low glycemic

KETO benefits...without being in ketosis?

Have you heard of the keto diet?



The keto diet…or ketosis….or the ketogenic diet - they all refer to putting your body into a state of nutritional ketosis through consuming close to no carbohydrates (usually under about 20g or 30g per day).

It's very hot and trendy right now, but it's not a new concept. This type of eating has been around for a long time and used as treatments for things like epilepsy, other brain diseases, and some doctors even prescribe it for certain cancers.

But the main reason it's gained popularity recently is for it's potential to help people with weight loss. You may have even heard from a friend or family member that they "went keto" and lost a bunch of weight.

While I am not against the ketogenic diet for some people, some of the time, I am not a fan of it for most people, most of the time.

Watch (or listen to) my latest Workshop Wednesday video in which I dive into this topic. I was able to reverse my PCOS and insulin resistance holistically, but without going on a "keto" diet. In this video I share 4 ways I've been able to do this and how you can start to get many of the same health-promoting and weight loss benefits of the ketogenic diet without actually being in ketosis as well.

In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you’re ready to make your health a priority once and for all and would like to see if we’re a good fit to work together 1-on-1, feel free to sign up for a (free) 15-min. call during which we’ll chat about your goals. :-)

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you, but I’m a soup lover! Unfortunately, creamy soups with a dairy base don’t love me back these days. And while I’m not selling artwork at fancy galleries or able to knit beautiful sweaters to save my life, my creativity often shows up in the kitchen when I’m trying to make healthier versions of my childhood favorites so that my family and I can enjoy them.

This is a new recipe that was inspired by the first frosty, October morning here in NY recently. No joke - we had our air conditioner on one day and 3 days later, the heat! It’s been wild. In fact, the extra dose of vitamin C from this tomato soup won’t hurt either with all of the weather changes and school germs aloft. ;-)


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Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

• 2 x 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup veggie broth or water
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/3 cup packed fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 can full fat coconut milk

Directions:

1. In a blender, stir together the tomatoes, broth or water, pepper, salt, basil, and oil.

2. Pour into a large pot.

3. Place on stovetop on medium heat.

4. Cook 5 minutes. Then, add in coconut milk and stir to combine.

5. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy!


In good health,

Tara

Is that a protein bar...or a carb bar?

As a health coach - slash - nutritionist - slash - personal trainer - slash - RN, you can imagine that while I work with lots of ‘general health’ requests, weight loss is a top priority for many of my clients.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make on their weight loss journey is mislabeling their food groups. Watch the video below to find out if you, too, are making this common mistake. The good news is that with a few simple swaps, you may be right back on track with your weight loss goals.

If these videos are helping, make sure you sign up for my newsletter list so you don’t miss any!

“See” you soon!

In good health,

Tara

Sweet Potato Bruschetta

Hello!

With back-to-school coming at us full-force, many of us find September to be like a second New Years in terms of being able to re-establish goals, schedules, and commit to new habits.  I notice this to be the trend even amongst my friends that don't have young children.

A large factor for success here comes down to priorities and time management skills.  We need recipes we love that will nourish ourselves and our family and either be SUPER quick or at least allow us some 'hands off' time (like while something is in the oven) to be able to multitask.  This is a good chance to clean up, help with homework, make that phone call, or shoot off a quick email. 

The following recipe is a delicious side dish or app, but can easily be turned into a main dish by adding a protein source such as white beans, tuna, or chicken.

If you have any friends that could use some healthy inspiration / recipes, please let them know about my newsletter.  It is my mission to help as many people with their health / nutrition / fitness as possible - regardless of whether or not they ever hire me.  Sharing is caring!  ;-)

On to this delicious recipe...

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Sweet Potato “Bruschetta” (Servings 4-8)

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup packed basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  

2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Place sweet potato slices in a mixing bowl and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil.

4. Spread sweet potato slices out evenly on baking sheets, giving each slice a little space.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.  Flip to the other side and bake for 10 more minutes until golden brown.

6. Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

7. When sweet potatoes are done, let cool. 

8. Top sweet potato slices with tomato mixture, and enjoy!

 

Do you plan on trying this recipe?  It works if you're looking to ditch the bread or have someone that is gluten-free that you're cooking for.

 

In good health,

Tara

I have PCOS and autoimmune issues...

A few days ago, I did a totally different kind of live video....I turned the lens on MYSELF!  

I get different versions of the same question from you guys A LOT.  It's something like, "Where are you at on YOUR health journey?" or, "How do you have the motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle?", or even sometimes, "You don't know what it's like to be unhealthy like me!"

So, I set up my iphone, took a seat, and spoke from the heart....for almost an HOUR!  It's raw, it's real, and it's me.  I take you through my PCOS journey, autoimmune issues, blood sugar issues, infertility and IVF, and share what I'm doing to combat these issues holistically.

Thank you for watching and if you're going through your own health struggles, please leave me a comment or email me at Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com.  I want you to know I read every one myself and I want you to know you're NOT alone!

In (search of) good health,

Tara

Amazing Stuffed Mushrooms

Somewhere around this time every year - the first week of January - it's like my body is ready to be done with the cookies and wine and wants REAL food.  I used to be left with sugar cravings after the holidays, but ever since practicing my own Reset (such as the 10-Day Healthy New You Reset starting this Monday), I've learned how to quickly bounce back and give my body more of what it needs (balance!) so it stops yelling at me to feed it more sweets.  :-)

So, here we are in the first week of January and, once again, I was craving something substantial.  REAL food. A meal. Substance. 

I thought you might be as well.  Or, at least, you might benefit from the real food to help quiet your own post-holiday cravings!

If you plan on making this vegan & gluten-free dish, drop a comment and let me know!  I enjoy hearing from you!

Amazing Stuffed Mushrooms (Serves 4-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs mushrooms (you can use baby portobellos, cremini, or button)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (reserve a little extra for serving)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Remove mushroom stems (and set aside for later). Brush mushrooms with a little olive oil, place (stem side up) on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  3. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1 T of olive oil.  Saute the shallots, bell pepper, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes for about 3 minutes - until they start to get tender.  
  4. Add in the parsley, finely chopped mushroom stems, and chopped walnuts, cook another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add in chopped spinach until it wilts.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove mushrooms from the oven, pour off any water that accumulated in the mushrooms.
  7. Spoon the sauteed filling into the mushrooms and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
  8. Top with fresh, raw, diced red bell peppers and serve warm.

If you enjoy trying new healthified, gluten-free & vegetarian recipes, sign up for my newsletter so you can receive them straight to your inbox. :-)

Hope you enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

Lentil - Veggie Soup

When does soup season officially start in your household?  My car said it was 45 degrees outside yesterday morning when I was up and out early.  Commence souping!  

I've been focusing on natural immunity boosting this past week with my private Facebook community, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.  The omnipresent echo of late October sniffles always seem to inspire my most nurturing of recipes.  Besides the winning ingredients (garlic, spices, plants, protein) in this next recipe, the fact that it is a soup - a hot liquid - will be key in helping to fight off some germs.  When we bring a mug of something nice and hot close to our face (no burning yourself though, deal?!), the steam helps to kill off those pesky buggers that like to hang out in our nostrils and cause head colds.  So, take your time with your soup or tea or coffee and try to inhale as you canoodle with your warm cup of ANYthing. :-)

Here's a soup recipe that I happen to love.  I wanted something warming, hearty, plant-based, and free of dairy and gluten so my whole family could partake.  If it passes that taste-test for your family, make it in large batches next time around and freeze some so if/when you ARE feeling under the weather, you have this on the ready and don't even have to worry about cooking.

Lentil-Veggie Soup Immunity.jpg

***Lentil-Veggie Soup***

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound lentils, rinsed

2 quarts broth (chicken, veggie, whatever)

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 T olive oil

2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

 

Directions:

 

1. Pour olive oil in bottom of large saucepan on stovetop (medium heat).

2. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, and cook about 5 minutes (onions should become slightly translucent).

