Green Zinger Smoothie

I made this smoothie as a light breakfast before a morning hot yoga class and it was perfect - I felt fueled enough to power through the class, but not weighed down or like my belly was overly full.

Green Zinger Smoothie –   Emily Nachazel

Green Zinger Smoothie – Emily Nachazel

Green Zinger Smoothie vegan / gluten free / paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1 small frozen banana
  • Handful of greens (I used kale but spinach or any other mild green will work!)
  • About 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 spoonful almond butter
  • Scoop of vanilla protein powder of choice (I used this one but see this post for all of my protein powder recommendations)
  • Generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Small knob of peeled fresh ginger (gives it the ZING!)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • A few ice cubes (optional)

Directions:

  1. All all ingredients to your Vitamix or high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. You may need to add a little extra liquid or ice, depending on how thick you'd like your smoothie.
  2. Enjoy!

Copycat Rx Bars

My first office job was working as a Camp Registrar the summer before my second year of college. I was in charge of everything camp registration and organization for a whole bunch of day camps, but I worked in the office mostly - making sure all the campers were squared away and our documentation was in place. I actually loved this job - I felt like I was getting paid SO much (especially compared to the life guarding gig I had been working for a few years) AND I really enjoyed the stability and consistency of my days.

It was around this time that I started getting into healthy eating and more into running. I would workout pretty much every day after work, around 5PM or so. I packed my lunches (usually BIG salads or wraps with leftovers from dinner the night before) and always brought an energy bar to eat a hour before I left work to hit the gym or go for a run.

Luna bars were my favorite (Nutz Over Chocolate was my JAM!) but I switched things up and tried all the "healthy" bars out there: Nature's Valley, ZonePerfect, ZBars (the kid's Clif bar), Balance, and more.

A lot of these bars sure were tasty, but, as I learned later on in my wellness journey, all the "stuff" in them wasn't the best for my belly. I recently Googled the ingredients in one of my old favorite bars, and here's what came up:

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That's a lot of stuff! I didn't know it back then, but a lot of these ingredients (common in so many energy or protein bars) can cause tummy trouble: soy, sugar, peanuts, and vegetable oils.

A few years ago I realized that while bars were super convenient, they weren't the best for my belly. I started to be more discerning about the bars I was buying (looking at the type and number of ingredients), and even started making some of my own variations!

Today I'm sharing my current favorite homemade energy bar recipe. These bars are modeled after the recently popular Rx bars. I found Rx bars this year - I love the minimal ingredients and higher than average protein content. Like with so many things, I wanted to try my hand at making them myself, and hence these recipes were born!

These bars are tasty, simple to make, and a bit easier on your gut (and your wallet!) than most store bought bars. One of my yoga students even said she liked these bars BETTER than the real Rx bars. If that's not a compliment, I don't know what is!

Copycat Rx Bars

Copycat Rx Bars // gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegetarian

Chocolate Sea Salt Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup pitted dates

  • 3/4 cup egg white protein powder

  • 3/4 cup raw almonds

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tbsp hot water (add more if needed)

Coffee Cacao Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 3/4 cup egg white protein powder

  • 1 cup raw almonds (you can also do 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup raw cashews)

  • 4 tsp instant coffee

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

  • dash sea salt

  • 1 tbsp hot water (add more if needed)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except water to your food processor or Vitamix blender and pulse until everything is finely chopped.

  2. Add 1 tbsp hot water and pulse some more. Add the least amount of water possible - just enough to get the ingredients to start to stick together like a dough. **Note: Be careful adding too much water. I did 2 tbsp in one batch and it was way too much and my bars turned out pretty sticky. Not the end of the world, but not ideal.

  3. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Press the dough into the pan so it's evenly distributed and there are no holes.

  4. Place dish in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and slice into 10-12 bars. Return to freezer until you are ready to eat!

Note: These bars call for egg white protein, as that's what Rx uses in their bars. I'm sure you could swap it for any neutral protein powder or collagen peptides.

 

If you liked this recipe, I think you’d love my 35-page paleo + GUT FRIENDLY recipe e-book!

Click here to download your FREE RECIPE E-BOOK!

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

This recipe is DANGEROUSLY delicious. Seriously, I have to exercise ALL of my willpower not to eat the whole batch in one sitting [and when I do... I don't feel that bad because it's literally ONLY made of good for you ingredients!].

I created this recipe as a chocolate free alternative to my Superfood Chocolate. I know, that might sound silly (chocolate free chocolate?? huh???) so let me explain: I am super sensitive to caffeine so I wanted a treat that I could have at night that wouldn't keep me up.

