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Coconut Cashew Brownie Balls

Need to spice up your snacks throughout the day? This is a recipe you will want to try! I swear they tasted better than brownies when I made them. I probably could have eaten the whole batch, but I had self control. It was really hard to though. I also wanted to make sure my husband tried some of them. It happens pretty regularly that I make something, LOVE IT, and eat all of it before he even gets to try it. Whoops.

On top of being delicious, these little brownie balls are highly nutritious as well. And did I mention they are paleo friendly, gluten free, made with no added sugar, all natural ingredients and take only 5-10 minutes to make once the dates have been soaked? You could take these as a dessert to a party and no one would even notice they were actually good for them. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do is take something healthy I made to a party or friend’s house, let them eat it and then guess what it was made with. It’s my fun way of showing people eating healthy is not boring or bland!! You should try it.

The two main ingredients in this recipe are cashews and dates. Cashews are unique in having a lower fat content and higher protein and carbohydrate content than most other nuts. The fat that is in the cashews is mostly heart protecting and cancer fighting monounsaturated fats. They also are uniquely higher in magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc than most nuts. These are all minerals that tend to be low in many people.

Dates are a natural sweetener since they are naturally higher in sugar. They also are an excellent source of fiber, b-vitamins, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Fun fact: In some countries, date pits are roasted, ground, and used as a coffee substitute. (source: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, by Michael Murray)

Here is what they turned out to look like! Now go try them for yourself!

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Coconut Cashew Brownie Balls
Author:
Serves: 12
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 8 Mejool Dates, pitted and soaked for at least four hours in water (this makes them nice and mushy to easily mash into the ground up cashews)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • unsweetened coconut flakes, enough to roll and coat balls in
Instructions
  1. Grind up cashews in a blender until nice and fine like a powder
  2. Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl and mash the soaked dates into the nut blend
  3. add in honey and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly
  4. Form into balls with your hands about half the size of a golf ball to make 12 or larger if you would like
  5. Place rolled balls on pan lined with parchment paper, roll individually in coconut flakes placing them individually back on the parchment paper
  6. Leave out on the counter for a more gooey texture or place in freezer for a harder more solid texture
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 ball Calories: 100 Fat: 6.5 Saturated fat: 2.5 Unsaturated fat: 4 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 9.64 g Sugar: 5 g. Sodium: 2.53 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 2.15 g Cholesterol: 0

 


Paleo Chicken Fajitas

Happy Wednesday ya’ll! I have a delicious recipe for you to try. These paleo chicken fajitas have become one of Luke and I’s favorite meals. Not only because they are delicious, but they are really simple to make and don’t take much time, especially if you prep all your vegetables before. I was a little worried when I first made them that Luke would really miss the refined white flour tortillas, sour cream and processed cheese I used to buy before I knew any better. To my surprise he actually liked them better!! He said he likes the texture of the crunch the lettuce wrap gives compared to the tortilla. SCORE.

I have to brag on my sweet husband a little for how gracious and willing he has been to allow me to slowly eliminate the processed junk that used to fill our pantry and kitchen when we first got married and try all the new healthy clean recipes I make now. I’m pretty sure the hardest thing he had to say goodbye to was oreo’s and the commercial sugar loaded peanut butter I used to buy every week for us. We used to eat one after almost every meal dipped in peanut butter. Whoops. I have discovered some amazing sweet treats made with all natural ingredients that we indulge in now. I will be sharing with you my new favorite later this week. Coconut Cashew Brownie Balls. Amazing. You won’t even know that they are actually good for you.

So, all that to say, we made these fajitas last night and I actually forgot how much I loved them. I had not made them in awhile and DANG, I am not sure why because they hit the spot!! So, if you are in the mood for some good Mexican flavors without all the processed ingredients that typically accompanies this meal, you need to try this recipe. Here you go!

