunger hormones at bay. Starve it of carbs, and as soon as you go back to eating them, you will pack on the pounds and more. Aim for more protein, and personally I LOVE the 40/30/30 (Protein/carb/fat) ratio when it comes to macro’s. BUT, just a word about macro’s. If you’re eating the RIGHT types of foods, moderately exercising, and learn how to portion and eat WELL,  no one should be counting macro’s all day. You don’t require weighing food, counting calories, and low fat, low carb to release weight. Move more, eat RIGHT, and detox. Those are the KEYS to a lifetime of weight release and a body that will love you. OH. And a word about peanut butter and protein powder. First, if you’re suffering from inflammation issues, peanut butter isn’t your best choice. It’s highly inflammatory and another nut butter would be better for you. What is SUPER important is with peanuts you DO want to make sure your peanut butter is organic. They contain a lot of pesticides other wise. Second, I use only Zija’s XMProtein powder. Not all protein powders are alike and at some point I’ll write more on them. Mine contains only 6 pure ingredients. Most of the ones on the market contain so many synthetics, a ridiculous amount of nonabsorbable protein, and laxatives to push what isn’t absorbed through your gut. NOT healthy. Research your ingredients, be a label reader, and purchase from a trusted source.

For the INGREDIENTS I combined 😉

2 c Organic whole oats

1/2 c XMprotein powder in Dutch chocolate

1/2 c organic unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 c organic peanut butter

1/2 c ground flax (always store ground flax in the freezer)

1/2 c maple syrup or honey

1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

1/3 c dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli’s)

1 tbsp Chia seed

Line 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper (makes removal and nice bar slices easy) Mix ingredients and press contents into pan, these were fairly thin pieces as I made bite sizes for my boys. If you prefer thicker use an 8×8 pan and adjust your cooking time. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Pull out by parchment paper and let cool. Slice into bars or mini pieces. You can freeze, refrigerate or place mini bites into a jar. Enjoy! IMG_0369 (3)

For my mini people

Mini bites for my mini people:)

Summer Greek Goddess Salad

Does anyone else think that greek food is the best EVER? Mmmmm. SO FRESH!

Does anyone else think that greek food is the best EVER? Mmmmm. SO. FRESH!

Food for thought: We live in the richest country, yet we eat the poorest and most processed foods. Remember this. Real is rich. Processed is poor. Choose real. (Same with people;)

So, let me get real and raw for a minute. This is my first official “blog post” where I’m actually writing more than a recipe. I LIVE to share my passion about health and clean food prep with others and to see them grow in understanding, that they too, can do it.  I’ll share my story in another post, but first this is on my heart today:

Here we are in August, when we can get an abundance of veggies at the farmers market. I just want you to GO this coming weekend. Go CREATE a farmers market experience, get some real food, and let me help you food prep it! Make the decision today to stop eating crap and to eat REAL FOOD. I’ll help you. It won’t be perfect. You’ll relapse from time to time. Baby step upon baby step, I’ll help you master food prep, so that it’s no longer an excuse not to eat well and together we will all be perfectly imperfect, and STRIVING to live in an abundance of health.

First, let me ask you a question, because it’s really the root to most problems: Do you believe that your body deserves and is worthy of health, weight control and energy? Let me answer that- yes it does and is. But you don’t and won’t get what you deserve, respect, love, or desire. You don’t get what you feel entitled to or what someone else has. You get what YOU are COMMITTED to and feel worthy of. Truth.

That means you have to get honest and real with yourself if you aren’t in a state of health or in a body that serves you well. It’s because of one reason- You aren’t committed to that. Or, you haven’t been in the past and it caught up with you. I live in that reality and honesty, and no longer in my own denial. As a nurse, I see REVERSIBLE chronic disease and obesity daily. It’s because of what we are eating, but more importantly, what we are NOT eating. And even MORE importantly, it’s because of what we are thinking and feeling that leads to how we treat our bodies.

Let me say something boldly, as I have no other way of being when it comes to health: If you aren’t eating well, exercising and putting your health FIRST, understand this: It’s a selfish and not self LESS act and you are neglecting yourself because you don’t feel worthy of it. Think about this: When your health fails, others will have to care for you. That’s a hard truth for most to chew on.

Your body is the tool you experience everything through! So, you have get real and raw with yourself and your food when it comes to change, and you require help from someone who knows what they are talking about. I’ve seen a lot of sickness. And SO I made the study of HEALTH my passion. There’s HOPE if you are willing to face yourself in the mirror, come out of denial, and change your habits, starting with emotional and mental habits, one day at a time. Our society is SO screwed up in a victim and martyr mentality often thinking, “OH there’s no time for me, no time to eat healthy, no time to work out”. BS! MAKE, SCHEDULE, CREATE your time for you. That is such a victim answer! I call crap on that! No one can build muscle for you. No one can shove good nutrition down your throat. The REAL issue is you do not think that your WORTHY of a great body, mind, and food. IF you did, it would be your priority. It’s the inner crap thinking that gets you in trouble. Remember, the inner head game reflects your outer actions. Go buy some REAL FOOD, and prep it. I’m here to help with honesty some like. And. Some. Don’t. I’m here to give you the tools to master food prep, so that you can be well on your way to an amazing life of health- because your body is TRULY your wealth.

In the meantime layer this GORGEOUS salad in a mason jar like THIS, and enjoy throughout the week (I do not have a pic of it layered in a jar: use a quart wide mouth):

Ingredients BOTTOM to TOP:

Salad dressing (ALWAYS) goes on the bottom of the jar.

Next layer:

7 Kalamata olives

1/4 Red Onion

1/2 Green pepper

1 Tomato

1/2 Cucumber

2 tbsp feta

Torn Romaine

Greek Goddess Vinaigrette:

1/2 c olive oil

1/4 c red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves- minced

1 tsp dried or fresh oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Shake and enjoy (My boys love this made with a pomegranate vinegar on just cukes and tomatoes- I’ll see if I can attach the website to order it here)IMG_0435 (3)IMG_0453 (2)

Egg and veggie quiche cups to GO!

 These. Are. Supremely. SIMPLE.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

My ingredients: (You can vary as I will with different veggie combos)

12 fresh farm eggs

1 c chopped organic green pepper

1 whole red onion- chopped finely

1/2 c chopped sun dried tomatoes

1-2 tbsp (I prefer 2) coconut oil (this MAKES them- coconut oil TRANSFORMS eggs and mostly everything, and is a great fat to enhance the protein)

Optional: Add 3-5 drops of hot sauce into ingredients before baking.

Salt and pepper (I like garlic salt best)

Line muffin tins with parchment paper, Or simply use a nonstick spray or muffin liner. Fill each cup 3/4 full. This should make a full 12 quiches exactly. Bake for 10-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Store in a mason jar! 😉 You can also freeze these and reheat in a toaster oven. (We don’t talk about microwaves here. Radiating your food is NOT healthy. Buy a toaster oven)