Tasty Tuesday… BREAD?!

Hmm the word 'bread' has earned so SO many types of connotations in the past few years.  It used to seem that bread was 'good' for you -- whole grains, full of fiber, energy, yada yada… In more recent years, especially as I dove deeper into my own health, in exchange learning more to share with clients and friends, bread's reputation has gone awry. Let me rephrase: the ingredients in common store bought bread have been revealed more times than none, to be beefed and laced with GMOs and other hormonal toxins, including the now household word 'gluten' amongst others.

Diet gurus for decades have touted that bread is typically too high in carbs for most people trying to lose weight and deemed bread an off-limits food.  Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 12.35.17 AM


Poor bread. It is high carb, but as most people can agree, especially at first whiff of a bakery, it can also be irresistible. And of course we all have those friends that could care less about the carbs and the GMOs and still live in their reality that we need 6-12 servings at the bottom of the standard food pyramid of bread, for energy alone.

Not to confuse you, but I must say, with a 'whole-grain' of sadness, that most breads today are full of tainted grains and ingredients. I've also heard of many, MANY accounts of digestive symptoms of friends and clients, and with a little elimination action (cutting a food group for x amount of days', ridding a diet of gluten almost always helps these G.I. downfalls.

Cue the happy music! I'm not trying to bum you out or let you down! I'm here to announce that you can have your bread and eat it, too!

I've been exploring wheat & dairy alternatives for some time now and it wasn't until just a couple months ago that I had a hankering for bread and with it, a determination to create something edible.

ENTER: Trader Joes {duh} They have organic coconut flour that is so yummy and versatile. There are also good recipes out there using other alternative flours or almond meal, but I'm hooked on the coconut lately so I searched for ways to use it.

I also, at this same time, had a hankering for pizza. Which is rare, but it happened.

I googled 'paleo coconut flour pizza crust' and I found an array of recipes.  I combined a few and came up with this concoction. The posted pictures do not reflect the pizza aspect, as I made this batch more as a side bread to go with, you guessed it, zucchetti !!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Beat

  • 2 eggsphoto 1

Mix in

  • 1 clove of garlic, freshly minced or from a jar
  • 1 cup of almond milk

Add the rest:

  • 1/2 C coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 - 2 tsp dried 'italian herbs' -- oregano, basil, etc to your liking

This dough will be batter-like but you should be able to spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchmentphoto 2

paper.

As you can see, I spread olive oil on the paper to give it a little more moisture and a true Italian-like taste ;)

photo 3

It's gluten free and nearly vegan and paleo… um. Yes.

photo 4

Bake for 12 - 20 minutes. I always have to stick my sticky fingers in the oven and peel off a corner to check if it's done; or you can tell as the edges brown.

DISCLOSURE: the following step will make this not Paleo nor Vegan! BUT it will make it delicious :)

Parmesean cheeeeese.  Sprinkle some on top as you pull that bad boy outta the oven.

I enjoy drizzling even more olive oil or a few tiny drops of butter to make it feel more comfort-food esque. It works.

FOR PIZZA: Take crust/bread out a little sooner and put sauce and toppings on top and return to oven a little longer, about 5-10 minutes

ENJOY!!!!photo 5

TASTY TUESDAY-- Zucchetti!

 IMG_6836 Green up yo' life! After a couple weeks of holiday mania, I am back at it. A brand new Tasty Tuesday bloggy blog comin' at ya!

My awesome momma decided to gift me one of those rad veggie noodle makers! Of course it does other stuff that I have not discovered yet (the pamphlet shows maybe peeling an apple or something??)

What I was most eager to create was a pasta alternative.  And boy did I do just that!

I've never been one to crave pasta, I'll eat it from time to time but even pre-race, carb loading nights I'd opt out for some other form of fuel.

But anything creative and different and HEALTHY I'm always up for trying and typically loving.

Today's 'Tasty Tuesday' is basic and possibly more encouraging than anything-- encouraging you to buy one of these little noodle makers!


SO obviously you start with a zucchini and the noodle maker. I'm a fan if you haven't figured that out yet.

Create your noodles!