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Paleo Chicken Fajitas
Author:
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2, 4-6 oz organic chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 bell peppers cut into strips
  • chili powder
  • thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • oregano
  • basil
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
  • salsa
  • mashed avocado
Instructions
  1. Slice your onion. Add those into a large saucepan and let them sauté a few minutes then toss in the peppers.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, cut chicken into strips. Add those to the pan of vegetables.
  3. Once chicken is almost cooked, sprinkle in ½ tbsp. chili powder.
  4. Add in basil, oregano, garlic and thyme and red pepper flakes to your liking.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil
  6. Stir all ingredients around to mix the flavors until chicken is fully cooked Serve in cabbage lettuce wraps as your tortillas and top with fresh salsa and avocado

 

 

 


New PR’s and Toasted Smoked Salmon Sandwich

If you read my blog title and are not familiar with CrossFit lingo, you probably were really confused with what I meant by PR’s. PR’s stands for personal record. It is how we keep track of our progress in a variety of skills such as our 1 rep max in all of the olympic lifts or our mile time or any other skill we are working on.

This simple concept of keeping track of my progress in strength and other areas of my fitness has been my absolute favorite part about Cross-fit ever since I started it a year ago. Before I started Cross-fit, I would try and convince myself that my motivation for working out was to be healthy, but honestly a lot my motivation behind working out was in looking a certain way.There is nothing healthy about that being anyone’s motivation if you ask me. No matter what you look like, you will ALWAYS compare to someone you think looks better or fitter or more whatever than you. Get rid of that motivation please it is deadly and leads to nothing good.

Since starting Cross-fit, I have gained a whole new perspective on what being healthy really is all about.  If you asked me a year ago if I thought I would be able to do what I can do now I would have laughed hysterically at you. This week I set three new PR’s. I back squatted 205# and power cleaned 150#!  I also hit a PR on strict pull-ups. I can now do 5 in a row. You better believe I was pumped to hit every one of those PR’s! Before I started Cross-fit I couldn’t even do 1 pull-up. I couldn’t even squat my own body weight. As far as clean’s go, I didn’t even know what those were! This may mean nothing to you, but my point in sharing this with you is to show you what you are capable of both physically and mentally. It’s all in your mindset though.

You see, I don’t walk into the gym anymore and think about looking a certain way. No, I walk into the gym now and think how much weight can I lift today? How fast can I run today? How hard can I push myself this day? With this attitude you can achieve so much more than you ever could imagine. With this attitude, our focus is not on a certain body type we want to attain, but a certain amount of strength and overall level of fitness we want to attain. That is what health is all about! Your genes may never allow you to look a certain way, but with this attitude I promise you will be able to achieve more than you could ever imagine if you simply would change your mindset.

How lame is it to make your goal a number on the scale..make your goal something more exciting and a true measurement of your overall health! If you don’t already set goals for yourself other than a number on a scale or a certain “look”, I challenge you to do so. I promise it will be much more satisfying to reach these goals, especially when you start seeing all that you are capable of. You won’t want to stop. Each one of us is so much stronger both mentally and physically than we think.

Before ending this post I wanted to share with you one of my new favorite sandwiches. I have made it at least 2 times a week for the past couple of weeks. It is such a simple quick easy lunch for when you don’t have much time to prepare. I love to pair it with baby carrots on the side.

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When making sandwiches I highly recommend buying sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel Bread. To learn more about the importance of eating sprouted grain breads vs. all other commercially processed breads go check out their website here, or this is another great reference as well. I cheated and used non-organic cream cheese spread from our local grocery store, but if you have the option to buy organic I would highly recommend that as well. Buying organic is not always an option depending on your location and what is available, but if you can buy organic dairy and other animal products I would highly recommend it. The reason being, is that toxins are stored in fat. Naturally animal products and dairy are high in fat and if it is non-organic, the product came from animals that were most likely fed grains that are genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides. Not to mention they are typically pumped with antibiotics to make them grow bigger faster. So, if you purchase non-organic dairy or meat you are guaranteed to be ingesting all of these toxins into your body. Gross.