Side note: Up until writing this blog post, I always thought that chocolate contained caffeine because when I ate it at night I would have trouble sleeping. My research showed that chocolate (or raw cacao powder) actually does not contain caffeine, but it does however contains theobromine which is a stimulant related to caffeine. Interesting!

Feel free to swap almond butter for any nut or seed butter. I've made this with sunflower seed butter, peanut butter and even a mixed nut butter and ALL were incredible.

Almond Butter Fudge // paleo, gluten free, vegan option, refined sugar free

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup smooth almond butter (room temperature)
  • 3-4 scoops collagen peptides or protein powder of choice**
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • generous dash cinnamon
  • optional toppings: coconut flakes, slivered almonds, chocolate chips or cacao nibs, etc!
  • optional sweetener: a few drops of liquid stevia or maple syrup

**Note: if you use a protein powder, you'll likely not need to add any additional sweetener since most protein powders have some sort of flavor or sweetener. If you use collagen, you can leave the fudge unsweetened (I like to increase the vanilla and cinnamon for natural sweetness) or add in sweetener to taste.

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine melted coconut oil and almond butter until smooth. Add in protein powder and process until well combined.
  2. Taste and add sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sweetener as desired.
  3. For thin bark, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour mixture on paper and spread evenly. For a thicker fudge, line loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture. You can also get fancy and use silicon candy molds or ice cube tray like these: Silicon Candy Mold or Silicon Ice Cube Tray.
  4. Add toppings of choice - I like flaked coconut and slivered almonds, but get creative!
  5. Place in freezer to set (approximately 15 minutes). Remove from freezer to slice.
  6. Keep in freezer or fridge. Fudge will melt if left out for extended period of time.

Loving Lately // January 2017

As a way to share my favorites with you on a regular basis, I created the "Things I'm Loving Lately" series here on the blog. In this series I share everything from food to fitness, brands to beauty products, good reads to good listens. 

 

Here's what I'm currently craving and crushing on:

 

Food: Purple sweet potatoes. Have you ever tried a purple sweet potato?? I'm in LOVE! Aside from being totally beautiful, these spuds have a dryer, denser, and richer taste than regular sweet potatoes. I've been roasting them in a little coconut oil, sea salt + cinnamon and then enjoying as part of my Superhuman Breakfast.  Or eating them like this. Look for purple sweet potatoes at your local health foods store, Whole Foods, or even Trader Joe's!

Drink: My Superpowers Matcha Latte. I've literally had this 29 out of the last 30 days (one day I ran out of coconut milk). It's so good and gives me the perfect amount of fuel and energy to fly through my morning workouts.

Recipe: Some variation of my Cauliflower Rice Bowl. It's a weeknight staple and I've made it for a few friends who were HUGE fans! Do it yourself: Cauliflower Rice Bowl Recipe.

Snack: Rx Bars. OMG! These bars are the bomb.com. They are made with simple, whole food ingredients: nuts, dates and spices, plus have added protein (from egg whites). I like the taste of these bars WAY better than Larabars, plus I find they sit better with me. I find Larabars (and other dried fruit heavy bars) are too sweet and often don't digest well. Rx bars make a perfect breakfast in the pinch or snack on the go, so do yourself a favor and try some today: Buy Rx Bar Variety Pack on Amazon.

Book, podcast or blog: It Starts With Food. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I did a Whole30 this month. This book is written by the creators of the Whole30 program (side note: I have a blog post coming with WHAT exactly is the Whole30 and my experience) and I thought it was an incredible read and resource whether you are doing a Whole30 or not. This book covers the basics of clean eating AND the psychology of food (which I find SO fascinating!!). This is a good pick for you if you are looking to get motivated to make some changes in your diet and need a little tough love. Order your copy on Amazon here: It Starts With Food.

Essential oil: Lavender. Pretty much everyone's favorite essential oil, I've loved diffusing this at night to wind down, or during the day with a few drops of lemon oil for a calming blend. Learn more about essential oils + where to purchase here: Essential Oils.

Yoga pose: Plow pose! Secret confession: I used to hate this pose! Until I started practicing it regularly and figured out the proper alignment for my body. Now I love it! Which is great because plow is one of the best poses you can do - it improves circulation, boosts your immune system and is super restorative.

What are you loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

Sweet potato pudding

I made a delicious pudding by blending the flesh of a purple sweet potato (yes, that's a thing!) with a few simple ingredients in my Vitamix. Super easy and so delicious!

Sweet potato pudding // vegan, gluten free, paleo, refined sugar free

Ingredients:

- 1 medium baked sweet potato (I used a purple sweet potato, but any variety will do!)

- 1 tbsp almond butter

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- dash sea salt

- almond milk or water as needed

Instructions:

  1. Peel sweet potato and add to your Vitamix blender or food processor.
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add liquid as needed.
  3. Enjoy!