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Monday Makeover: French Toast Casserole

Adopting a healthy lifestyle does not mean saying good-bye to the things you love forever. It’s a continuous shift; a shift away from the things that are not serving you, and towards that which allows you to shine.

monday-makeover

Today’s Monday Makeover is actually a health, time and wallet makeover.  My family is one that still eats grains, albeit healthy grains, and in moderation at that. I realize that many people are completely off grains now, but in the great wisdom of different bodies require different fuels, we have realized that we thrive with some good quality grains in our diet.

Going off grains/ gluten or dairy completely is considered an elimination diet, which is a technique that you use to isolate the source of an allergy or food intolerance. Generally once you have identified the problem, you can avoid it while healing your health issue. Once you have improved your health issue and strengthened your immunity again, many times you can begin reintroducing that food in a carefully, regulated plan.

The Ayurvedic Perspective

Gluten is a hard-to-digest protein that comes from a grain that was traditionally only harvested in the fall for winter eating, when the digestive strength is much stronger and more capable of digesting denser foods. It is believed that the real culprits regarding the epidemic of gluten intolerance are:

  1. Overeating it – every day, 3 times per day.
  2. Eating it out of season.
  3. The global weakening of digestive strength due to stress and a diet of processed and impossible-to-digest foods.
  4. The processed nature of most wheat or gluten products.

*Source John Douillard’s LifeSpa – http://lifespa.com/be-free-of-gluten-free/#

Another point to mention is that you may be hearing a lot about your mindset affecting your life and your success, well that goes for meal time too. If your thoughts while eating something are about how poorly that food will affect you, then that is what will become. Eat with gratitude for your Health & Harmony!

So, getting back to the makeover… Since I am fussy about the quality of grains we eat, we splurge on good quality breads such as Ezekial and Dave’s Killer Bread, which can cost anywhere from $3.50 a loaf up to $7 depending on where you find it. With that said, it’s painful for me to throw away the crusts at the demand of a 3 (now 4) year old. To make us both happy, I started putting the crusts (and heels) in a bag in the freezer, once the bag fills up we make a French toast casserole.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Oil a large casserole dish and fill with broken up pieces of crust and loaf heels (enough to fill a gallon bag)
  • In another bowl beat about a dozen eggs, and double the mixture with your milk of choice (ours is almond milk – it turns dairy isn’t a great choice for us – different bodies, different fuels). Then add your favorite spices to dress it up such as:
    • Cinnamon
    • Vanilla or almond extract
    • Nutmeg
    • Cardamom
    • Cloves
    • Ginger
    • Maca
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the casserole dish making sure it gets nearly to the top of the bread and bake it at 375 until it is cooked through
    • It will probably take about a half an hour although I’m not totally sure, as I usually set it all up, throw it in the oven, and am freed up to do something else until it’s ready instead of being stuck there soaking bread and flipping it in the pan – win, win!

Some extra notes – different family members enjoy this in different ways

  • Some like it right out of the oven with butter, honey, or syrup
  • Some like it moister, and warm some milk in a pan which they pour over it
  • Sometimes we warm frozen berries as a delicious topping
  • It’s basically French toast, you know what to do, go enjoy!

 

If you are searching for a way to makeover your Health & Harmony find out more  at www.kalusion.com or get your copy of The Kalusion Cleanse

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Replacing two little words can change your life

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When I teach dance, there is a strict rule in my class – never say “I can’t”.

At 3 or 4 years of age, little ones will explore and imitate movements and actions. They giggle happily, and if they don’t do it perfectly they giggle some more. Somewhere around 5 or 6, the dreaded “I can’t” begins to creep its way into their vocabulary. It hasn’t taken over yet, but it gives them some pause. At 8, “I can’t” is a dooming force that precedes almost everything new. As soon as something seems challenging, a child will exclaim “I can’t”. In my classes this is always met with a chorus of kids saying “oooooohhhhh” as if a bad word has been spoken, because it has. At this age, I have to offer coaching to get the child to truly give it a try. We replace “I can’t” with “I can do my best”, and remember that learning a new skill requires practice, so perfection is not expected.

Recently I taught a kids conditioning class where two teams of kids raced through an obstacle course to get to the soccer ball first and kick it through the cones. Sounded easy until I told them they had to do the whole course while balancing a bean bag on their heads. The 5-7 year old group was a little taken aback, but they went for it, and did a great job. The 8 and up age group immediately shut down, they didn’t think they could do it, and didn’t want to try. Some kids actually sat down and refused to participate. We went through with the activity as planned. The kids were dropping their bean bags constantly, and getting more and more frustrated. They were reinforcing their initial belief of “I can’t”. By the time everyone had their turn, most of the group was very upset and complaining about the activity. Once again, this age group required some coaching. We talked about replacing “I can’t” with “I can do my best”. Then we discussed the worst case scenario.

What is the worst thing that can happen? i-can

The bean bag will fall off my head.

What happens then?

Pick it up, and keep going.

Is this a big deal?

No.