Feel free to print and share this recipe with friends or family! Enjoy!

Until next time, Eat well, Sweat often, and Love always..

 

Smoked Salmon Sandwich on Sprouted Grain Bread
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 1
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 pieces toasted Ezekiel Bread
  • 4 oz. wild caught smoked salmon
  • 1 heaping handful of mixed greens
  • red onion slices
  • 1 Tbsp. organic cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread
  2. put all ingredients onto sandwich slices and enjoy!

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

For those of you that don’t know me, I thought I should let you know that I have a major sweet tooth. Chocolate mainly. My husband knows this is the way to my heart. For my birthday one year he bought me a magnet with a quote that read..

“Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of chocolate!”

I definitely would have to agree with this statement. He knows me oh too well.

Now of course I cannot actually eat a substantial amount of chocolate every day because obviously that would be unhealthy for a number of reasons. If it were healthy to consume in large amounts you better believe I would do that with no problem!

Before I go on to share with you one of my favorite go to sweet treats, I want you to understand something important. If you are in the process of trying to kick some poor eating habits such as a regular consumption of sweets, substituting a healthier version of this will serve you poorly in trying to kick these habits. Yes it may be made of “clean” “whole foods” ingredients, but you are still feeding the same unhealthy cravings you are trying to get rid of. Being healthy is so much more than just eating clean. We need to make it our goal to break unhealthy cravings and create a new, healthy relationship with food. That might mean saying no to sweets all together for awhile even if it is made with all natural ingredients. If you need some help learning how to have a healthy relatinoship with food please go visit my services page to read more about how I can help you with that.

Now, if you do have a healthy relationship with food, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat every now and then. That now and then for me was yesterday afternoon. Introducing Avocado Chocolate Pudding.

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This stuff is amazing and definitely satisfies my chocolate craving! Best part about it is it is super easy and requires only 4 ingredients. And not to mention it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Avocado’s are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats as well as potassium. 1 avocado actually holds the same amount of potassium as 2-3 bananas combined. Studies have also shown the fatty acids in an avocado have the power to lower cholesterol levels. Not to mention it is an excellent source of fiber as well. Raw unfiltered honey compared to processed honey comes straight from the comb. Processed honey typically found at the grocery store has been processed at high heat which destroys beneficial enzymes, rendering them useless to the body.  Raw unfiltered honey also has many other health benefits including a natural remedy for sore throats,  allergies and contains essential vitamins such as B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C. Strawberries are an excellent source of cancer fighting antioxidants and are naturally sweet and delicious on their own. I got the idea  for this recipe off of another blog and didn’t follow any instructions when I made it myself. I worked with what I had and estimated on the ingredients and it turned out fabulous! Please feel free to print a copy for yourself or share with friends and family. Enjoy!

Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. raw unfiltered honey
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2-3 fresh sliced strawberries for topping
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado
  2. Add in cocoa and honey and mix until well combined
  3. sprinkle with sea salt to taste
  4. Top with strawberry slices or use as a dip with any fruit


Plantar Warts and Apple Cider Vinegar

Hello again! It’s been a beautiful week here in Paris, Texas. It is finally starting to feel like summer is around the corner. You don’t know how happy this makes me. I am a summer girl at heart. Cold weather and I do not go very well together. I would much rather wear a tank top and sandals all day everyday than have to layer up. The only problem with sandal season coming around the corner was this stubborn little plantar wart that I developed. Wearing sandals is not fun when you have one of these on the bottom of your foot. I needed more cushion than a sandal for it to be decently comfortable to walk on.

