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Triple Chocolate Lover Brownies {gluten free, dairy free}

Surprise someone special with a batch of these scrumptious yet healthy brownies! Classic brownie recipes are made with over one full cup of white sugar. These clean eating brownies have the perfect amount of sweetness combined with a healthy ingredients list you can feel good about serving up.

Triple chocolate antioxidant power comes from cacao powder, cacao nibs, and mini dairy-free chocolate chips. Satisfy your chocolate cravings without overloading on sugar. Mix chocolate chips into the batter and sprinkle on top of batter before putting in the oven to bake. This dream dessert is ready in 20 minutes flat!

Brownies -picmonkey (800x531)

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. real salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 T. ground flaxseed mixed with 1/3 cup water, set aside 5 minutes to gel

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw sugar (turbinado or demerara)

2 T. dairy free mini chocolate chips to mix in batter

2 T. dairy free mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of batter

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 8×8 glass baking pan with coconut oil, set aside.

3. Mix ground flaxseed with water, set aside to gel, this is a flax egg.

4. Measure dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

5. Measure wet ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.

6. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl. Add flax with water mixture to batter.

7. Mix 1-2 minutes until blended well, be sure not to over stir batter.

8. Stir 2 Tablespoons of mini chocolate chips into batter.

9. Pour batter into greased 8×8 glass baking pan.

10. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips on top of batter.

11. Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

12. Allow to cool before cutting and serve with coconut milk ice cream.

Enjoy!

Yield: 16 brownie squares

6 Steps to Supercharge Your Immune System this Season

My friends at Nutri-Health.com (thank you!!) offered to send me a guest post on ways to boost your immune health. Read on for these helpful tips!

 

This time of year you probably have a thousand things to do. Between the cooking and cleaning for incoming guests, to the shopping for your loved ones, the last thing you need is a runny nose and cold to slow you down. Here are six ways to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape so you can fight off the bugs and stay healthy this season.

 

1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Restful sleep, especially during busy times, allows you to recharge your batteries so you have the energy to tackle all there is to do. But when you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase. And, elevated cortisol levels can suppress your immune function.

 

2. Try Probiotics. Did you know that 70% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract? When you take a daily probiotic, the “good bugs” trigger the immune cells in your gut to tell the immune cells in your nose to fight off pathogens that can suppress your immune system.

 

3. Laugh Your Stress Away. Research has found that during stressful times, one’s immunity can go way down. To help combat stress, try checking out a funny movie or television show. Or, get together with some friends that can lift your spirits. Laughing lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and boosts “feel good” endorphins.

 

4. Chomp on Some Garlic. When I was a kid, my mother would always hand me glove of garlic to chew on whenever I started to feel under the weather. My teenage self would yell “gross!”, but maybe my mom had it right. Garlic has an active ingredient called allicin, which supports your immune system and helps your body fight infections. In one British study, researchers gave 146 people either a garlic extract or placebo for 12 weeks. Those that received the garlic were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

 

5. Slurp Chicken Soup. When you’re feeling like you’re getting sick, nothing provides more soothing comfort than a warm bowl of chicken soup. Now research has shown that Grandma’s soup can support your immune system, too. One study out of the University of Nebraska found that chicken soup contains a number of substances that ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. If you don’t want to make soup from scratch, the researchers tested 13 commercial brands and found that many may even work better than homemade. Among those brands that were shown to benefit the immune system were: Knorr’s Chicken Noodle, Campbell’s Home Cookin’ Chicken Vegetable, Campbell’s Healthy Request Chicken Noodle, Lipton Cup-o-Soup Chicken Noodle and Progresso Chicken Noodle.

 

6. Get Intimate. Sex with your partner not only lowers levels of cortisol, it also can rev up your immune system. Making love with your partner once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of immunoglobulin A, (IgA). IgA is a protein that helps your immune system fight colds and flu.

 

This article is written by Lauren Kent the writer for Nutri-Health.com, an online High Quality Probiotics and Health Store.  Assisting people and helping them find quality natural probiotic supplements enzymes and health products online.  Nutri-Health.com carries Heart Health Supplements to Probiotics to Joint Health.

Tangy Chickpea & Fennel Salad

Chickpeas are a favorite in my house, but they are not just for hummus. Chop up tangy dill pickles, fragrant fennel, and crunchy celery and you’ve got a new salad that eats like a meal.

Serve with brown rice cous cous or scoop up with flax crackers.

Tangy Chickpea Salad (800x531) [click to continue…]

Skip resolutions and do this instead

NYE photo 12-31-2014

Photo credit: Katie Kaleita Higgins (Heman and I at New Year’s Eve dinner)

New Year’s brings about so much anticipation about going all out to be our super perfect best self and no less will do (oh the pressure!). We get overwhelmed in an instant and then it’s tough to want to step forward and take action.

 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

Focus on making one small positive step a day. Here’s a few small steps you can take. Choose one or two daily. I hope this inspires you to make up some of your own.

 

One positive step a day to better health:

1. Drink water with lemon first thing in the morning to hydrate and give your body a natural energy boost. I use fresh squeezed lemons or lemon essential oil, must be Therapeutic Grade so it’s safe to consume, I use doTERRA.

2. Have a piece of fruit or sliced veggies as a snack instead of a candy bar.

3. Make a healthy dinner. Keep it simple. Baked fish and a healthy salad. Try my recipe: http://blog.vitacost.com/recipes-2/baked-mahi-mahi-with-roasted-garlic-salsa.html

4. Exercise first thing in the morning before getting ready for work. Create a workout schedule at the beginning of each week, pencil in that weight-lifting session or spin class, then get up and go in the morning.

5. Be good to you. Take that 5 minute break when you know you really need. Ask for a hug when you need to feel loved.

 

I am all about creating goals that are specific and measurable instead of resolutions which are usually vague and unrealistic. I encourage you to start simple then expand by writing down your short and long term goals. For professional support in reaching your health and wellness goals, contact me at pam@totalhealthcounseling.com.

 

Wishing you abundant Health & Happiness in the New Year!

XO,

Pam

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus Collard Wraps

Ring in the New Year with healthy!

Black-eyed pea hummus collard wrap-copyright

Ringing in the New Year with a bit of good luck and prosperity on the mind is a great way to kick off the New Year. In the South, that means black-eyed peas for good luck and collard greens for prosperity. Enjoy this super satisfying hummus wrapped in a blanched collard green loaded up with your favorite fillings. Before you head out on the town for New Year’s Eve be sure to place the peas in water to soak overnight so they’ll be ready to cook when you rise on New Year’s Day! [click to continue…]