3. Add all remaining ingredients.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

5. Cook an additional 30-35 minutes on low.

6. Serve as is for a chunkier consistency.  Or, use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches) for a smoother consistency (picky toddlers, anyone?). ;-)

7. Freeze any leftovers that won't be eaten over the next few days.

 

Red Velvet LOVE Brownies

February is in full swing as we are approaching the middle of the month already.  How?!?  With the famous groundhog forecasting 6 more weeks of Winter, I suppose we should've been expecting the blizzard we were met with today on Long Island.

Snow and all, February is a time for love, heart-shaped everything, shades of pink and red, heart health, and lots and lots of…chocolate!!

So, what if you're on a roll with upgrading your health so far in 2017, but still looking for something that looks and tastes like an indulgence?  What if you or a family member have some food allergies / sensitivities that prevent you from being able to eat most of the store-bought or homemade recipes out there?  I hope this Red Velvet Love Brownie recipe fills that void for you!

These bad boys are gluten-free, dairy-free, high in protein and fiber, and contain healthy fats plus a full serving of veggies.  They're chocolate-y, yet low glycemic…how's that for showing your heart some love this month?!

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Red Velvet Love Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can of black beans, rinsed (BPA-free can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup beets (sliced and cooked - either roast in oven or buy a jar)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened / dairy-free / gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in food processor, high-speed blender (keep scraping sides down), or with a mixer.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into well-greased muffin tin or line with paper liners.  This makes adorable, round brownies with slightly crispy edges that are like getting the highly sought-after corner piece each time.  ;-)
  6. For the look pictured up top (with the heart in the middle), cut a beet slice into the heart shape and press onto top.  Other ideas for toppings include: chocolate chips, hemp seeds, walnuts, or anything else your creative mind comes up with.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes - until edges start to pull away from muffin tin and become slightly crispy.
  8. Share with your favorite people!
Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Alright guys…will you dare to try these?  It is definitely "different" to bake with black beans, but they taste so chocolate-y and are healthycome on now!  Brownies for lunch, anyone?

In good health,

Tara

Almond Flour Versatility

You have almond flour.  It's sitting in the back of your pantry.  It may have dust on it!?  You bought it for that recipe you made a few months ago - ya know, when you were super-duper gung-ho on your gluten-free / paleo / Whole30 / healthy-mama-and-family kick?  Now what?

Guys, almond flour is not an ingredient that should come with buyer's remorse.  It's SO versatile!  Full of plant protein, healthy unsaturated fats, and heart-and-body-loving fiber, it should be allowed into the spotlight of your food prep just a bit more. ;-) 

Almond flour can bring added nutrition and goodness in many ways:

  • Healthy baking - it's the perfect alternative to regular bleached or whole wheat flour for those with food sensitivities and those just looking to step up their health game.
  • Thickening agent - add slowly into soup, stews, dips, sauces, and even hummus if you need a slightly thicker or more dense consistency.
  • "Protein powder" - throw into smoothies, healthy fudge, in yogurt, oatmeal, energy balls, sauce…anywhere you may need a little boost in protein.
  • "Breading" - Mix with some spices and herbs for a quick and easy replacement for breading.  Make your own mozzarella sticks, breaded and baked chicken, or zucchini fries by dipping the food in egg first and then in the almond flour/herb mixture. Yum!  This is the perfect appetizer swap (hmm….SuperBowl, anyone?).

 

So, will you dust off that bag of almond flour (or just go ahead and buy it already)?!?!  What do you like to make with this powdered beauty?

I'd love to hear from you if there are any other ingredients that haven't been in your meal prep rotation in a while….or any products/ingredients you've been wanting to purchase, but just can't justify since you don't know what to do with it after that. ONE. recipe.  Let me know!  Maybe I'll feature it in an upcoming post.  ;-)

Make it an awesome, almond-y day!