Lastly, we talked about not taking ourselves so seriously. This is supposed to be fun, so let go, and have some fun. They decided to give it another chance. This time they really tried. The difference was amazing. They did such a better job, and they actually had fun.

We are programmed to avoid failure. It ensures the survival of our species. However, if we are not planning to out run a lion then this fear factor generally doesn’t serve our best interest, and actually prevents us from reaching our true potential.

Have you ever stopped yourself from giving it all before you even started? I know I have; many times. By breaking down blocks and beliefs buried deep down in my subconscious, I have been able to open myself to so many more opportunities. This summer when we had the opportunity to move our family to a new state, leave our community of 20 years, and start all over again my knee jerk reaction was a bit of a pull back – we can’t do that. Why can’t we do that? It will probably be hard. So? What worth having isn’t hard? So we went for it, and are so happy we did. Was it easy? No, but what worth having is? It took a lot of work to reset my mindset and subconscious beliefs to get to this point, but it sure is exciting and gratifying to fully live life.

Be on the lookout for your “I can’ts”. They come in many disguises “it’s not possible”, “I don’t know enough”, “limited resources”, and so on. Then begin to imagine what it would be like to be those kids with the bean bags. Replace “I can’t” with “I can do my best”. Conquer perfection paralysis by picking up that dropped bean bag, and keep going. Enjoy yourself and the moments, and don’t take yourself so seriously.

One of the kids in the class decided that she would dance around like a fluffy, pink unicorn on a rainbow cloud so that she didn’t take herself so seriously. That seems like sound advice to me, give it a try 🙂

fluffy-pink-unicorn-on-a-rainbow-cloud

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Apple Peanut Butter Pie

This was quite the put together, but came out delicious and rich tasting. Not to mention you don’t have to feel guilty with this one. We actually had it for breakfast.

apple-peanut-butter-pie

Start with the filling

5-6 peeled and cut apples

2 parsnips

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ghee (or butter)

water

1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix all the ingredients (except peanut butter) in a saucepan and add about 1/3 of the mixture worth of water. The amount of water may need to be adjusted by how juicy the apples are. Bring to a boil on high heat, then let simmer on low until the apples and parsnips are soft. Use a potato masher to mash it into a chunky applesauce texture. Then add peanut butter.

While the filling is cooking, prepare the crust.

The crust (adapted from the Perfect Paleo Pie Crust Recipe)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour

1/2 cup cold butter or palm shortening

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flours, then cut in the butter until pea sized. Add the egg and mix until it becomes a dough. Form into a ball, then flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 min. After refrigerating, press the dough into a greased pie pan. Bake on 375 degrees for 10 min.

Finish it off: Add the filling to the pre-baked pie crust, and top with granola. I also lightly dabbed a little coconut oil on top to let the granola get a bit crispy. Make sure to read your granola ingredients, as they can be very high in sugar. We use our Nola Granola, which is a chocolate peanut butter granola that is naturally and minimally sweetened. You can order your own in the online Kalusion BouTEAque.

This was a great break from the same old thing. We really enjoyed it. I hope you do too!

 

 

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Please Excuse My Confusion

As a health coach, I’m so delighted when I hear so many efforts to get kids eating healthy.  It’s everywhere I go.  Grocery stores like Publix have programs to teach children at a very early age about healthy eating; the schools won’t allow parents to bring cupcakes and treats for birthdays anymore because they’ve gone healthy; camps and community centers have begun wellness initiatives.  What I’m hearing is so inspiring.

What I’m seeing is not so inspiring.  The very same schools that proclaim their healthy stand are feeding students sugary, processed cereals and snacks for snack time.  The lunches continue to be processed foods.  Lunch trays on a given day can consist of heated frozen pizza (with a white flour crust) accompanied by a roll made of white flour.  The parents aren’t allowed to bring in sugary snacks, but the kids are.  One particular day I witnessed a young boy wrap potato chips in airheads and chow down for lunch.  I actually felt pretty bad for his teacher that day.  Publix Grocery Store that touts its healthy initiatives with Greenwise and Publix Preschool Pals participated in a summer camp activity.  Their planned kid’s activity was making your own cupcakes.  They brought bags and bags of frosting, and let the kids pile on as much as they wanted.  Some kids decorated their cupcakes with six inches of frosting.  If that wasn’t enough sugar for one day, they also brought Rice Crispy Treats and candy for the kids to make candy sushi rolls.  One particular camper had dance class after summer camp, which didn’t go well with her Publix snack.  She ended up vomiting in her dance class.

I haven’t been this confused since the war in Iraq.  Why is there such a gap between what we’re hearing and what we’re seeing?  If I’m confused, how can our children possibly be able to keep up?

So what do we do?  Be informed; know what your kids are eating.  I was taken in by the healthy school lunch propaganda once, and let my daughter buy some school lunches because she wanted to be able to eat with her friends.  Within a few days her behavior was changing.  No more school lunches.

Teach them at home what healthy means.  Encourage your children to help in the kitchen. Make them a part of the meal planning process.  If you need support, talk to a Health Coach.

Let the companies, schools, and others know how you feel about their mixed messages.

We make the difference for our children!

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