Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini

There has been an abundance of zucchini and squash this season and I’ve been having fun cooking up different recipes.

From my own garden to the farmers market, these healthy ingredients have provided quite the bounty this summer.  Zucchini comes in a variety of colors and provides many health benefits.  Low in calories and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, zucchini are also a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. They are high in potassium, support a healthy gut and digestion and help cool the body during hot summer months.

Zucchini boats and cups are super easy to make and they’re fun to do while sharing quality time with family.  If you cannot find these adorable 8-Ball Zucchini, you can make boats with long ones. Instead of cutting off the tops, cut the long ones lengthwise.

Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini Recipe

Ingredients:

4 large round zucchini

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 pepper (any color), chopped

1 pound of lean meat (bison, turkey, beef)

1 cup quinoa (cooked)

2-3 Tablespoons avocado oil

1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped

Optional: Fresh grated cheese like goat or sheep cheese

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Carefully cut tops off of zucchini with a sharp kitchen knife. Place stems to the side.

Using a melon baller or knife and spoon, carefully scoop out the inner flesh of the zucchini, leaving a little flesh as the shell.

Place cups in a lightly greased roasting dish and cook for 10 minutes.  When removed from the oven set aside and lightly cool for handling.

Heat avocado oil in a skillet or cooktop pan on the stovetop over medium heat.  Cook the chopped onions and peppers for about three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Set aside in a bowl.

In the same stovetop pan, cook the meat until throughly cooked through. Add the dry seasoning and combine with the onion and pepper mixture. Add in the cooked quinoa and toss with the fresh basil. Combine all ingredients and spoon the mixture into the shells.

Tightly pack the cooked mixture into the cups.  You may have some mixture leftover. This can be stored in an airtight container for later use.

Roast uncovered for 15 minutes.  If adding cheese, do so now and roast another 12-15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender to the touch and the filling is lightly browned.

Enjoy!

Summer Focus: Nourishing the Heart and Small Intestine

During the Summer Season, we focus on nourishing the heart and small intestine.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, when we talk about organs, we’re not just talking about the actual organs in the body, but also the energy meridians associated with them.

 

THE HEART

The heart is physically responsible for pumping blood throughout your body.  Energetically, the heart houses the Shen, or spirit. The Shen is said to encompass consciousness, emotions, mental acuity and thought, as well as the ability to process incoming sensory information.

Joy is the emotion associated with the heart. While joy nourishes the heart, an excess, i.e. mania, is a symptom of an imbalance in this system.

The heart represents the very act of being alive –

  • from the physical heart beating in our chest
  • to the flow of blood through our veins
  • to our mental ability to stay present and focused
  • to our emotional selves feeling whole and complete

It is the energy of summertime – abundant, hot and alive.

When your heart is struggling physically, circulation is poor, your cells don’t receive the oxygenated blood they need one and they can’t efficiently excrete wastes. Energetically, an imbalanced heart expresses as feeling “off” and a bit out of sorts. 

 

THE SMALL INTESTINE

The small intestine is responsible for most chemical digestion of food and nearly all the absorption of nutrients.  Once nutrients are absorbed, they are delivered to your organs through the bloodstream… which links us back to the heart!

Comprised of three separate parts, the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum, the small intestine measures upwards of six to seven meters long and it has a surface area of over 200 meters.

Like the heart, in the Traditional Chinese Medical, the small intestine is much more than just its physical traits.

The small intestine

  • receives
  • transforms and
  • separates solids and fluids

Nutrients get dispersed throughout the body and while impurities are flushed into the large intestine for excretion.

Cold is a problem for the small intestine meridian.  Ice cold foods can trigger pain around the navel, watery diarrhea or loose stools, frequent clear urination and loud gurgling sounds in the abdomen.

Just as the small intestine receives, transforms and separates foods, it is also said to separate clear thoughts from the rocky ones. Where the heart houses facets of the mind and oversees our mental health, the small intestine governs clarity and judgement.

 

NOURISHING THE HEART AND SMALL INTESTINE

Our aim this summer  is to reduce the burden on the heart and small intestine, reconnect with the wisdom of our body and restore our natural vitality so we glow from the inside out!