So, I wanted to share with you all a little experiment I tried over the past couple of months. About 6 months ago I began to develop the plantar wart on the bottom of my left foot. If you don’t know what this is, I hope you never get one. They are painful and quite annoying to say the least. They are sneaky too. They start off as innocent little things. At first it felt like a small callouse and stayed like that for about a month or so and then it steadily grew to what felt like a little ball inside of my foot that was painful to the touch. The ball slowly got bigger and began to push through the surface of my skin. I will spare you the pictures. You can google plantar wart if you really want to know what it looks like. Just don’t have any food nearby that you were planning on eating.

Anyways, I was determined to get rid of this thing, especially once it got to the point of having to limp on the side of my foot because it hurt so bad to walk on barefoot. I was told freeze-off works, and if that doesn’t work to just have it surgically removed. I really didn’t want to do either of those for one, I am a big BABY when it comes to pain so these both terrified me and two, I was determined to find a more economical and natural way to rid of this nasty thing. Introducing Raw -Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.

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This has become my best friend over the last couple of months. Clearly you can tell by the emptiness of the bottle. This was my second bottle too by the way. It is a miracle worker.

Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar has a multitude of health benefits and to my surprise this includes the removal of plantar warts.  This specific brand (Bragg’s) is made from fermented delicious, healthy, organically grown apples. This ensures that there are no toxins or nasty pesticides. Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar also holds what is called “The Mother” which is a naturally occurring strand-like enzyme composed of protein molecules, nutrients and beneficial bacteria. If your purchase a bottle of this on your own, “The Mother” will be the brown, somewhat gross looking, sediment stuff floating at the bottom. This is natural, don’t let it scare you. Just shake it up real nice before using it.

The acidity and beneficial bacteria of this solution is what helps kill off the wart. So, I began soaking my foot for at least 20 minutes a night in the apple cider vinegar. I then would dab a small cotton ball with the vinegar and tape it on top of my wart to let it soak overnight.  I did this pretty consistently for at least two weeks. I would wake up each morning and it seemed to be getting bigger and for awhile it became more painful. I continued to soak and would shave off the dead skin each morning. I started to give up hope for this working, but for some reason continued to do it just in case. I was not as consistent however and would soak it only a couple times a week at this point. Slowly but surely, the little ball in my foot became smaller and smaller and I started noticing that I wasn’t having any pain anymore when I was walking! There seems to be little remnants of the wart’s seed that I am still trying to scrape out, but I no longer have any pain and it seems to be gone! If it comes back I will definitely be using this product again. I highly recommend this to anyone else who has an issue with warts. You must buy the Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar however because the processed clearer version will not hold “The Mother” that has all the beneficial nutrients, and bacteria.

On top of using this product to cure my nasty foot wart, I have starting drinking at least a Tbsp. of this a day mixed in hot water or tea for the many other health benefits that it holds. When it is consumed regularly, raw-unfiltered apple cider vinegar..

  • aids in digestion
  • acts as a natural antibiotic
  • can help regulate blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol
  • helps improve bowel irregularity
  • helps remove toxins at a faster rate from the body
  • aids in weight loss by helping break down fats so that your body can use them instead of store them
  • Rich in potassium which is essential for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses and heart activity making this an excellent post workout alternative to the artificially flavored and sugar loaded sports drinks. 1-2 tsp. of raw-unfiltered apple cider vinegar is equivalent in electrolytes to commercial sports drinks such as gatorade or powerade.

For a healthy alternative to commercial sports drinks mix 1-2 tsp in your smoothie, or try simply drinking it with 6-8 oz. of water mixed with 1-2 tsp. of raw honey.

Hope you find this information useful and will start adding one of nature’s most natural remedies into your daily routine.

Until next time, Eat well, Sweat often, and Love always..