Some wonderful facts on our friend Mr. Squash:

  • very very low calorie
  • high fiber
  • great for cellular health, clearing out free radicals and cell functions
  • high in potassium which helps lower blood pressure
  • moderate levels of vitamins and minerals including C, B, thiamin, zinc, iron and more!

Once you have a bowl of zucchini noodles,IMG_6837

heat a couple tablespoons of oil of your choice, I used olive oil, in a large fry pan.

Saute the noodles over medium heat until tender.

Douse with black pepper, salt, garlic powder, minced onions--

whatever your tastebuds desire!

IMG_6875 They are COMPLETELY amazing on their own-- I cut some fresh baby tomatoes and went al fresco. YUM.

For the second round of this experimental creation I had some Trader Joe's meatless meat crumbles.  I got them good and crispy and added Whole Foods Tomato Basil pasta sauce.  IMG_6874

My household is going on a low/no meat stretch, only fish. We try out soy meats from time to time but ultimately we decided we won't buy much of that stuff anymore for numerous reasons. Veggie power!!!

Nonetheless, this 'zucchetti' was more than great and if I were to add up the calories and fat I think I burnt more trying to figure out the noodle maker than was in the 'pasta'!

And a 'budget gourmet' kinda meal! Even with the meat ( and 'whole paycheck' pasta sauce) each serving was under $5.

I'm bad at remembering to take 'final' pics of the food but I will get better! I promise! And if I don't you can absolutely virtually scold me! ;)

Until next week, eat your veggies!

<3

Rebekka

BOOM. and just like that...

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 7.44.24 PM it's 2015.

Not just 2015, but over a quarter of the way through January.

But who's counting.

I'm not counting, but noticing and feeling how crazy fast time is going by in my 'later' years.

Before my very eyes it's been around four months since I moved to Florida. Around three months since I've started my job at Fleet Feet. Almost two months since my parents visited. Almost one month since our weekend vacay to Key West. And now one week from the start of the New Year!

But again, who's counting.

I'm realizing how much I focus on what's happening. Sounds great, being present and all , I know. However, what I'm also realizing how this perception is one that is distracting me from actually being present.  These thoughts also remind me of that phrase, "Life's what's happening when you're busy making plans." In this case, planning and also over thinking.  And thinking of me over thinking. Ah! Save me!

It cuts into happiness. It can create negative self-talk leading to negative emotion leading to a skewed perception of what's at hand.  Before you get worried about me, know that I am absolutely fine and happy, just a bit JK-ing at times.

What I'm not JK-ing about though, is the fact that I need to relax around the planning.  Relax around the thinking.  And find ways to be more engaged with the true presence of everything that is, well, present for me.

One MAJOR and OBVIOUS situation that I could fixate less on is one that seemed so amazingly perfect a couple months ago.  Funny how things change.  Yet, as things changed over the last couple of months, and not necessarily for the better, I continued [and still continue] to have this inkling of faith that "Things will change! It will all be worth it! It WILL work out." I aim to remain positive by default.

This week I also realized that there are still some bullies in this world! I tend to avoid those types of people but somehow a few, two to be exact, creeped in through the cracks.

They and the situation stressed me to the point of tears this week.  As I shared this with one friend in particular, I loved his reply:

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 8.54.45 AM

These words provided such a strong visual for me, like some sort of a factory machine that literally took in positive energy and spat out negative energy. As I thought more about this philosophical tidbit, I could see warning lights flashing and I felt in every cell of my body, a bold reaction of … " EW".

It felt wrong to even be considering ANYTHING that would CREATE negativity. And not just negativity but specifically in my heart, mind, and life.


Hmmmmm… YOGA! Where ya at?!


Funny enough, a day after I began penning this blog, I went to the yoga studio that seemed the most appropriate for me to approach as the first in Florida where I'd like to teach.

As I'm wrapping up my audition class, I see a painted wooden decor block kinda like the one below, sitting on the shelf in this studio.  I know I SOL [Smiled Out Loud… think it'll catch on??] because it was TOO perfect that of all of the motivational quotes they could've had at their studio, it just happened to be the one that was on my mind. The timing of this meeting of the yogis seemed SO right, as I needed to FEEL the total opposite of putting in positive energy and creating even MORE positive vibes for myself and in the grand scheme of it all, for you and for the rest of the world.  Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 5.32.34 AM


In conclusion… I offer the evaluation moment of checking in with anything you've been positively pumping your energy into lately, whether it was over the course of last year or years or if it's been more recent… you can see it and physically feel it now at the mere thought … and in return you're receiving negative feedback...