Physically, vibrant, colorful, hydrating, antioxidant and fiber rich summer foods are good for the heart and small intestine.  Any of the detox techniques like dry brushing, detox baths, sauna, oil pulling, castor oil packs, etc are supportive for the physical health of these organs and the health of your skin!  I welcome you to check out the links below and learn more about the tools I use for improved health.

Tools:

How To Use a Castor Oil Pack to Slim Down

Healthy Habits: Let’s Talk About Oil Pulling

Boost Your Immune System with Detox Baths

Energetically, try these things this season:

Experience Joy.

  • Celebrate and embrace the things you love in the world – people, places and thoughts
  • Connect — Reach out to friends and family, forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

The Blessings of Beauty.

  • Take time to appreciate the beauty of your natural surroundings
  • Explore music, poetry, art and dance
  • Soak up many of life’s “little moments”

Experiment With a New Ritual.

  • Write down five things you are grateful for each night
  • Incorporate gentle exercise during each morning
  • Practice 10 minutes of sitting meditation each day
  • Enjoy regular time in nature or in your choice of sanctuary

With the summer season, there are many benefits of eating nourishing summer foods. Some of my favorites are tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and squash, berries, watermelon and peaches.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to try:

FARM FRESH WATERMELON POPSICLES

Chicken with Zoodles, Tomato and Feta

FARM FRESH TOMATO, BASIL AND FETA SALAD

If you find some of these tips helpful or try any of the yummy recipes, I welcome your comments below.  You’re welcome to message me too!

P.S.  If you’re feeling like you could use a reset this summer or want to feel better while preparing to send the kiddos back to school, I welcome you to contact me (link above in menu) or check out my Sexy Summer Slim Down

Keep Living Your Most Nourished Life, Friends!

XOXO,

Kim

 

Chicken with Zoodles, Tomato and Feta

It’s prime season at the farmers market and I have been loading up.  I made chicken with zoodles, tomato and feta this week and it was amazing!  I had some zucchini and roma tomatoes left over and decided to try the combination.  WOW!  Especially when you throw in some spices and fresh herbs.  Looking for some lean protein?  Add in some healthy organic chicken.  The presentation is pretty too.  No chef skills needed here, friends!

Zucchini has a ton of benefits and is pretty inexpensive when found locally.  Zucchini is known to help with weight reduction and boosts a healthy nutritional value.  It helps to promote eye health, has been shown to lower homocysteine levels and helps with asthma symptoms. Zucchini contains high quantities of Vitamin A, folate, potassium, Vitamin C and fiber.

About a month ago, I was asked to be a guest vendor at my local farmers market.  I knew I was going to be preparing simple, healthy and delicious dishes from ingredients at the market.  I had such a wonderful time shopping around and chatting with the local farmers.  I love asking them about their farming practices and hearing their recipe ideas.  A few of the many things that I love about shopping local and supporting the farmers in my community.  While at the market last month, I made these zoodles and they were a HIT!   Since the event, I’ve been receiving zoodle recipe requests and wanted to create a delicious but simple combo.

I thought the zoodles would pair well with my  Farm Fresh Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad recipe and some healthy chicken.  I grill chicken throughout the week as part of my food prep, but you can cook it on the stove or bake it as well.  The recipe pairs well with the farm fresh tomato, basil and feta recipe (as a topping or side), but you can keep it simple with diced roma tomatoes pan cooked in a little avacado oil and spices.  I’ve made it with homemade pasta sauce too!  I encourage you to be creative and experiment with the different options when combining flavors and ingredients in this meal.

 

Chicken with Zoodles, Tomato and Feta

2-3 Large Zucchini (4-5 small)

4 Chicken Breasts (organic if possible)

3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced (or use the recipe above and cut the portions)

Feta Cheese (unless using the farm fresh recipe above)

Fresh Basil (small handful)

1 to 2 tsp Fresh Garlic, chopped (I love garlic, so I use a lot!)