Discovering True Health

Hello! Welcome to holisticallyFed’s blog! This is Erin Finch and I am the owner of my own Nutrition and Fitness Consulting business. So what exactly does that even mean you might be asking?? My job gives me the opportunity to empower and motivate individuals and groups to take control of their health through whole foods (real food, not just edible “food-like” substances that have taken over America’s food shelves and restaurants), regular exercise of all kinds (it could be uni-cycling for all I care, just something active that you enjoy), and other healthy supportive lifestyle habits (reading, gardening, spending time with friends and family etc..). If you wish to discover more about the specific services I have to offer, please visit my website here.

My website is the more professional version of me. My blog is where I invite you to the more everyday me. My hope is to lead by example in teaching you how to take control of your health. I do not promise to be perfect, nor do I want you to think that I am. We each come from all walks of life with various struggles and successes with our health over the years. I simply want to share bits and pieces of my health journey in hopes that you will be inspired and encouraged to discover true health for yourself as well.

To find out more about my story and what led me to where I am today, you can go visit my About Me page on my website. However, if you decide to not click that link and wish to just camp out here for awhile, I’ll summarize for you. I grew up active; loved sports, and loved food of all kinds (peanut butter and chocolate mostly). I also used to be a cereal addict. The term 1 bowl of cereal did not exist for me. Who really eats only 1 bowl of cereal anyway? You always have to pour just a little more when you are done, because who wants to waste the milk sitting at the bottom of the bowl right? You might as well just fill the bowl back up to the top while your at it, thank you very much.

What’s the big deal with cereal you might be asking? More on this later, but in short cereal is simply refined carbohydrates that have been enriched with vitamins and minerals. The reason they are enriched with vitamins and minerals is because the original micro-nutrients are lost during processing. The cereal is no longer in its whole food state and the enriched micro-nutrients are not absorbed by the body as well, if at all.

So, with all that to say, my diet as a child and all through college and into my first year of marriage consisted of mostly refined, processed, nutrient depleted foods. I paid little attention to the quality of the food I purchased. This led me to being tired pretty much all the time. My fast paced, active and often stressful lifestyle was not very well supported by the foods I was eating. I struggled with anemia in high school and what felt like constant exhaustion in college.

I have always had a passion for fitness and nutrition. However, looking back, my attitude was completely different than it is now. The reason I struggled with anemia and exhaustion for a lot of my life was for two reasons..

1. I simply did not know, nor did I take the time to find out what foods best fueled and supported my body through the various demands and stress that I placed on it.

2. I cared more about what I looked like instead of my overall health

Please do not fall into this trap! I beg you! Focus on your overall health and you will feel AND look much better! I have gained 20 pounds since I got married, but I have never felt better. I also still fit into my high school jeans despite the added weight. Muscle weighs more than fat people.  I also eat way more than I used to which is the best win to me. I love to eat. I simply have discovered the right foods to eat that keep my energy and blood sugar levels stable throughout the day and prevent me from wanting to strangle someone due to what feels like starvation. This is generally the feeling that would overcome me two hours after my 2 heaping bowls of cereal every morning. It never dawned on me that it was most likely due to the fact that I was ingesting pure carbohydrates and sugar for breakfast causing my blood sugar levels to go crazy on me. DUH!!

Now, I will be sharing a wide variety of tips on healthy living and recipes for you to try on this blog, but it is your job to discover what will work and what will not work best for your body. Each one of us is unique in how we metabolize and digest food, as well as how we handle the everyday stress of life. I will not suggest “Paleo” is for everyone, nor will I ever tell you to count your calories. What I will tell you to do is be your own science experiment. What works for me, might not work for you, but how will you ever know until you try? Become more aware of your energy levels in relation to the foods you eat and when you eat them. I am a fast metabolizer so I need to eat more often throughout the day. You may not need to. Only you will be able to determine this.

We each have one body we are given to live in and it is our responsibility to take care of it. My hope is you follow me on this journey of discovering true health, for our bodies are precious and the vehicles that God gives us to breath, laugh, run, dance, hike mountains, and truly LIVE in.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my very first blog post, until next time..

Eat Well, Sweat Often, Love Always!

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