In health,

Tara

Snack Attack - Pumpkin Pudding

Raise your hand if you're on the pumpkin-everything-until-January bandwagon.

I'm right there with ya!  ;-)  If you answered no, first of all, what's wrong with you?  Kidding!  Or am I?  Regardless, you may know someone (like a child, a spouse, a friend) who DOES love pumpkin everything.  Here's a super-quick, easy, and healthy recipe that works well as a snack, a dessert, a dip for fruit, mixed into oatmeal, under granola, or on top of yogurt.  The kitchen is for creativity!  How do you plan to eat this Pumpkin Pudding?

In an earlier social media post, I promised you guys some nutrition facts.  I think there's a time and place for counting calories, protein, etc.  I don't believe it's for everyone or forever, no matter what your situation is.  I'm a strong believer in listening to your body, balancing hormones, reducing stress and cravings, and eventually being able to be so in tune with your own needs, that there's no food journaling or strict tracking needed.  That being said, it IS helpful sometime.  Example: If you want to start your health journey and have NO IDEA how many calories you take in on a typical day, you may want to track for a few days to get a baseline.  Or, as in this case, I created this recipe custom for a client of mine that has Gestational Diabetes.  She needed something high in protein, high in fiber, low in carbs/sugar, and wanted it very "pumpkin-y".  Haha!  So, here you have it...

  • 150 Calories
  • 8g fiber
  • 12g net carbs
  • 11g protein
  • 1 full serving of veggies
Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 T peanut flour (a.k.a. powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

1. This is the easy part - mix all ingredients together in a bowl / mug / cute cup.  That's it!  Enjoy immediately, store in fridge up to 3 days, or freeze and serve at a later date for your holiday party.

Enjoy.  In joy.  In health!

Tara

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ladies and gents, it's November 11th / Veterans' Day... and the end of an interesting week here in America.  Thanksgiving is 13 days away and the temperatures are starting to fall here in NY.  What I'm trying to say is, bring on the soup.  All . the . SOUP!

This Cream of Mushroom Soup is a gluten-free, dairy-free version of the Thanksgiving Day classic.  Not only is it a great side dish to bring or serve for those with special dietary needs, it comes packed with protein and fiber to help you fill you up on the good stuff.  Make extra - you can freeze some to enjoy for a quick dinner when you come home late from holiday shopping. ;-)

This recipe calls for the soup to be pureed into a smooth, creamy consistency, but feel free to keep it "chunky" if you and your guests prefer it that way.  For comfort and toddler purposes, I went with the puree option this time and it worked out well.  

Toddler tip: Magnolia (3 years old now), taste-tested this recipe and helped me "adjust" the spices to her liking.  She also watched me chop the onions and garlic and put her two cents in about when the soup was done blending.  I let her lick the spoon after mixing and once I got the final chef's stamp of approval, I served her the soup over green beans.  All of this involvement requires front-loading of time - more time getting the kiddos involved in the prepping and cooking process will save you time, money, and stress of untouched meals.

Enjoy!

 

In health,

Tara

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!   

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!

 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

(Dairy-free, gluten-free)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ medium onion, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

2 cups chickpeas, cooked

2 cups cashew milk

1 cup coconut flour

2 T coconut oil

1 tsp Thyme

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Directions:

 

1.    In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil, garlic, and onion.  Cook about 3-5 minutes (until onions become translucent).

2.    Add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes.

3.    Add chickpeas, cashew milk, and coconut flour and bring to a boil.

4.    Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5.    Add thyme, salt, and pepper.

6.    Use immersion blender to puree (or transfer into regular blender in batches with towel firmly pressed over top of blender to prevent leakage).

7.    Enjoy as is or pour over cooked green beans or other veggies.

 

*This recipe is high in protein, high in fiber, and low glycemic.