1/2 Tbsp of Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper (optional and to taste)

Avacado or Grapeseed Oil

directions:

zucchini:  using a zucchini spiralizer, carefully prepare your zucchini into spirals. in a large skillet, boil a cup to a cup and a half of water. gently toss and cook (steam) your noodles until they are a little soft but not falling apart.  once cooked to your desired texture, drain and set aside.
*I am not a fan of boiling with a lot of water because the vegetable has water and makes the noodles runny. i prefer to cook in a skillet and slightly steam with a little hot water.
tomato mixture: In a stove top pan, heat a little oil and add your garlic.  cook just a few minutes while stirring around.  it will not take long for it to cook.  add in your tomatoes and italian seasoning.  once cooked down, remove and set aside.
chicken: if you’re cooking your chicken on the stove, pound or butterfly your chicken to thin it out for cooking.  season with salt and pepper (if desired).  heat your skillet and add a TBSP of oil. add your chicken to the pan and cook on both sides until the center is no longer pink.
let’s plate it up:  carefully dish out a serving of your zoodles onto a clean plate.  add your chicken and top with your desired tomato seasoning.  add feta (unless you’re using the above recipe with feta in it) and some chopped up fresh basil to create your meal.  I served mine with a side of asparagus, but additional veggies are not necessary.
Note:  I used the Veggetti Pro Spiralizer (click on the link below).

Veggetti Pro Table-Top Spiralizer, Quickly Spiral Slice Vegetables into Healthy Veggie Pasta

 

i would love to hear your feedback and comments about the recipe.  do you have a favorite zoodles recipe that you would love to share? comment below and share your tips or favorites.  enjoy, friends!

XOXO~

Kim

sugar

Top 5 Tips to Kick Sugar Addiction

Holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends, create memories and celebrate.  They are also a time when sugar and less nourishing foods fill the table.

Since the holiday weekend, I’ve heard from clients and friends how they are struggling with cravings, especially sugar.  Did you indulge in sweets and yummy treats over the weekend?  You’re definitely not alone.  Cutting back from sugar and resisting cravings can be challenging but there are some ways to do so successfully.

Below are my top tips for kicking sugar cravings and bouncing back to healthier habits with ease.

Top 5 Tips to Kick Sugar Addiction

  1.  Consume Gut-Healthy Foods:  Sweets and less nourishing foods can be hard on our gut.  Loving our gut is so important for optimal health and disease prevention.  Adding in foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented foods and drinks like kombucha and kefir can provide many benefits.  Not only will they nourish the gut, but they also decrease sugar cravings.  Add apple cider vinegar to homemade salad dressings to help reduce sugar cravings.
  2. Fill Up on Fiber: Fiber not only helps you feel full but it also helps to to detoxify the body.  Something our body naturally wants to do during the spring season.  Some recommended foods are avocados, Brussels, artichokes, figs, quinoa, coconut and berries.
  3. Don’t Skimp on Fat:  When we hear the word fat, we often think negative thoughts.  Healthy fat is so good for you and provides so many health benefits.  It’s better to burn fat for energy than relying on sweets and caffeine for energy.  Not only will consuming healthy fat provide more energy, but it will also help kick sugar cravings.  Some recommended healthy fats are avocados, coconut oil, avocado oil and nuts.
  4. Don’t Forget the Protein: Protein is important and should be incorporated in your meals.  Not only does healthy protein provide many benefits, but it helps balance blood sugar and reduces sugar cravings.  Some preferred protein sources are grass fed beef and bison, wild caught salmon, organic chicken, adzuki beans, kefir, pasture raised (humane certified preferred) eggs and lentils.
  5. Healthier Swaps:  If you’re craving sugar, there are healthier alternatives to feed the cravings.  I love snacking on goji and mulberries.  When making drinks or meals, swap out sugar and substitute it with local raw honey.  Pure maple syrup is another great alternative.  Grapes and baby carrots are a sweeter treat when you’re trying to eat healthier and fight off the cravings.  Coconut sugar is a great substitute for meals and treats.  I love snacking on dates and use them for many of my healthy treats.
RECIPE: Try this healthy treat recipe if you’re desiring something sweet and satisfying: CACAO DATE BLISS BALLS

Fighting off sugar cravings can be challenging but adding in these tips and being aware of your mindset can really help.  Have you implemented tips that you’ve found work for you?  I would love to hear and welcome your comment below.