Is it serving you in any way? Or as my yoga teachers say, is it life-enhancing?

You know what to do!

Follow your inner guides.

Trust your unique wisdom!

Surround yourself with life-enhancing people and moments and help to elevate the vibration of your world.

With love,

Rebekka

Tasty Tuesday: Oh F*dge!!

Fuuuudge. Is that a bittersweet word to you? It sure is to me.  I used to think and say, 'oh, no thank you. I don't like fudge…' Or I'd blame it on the nuts in most fudges. Of course, at the same time I'd sneak corners that didn't have those pesky nuts or I'd fall in love with the peanut butter or maple or peppermint fudges… Kinda like a secret affair. As you're thinking, I was the nutty one!

Well, now I'm pleased to openly admit that I like fudge AND make fudge!

Vegan/Paleo fudge that is.

photo 5

For today's late-night Tasty Tuesday, I'm sharing with you this delicious recipe that is sooo good you'll want to lick the bowl before the finished product. Or you may want to layer it on last week's Plantain Pancakes.

And it's simple.

Easy Paleo (& Vegan), just plain healthy Fudge

1 cup of almond butter (or nut butter of your choice, cashew works well too. I prefer creamy Trader Joes)

1/3 cup coconut oil (option to almost melt for easier mixing.. or not)

1/4 cup cocoa powderphoto 1

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/4+ sea salt ( optional/per preference)

photo 2Mix everything together! You could start with the nut butter and coconut oil and get them good and mixed til smooth. Then add the other ingredients-- look out for flying cocoa powder, add it slowly to be safe.  I like to toss in the salt last and I actually don't mind using a coarse sea salt, as it reminds me of a salted caramel type taste. Or omit it! Your call :)

You could line a pan with parchment paper or use mini muffin tins, lined or unlined. With all of the oil, I find that it won't stick to the sides.  Stick in the freezer and … ENJOY! photo 3

Storing them in the freezer is best to keep them solid.

And try not to eat them all at once!

photo 4

Until next time, don't knock the fudge this holiday season! Show your friends, family, and coworkers how this holiday favorite can be pure and 'healthy'!

Tasty Tuesday: Plantain Power!

In my constant search for the best formula for blogging consistency, and other consistencies for that matter, I will begin to share a tasty recipe every Tuesday.

Starting...

[drumroll]

TODAY!

As you may have guessed I eat pretty 'healthy' most of the time. As you also may have guessed, I also have my splurges because heck, I'm human.

If I've learned anything in my years, specifically those working as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, food is extremely personal. About as personal as your social security number and definitely as specific and personal as your very own genetics!

About as many people as there are in the world, there are ways to eat.

I'm not here to tell you how or what to eat.

I'm simply here to tell you what I'm eating and maybe it will give you some new ideas, new favorites, new methods… If you have ideas you think I may enjoy, please please share right back at me!

In future posts I will continue to disclose a little of my background with food and get into more experiments done and observed through my years.

Today, I just wanna tell you bout nanner's fun cousin,

the plantain!

photo 1

I think I first tried plantains on a vacation to Mexico. They were served at dinner and I definitely didn't think I'd like them right away.

Then they served them at breakfast.

And lunch.

And I thought, "what the heck is so great about these things?"

Well, let me tell you. Plantain-a-plenty o' stuff! ha . ha..

Facts:

  • Can grow easily in high-humid, tropical climates so a great staple source of carbs/energy for Asia, Africa, Oceania, and South and Central America.
  • A hearty starch; closely related to bananas. Used a lot like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams in the kitchen.
  • More vitamin C , vitamin A/beta-carotene, AND more potassium than bananas.
  • Rich sources of B-complex vitamins, especially B6, and calcium.
  • Contain a high amount of dietary fiber.
  • Also known to be a diuretic.
  • And, they're DELICIOUS and VERSATILE!