Spaghetti Squash Hack

SpaghettiSquash.jpg

 

These suckers are fun, delicious, versatile, did I mention fun?!  :-)  But, have you noticed none of your knives seem to be able to cut them open?  It used to take longer for me to cut open the vegetable than it did for my oven to preheat to 400 degrees!

Until now...

Try this: Score the spaghetti squash all the way around with your knife.  Then throw it in the microwave for 3.5 minutes.  (Carefully) remove and resume cutting.  It's not as seamless as getting through a banana, but you'll notice a big improvement.

Then, just place the two halves on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Some ideas for toppings:

  • tomato sauce and cheese
  • avocado, cilantro, and garlic
  • olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • baked apples, cinnamon, and coconut oil for a sweet version
  • dill yogurt sauce with chopped cucumbers
  • pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • hummus and sriracha for an uber-quick, creamy / spicy dish

Now that I saved you 10,561 hours of cutting time, what do YOU plan to make with the spaghetti squash?  Bonus points for creativity.  ;-)

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Have you ever just thought to yourself, 'Gee, I really need a cookie that's':

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free
  • High in protein
  • Has a low glycemic index
  • Lots of healthy fats / omega 3s
  • Is quick, easy, and has just a few ingredients
  • Is a serving of fruit AND veggies
  • Smells as delicious as it tastes
  • Can be prepared ahead of time for the whole week / whole family
  • Is tasty enough for dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast or lunch boxes

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Yes?!?!  Well, today is your lucky day then!  Ok, I'm a bit of a nerd (you knew that, right?).  :-)  But, if this even piques your interest a little bit, check out my new recipe:

 

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 large, ripe banana (mashed)
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds, ground
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I suggest pure hemp or pea protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional mix-ins: 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, or any combination.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (add optional mix-ins last).
  3. Scoop cookie-sized amount of batter spaced-out onto greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 - 14 minutes - until edges are golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and remove with a spatula.
  6. Gobble them up!
The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

Would you like to learn about nutrition once and for all?  How to: lose weight, lose fat, clear the brain fog, increase energy and productivity, decrease fatigue, clear those pesky skin conditions, and just feel AMAZING in your body once and for all?  Check out my nutrition email course!  We go over all of this and more in a very compact (read: easy and not time-consuming) way.  Here's how it works… for 4 weeks, you will receive a weekly email from me with everything in one spot.  This includes:

  • The lesson for the week
  • Goals and action steps for the week
  • Recipes that relate to that week's content
  • Bonus resources that can be printed out to help further (meal prep guides, ingredients to avoid at the food store, etc.)

And…. you get email support from me throughout the 4 weeks together as well!  Need me to help you understand one of the lessons better?  I will do that!  Want me to make suggestions on tweaking a recipe to your needs/tastes?  Just ask!

P.S. No official homework!  Nothing to turn in - it's not that kinda class.  This is to educate you on the biggest asset you have for yourself, your family, and your livelihood - HEALTH!  You will get through the reading in just 20 minutes a week that can be done whenever it's convenient for you.  The recipes are yours to keep and play with whenever you are ready.  The information is priceless and will transform your life.  I know that's a bold statement, but it's the truth.  ;-)  Once you feel energetic and fabulous, think about how that changes your day-to-day!

Read what some former students said about the course...

Tara is a miracle worker! I’m not even done with the course yet and I find myself sleeping better and making healthier choices.
— A.N.
My migraines are gone. I didn’t take the course thinking that would be an area I see an improvement in. I will never go back to my old ways now.
— L.R.
I have a long ways to go, but I lost 7 pounds just by following Tara’s special formula for balancing meals and snacks. I’m never hungry with all this healthy food. It’s the first time in my life I am losing weight and not feeling deprived. No products or gimmicks.
— O.B.

These testimonials make what I do feel so, SO amazing!  Thanks for sharing, guys!

Are you ready for a transformation (or at least a leg-up on this whole nutrition/health thing)?  The investment is $47.  Check out this program and my one-on-one coaching programs under "Online Booking".

Have a wonderful day!

In health,

Tara