So if I haven't caught your attention yet, then check out how easy they are to prepare:

  • Pan- roasted:  Heat a skillet and add your favorite oil (coconut is my go-to) or use butter (sometimes I use ghee, less-refined butter). Cut the plantains into evenly sized slices whether they're round or lengthy slivers. Brown them on one side to your desired crispiness (I like them with a little crunch) and flip to finish the other side… eat 'em up!
  • Oven- roasted:  **oil-free  Depending on your oven, preheat to 375-400 degrees. Slice the plantains into even slices. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast 15-25 minutes (until desired crunch on bottom side) then flip and finish 15-20 minutes on the second side.  I keep these a little drier by not using any oil though you could definitely coat them with an oil for a little moisture. Depending on how I plan on eating them, you could season with cinnamon or possibly chili powder.. or get creative!
  • Grilled:  using your outside grill or inside Foreman grill, plantains are a lot of fun to grill. Make sure they don't stick, and monitor their crispiness! YUM YUM.

Now for each of the above methods, I stick to letting the plantains ripen until they are very brown. You can use greener plantains but expect a much more bitter taste, and a firmer texture. The greener plantains are great to cut super thin and make chips with.

photo 2

These guys grew together! Aww. Seamless plantain packaging. Nature's rad! In regards to what to pair them with, the options are endless! Lately I've loved making little      hor d'oeurvres with dry roasted slices and goat cheese sprinkled on top.photo 3

I also love making them in any manner and eating them with a sunny side up egg. Extra delicious with the gooey yolk and a great alternative to using toast if you're trying to cut back on bread/grains.

Of course they are delicious with black beans, rice, salsa, other sautéed or roasted veggies as a mash or scramble type dish.

And oh my goodness how could I forget… plantains are CHEAAAAAP. I purchased 3 for $1.49 at my local Publix. 'Everywhere' seems to carry them from Wal-Mart to Whole Foods.

Until next time… enjoy!

And know that I've recently opened up spots in my coaching program. I would love to discuss how we can enhance your food, fitness, and overall fun factors in YOUR life!

Check out my website www.rebekkamars.com for more

or email me @ BekkaBlue.Yoga@yahoo.com

In the comments below, feel free to share your favorite way of preparing or eating your plantains!

Not my Holiday, or is it...

 

photo 1

What's a holiday? 'A holy day'

So I then asked Merriam Webster, what is 'holy'?

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 4.14.39 PM

A few other suggestions: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness … or  divine or having a divine quality...

I love looking up words when I'm searching for explanation as well as inspiration.  I continued to replace words: what is 'morally' then? 'Of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.'

It's then that I realized how once again, life revealed quite the perfect experience for me over the past week or so.  Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, a holiday, or 'holy day', that I've honored as long as I can remember. A week earlier my parents flew in for their first trip to Florida to visit me! And within that week of difference, I got sicky sick, had final realizations about current issues, and rode out so many emotional trips that I am grateful to be out of it all and on smooth waters [at the moment].

What's this all mean?

Let me explain. I've been trying out this new job thing at an place I'll call a 'fitness boutique'. These places seem to be the next big thing in the fitness industry. I was stoked as this all fell into place! However I was quickly reminded that in any institution, you're only as strong as your weakest link. And it was becoming very clear that there were several thorny links that were going to cut into this endeavor. This caused stress. Lots of it. Something that as a yoga instructor, I seem to take on more than seems appropriate! I'm only human.

As my folks arrived, I was reminded of my past. Not in a bad way, but felt myself running through thoughts and emotions I hadn't felt in a while, bringing Missouri and new tidbits to process.

In the meantime, my boyfriend got sick. And as much as I honestly didn't think I'd catch anything, I got sick, too. I sent my folks on home, cramming in as many Sarasota-esque things that we could in five days.  Then the sick-bug crept in, knocked me off my feet, and threw my mind into a wild spiral.

There's something about being sick that makes me almost open up my subconscious. Maybe it's living on chicken broth and saltines.

Maybe it's the extra snot in the sinus cavities or perhaps, the influence of cough syrup drugs and expectorants that my body isn't used to.

Nonetheless, I was tossed into a blender for a few days and was awakened to feelings of anger and sadness; of excitement and intrigue. I received a text from a childhood friend that sounded like she was disappointed in my missing of a wedding that'd be across the country, literally, and on NYE. Starting over 10 weeks ago has left me with minimal money to say the least. I felt helpless in telling her that and even moreso as the conversation quickly ended on her end.  I was saddened at the thought of missing the family Thanksgiving [though I continuously told myself that it's just a bunch of sitting around and eating food that I had no appetite for anyway]. I missed a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and spent the day holed up on the couch.

Until I took a jog.

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This was my Thanksgiving 2014. The first picture at the top of the page is Thanksgiving 2013 on the rooftop my uncle's St. Louis condo building-- a very fun tradition of climbing to the roof and looking at the city and beyond. Both views stunning, but the beach. Really? An idea that seemed like just a dream for years.

As the day rolled on this year, I could tell I was definitely coming out of the sick and back on track.  I listened to Gabrielle Bernstein on the way back home. It was a lecture on 'Manifesting Your Desires'.  I shifted my thoughts and made it out alive.

As much as it seemed to not be my holiday [as last year, I also broke my toe and missed another 10mile race that I was registered for], maybe it is.

Maybe it's all in perception.

Maybe it was yet another trying time life presented to me to test my ability to navigate the waters.

Whatever these last couple weeks have been, I'm here today healthy, free, and happy.  I got fussy over missing a 5k and having to sit and home and veg out for a few days. And you know what? I live in the land of 5k's-- there will be more.  And you know what else?  I'd do anything most days to have a reason to veg out.

THANKSGIVING ISN'T MY HOLIDAY!

Or maybe… it is….

<3

Love to you all, hope your holy days were holy and morally good.

In case you didn't know, I've started up online coaching and fitness/yoga training.  I'd love to be your guide on the trips you have as such. Movement and mindfulness are my game, and you already know my name ;)

xoxo

Rebekka

 

 

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Two years ago I ...

so it's not thaat exciting, but a little over two years ago, I blogged for the first time. Or should I say, 're-blogged'. After a failed attempt a couple years prior, I decided to pick it up again. And guess what. I slacked again! But this time, I will not, I repeat, WILL NOT, call it a failed attempt. I think my blog entries and the frequency in which I posted 100% fit my life since then. And here I type, a few hours past my bedtime, determined to spit some of this out RIGHT NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week (because the days fly by TOO FAST), but now.

I'm at a crux and have been at cruxes this whole year of so many points in my life: professional & personal.

Ranging in things that seemed like hurricanes of emotions surrounding choices in work to the amount of energy I was putting into friendships that could be deemed toxic in some occasions, all weathered me ragged.

"Yet they still allowed me to come through washed, renewed, and ready for more."Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.51.16 AM

When those storms of change blew through and I thought it was smooth sailing for a bit, more tumultuous emotions came my way. And again, as gnarly as they were to get through, sunshine and rainbows were literally the result.

And seriously, who gets this many rainbows in a single week's time? It was completely surreal. IMG_5069


IMG_5254 Especially as I was traveling over 1,000 miles with my Mom to my new 'home' of uncertainty, change, and new beginnings.


Upon arriving, they continued to show up, even with my sweetie in the lower photo during our first weekend there heading to a friend's.

I saw these splashes of nature's sweet color as signs that I was following my path, staying on course even though it felt at times I may have steered wrong.

"If it were easy, everyone would be doing it,"

said an old friend when I was taking the leap about six years ago into my new life focused on yoga and wellness. And he's right.

And more DOUBLE rainbows.

Craaayyyzzzyyyy!

IMG_5362

You have to weather the storms to get to the rainbows.

It is perhaps the most uncomfortable, unpleasant feeling when you're 'in it' [meaning in the shit of it] but the relief and beauty that's rewarded for perseverance is incomparable. And not to sound even more hokey, but it's the huge piece of listening to your heart and gut, deep down in the core of what makes you you. 

Living life from this place is the only way to authentically make it out alive.


Wrapping up this very random blog post, I want to simply bring awareness to the current cloud situation in your life: cloudy days? Stormy days? Or are you on the other side with rainbows and sunshine?

Wherever you are, embrace it. Own it 200%. Trust life. Trust that what will be will be and all you can do is slow down enough to feel your way through. Heart wisdom. Gut instinct wisdom. And a dash of 'regular', mental intelligence.

Live on!

Love, Me