PS… Feeling like you need a reset this Spring Season?  Join me and other ladies as we Spring Into Sexy!  Will you be joining us?  For more information: https://kimwilson.me/spring-reset/

NOTE: SPACES ARE LIMITED!!! REGISTER ASAP!

Have a SWEET day, Friends! 

XOXO,

Kim

chocolate

Sweet and Healthy Valentine’s Chocolate

It’s the week of love and I’m sharing something sweet and chocolate with you all. When you think of Valentine’s Day, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?  Is it romance?  Maybe it’s a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.  Many times, we think of sweets and chocolates.  I am not much of a “sweet’s person” but I do enjoy some dark chocolate from time to time.  That’s one of the reasons why I love this Sweet and Healthy Valentine’s Chocolate recipe.  It’s simple to make, packs a sweet taste and provides healthy benefits.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s guilt free, easy to make and stores well.  One batch makes plenty to share too!  want more, double up the recipe. 😁❤️

Instead of over indulging with a box of chocolates and hitting a sugar crash, try this cleaner and healthier option.  You may find yourself keeping these staples in your pantry.  I find myself making this recipe more than once a year.  In fact, I add peppermint to it during the holidays.  It makes for a yummy and festive treat or gift.

This recipe is very flexible, so add ingredients that spark your taste buds.  If you want some peppermint, throw in some peppermint extract.  If you want more crunch, chop up some raw or toasted nuts and add them into the melted chocolate mixture.

To learn more about the health benefits of Dark Chocolate, click here: 8 Awesome Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

 

sweet and healthy valentine’s chocolate

INGREDIENTS:

1- 1/2  cups dark chocolate chips (I used extra dark and organic)

4 Tbsp organic coconut milk

1- 1/2 cups organic coconut oil (melted)

Handful of  shredded organic coconut (unsweetened)

Handful of dried organic berries (of your choice), chopped

*Optional: A pinch of Himalayan or Sea Salt

*Note:  Raw nuts (chopped) would be yummy in this recipe too!  If you decide to add peppermint, add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to the melted chocolate.

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare an 8×8 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper.  The paper should cover the bottom of the pan and all four sides.

On your stove top, heat the chocolate in a double boiler (or sauce pan over a pot of simmering water).  Continue stirring while the chocolate melts.  Add in the coconut milk.  Stir until you have a thinner and creamy chocolate texture.  If you choose to add peppermint, salt or nuts, add it in now.

Spread the melted chocolate evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Freeze your chocolate until it sets.  I’ve discovered the freezer is a better (and less time consuming) option than the refrigerator.

When your chocolate is ready to come out of the freezer, start to melt your coconut oil in a clean dish.  Once heated, coconut oil turns into a liquid texture rather quickly.  If your oil still has some lumps in it, continue stirring until all of the lumps are gone.

Pour the melted coconut oil over your chilled chocolate.  It will spread very easily.  Sprinkle the shredded coconut and chopped berries over the melted oil.  Chill in the freezer or fridge until the oil sets.  It will have a pretty white top once it’s done.

Once both layers have chilled and set, remove them from the fridge or freezer.  You can add more coconut and berries, if you choose.  I like to do it while the oil is still warm because it molds the toppings into the bark.

Remove the bark from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.  Place your prepared bark on a cutting board and chop into pieces.  Serve and enjoy!

Note:  If you want to store your bark for longer shelf life, I recommend storing it in the fridge or freezer.  Room temperature may melt the bark and make it softer.  You can also use coconut butter instead of coconut oil.  Coconut butter is usually found in most health food stores.  You can also make your own.  To do so, blend an entire package of unsweetened shredded coconut in your food processor or high speed blender.  The flakes turn into a creamy, buttery texture.  Both options are delicious, so choose whichever one you prefer.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this healthy, sweet treat!  If you have any suggestion about other ingredients that you like, I welcome you to comment below.

For additional health (and self love tips), check out my post here: http://kimwilson.me/love-yourself-to-better-health/

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beauties! ❤️

 

XOXO,

Kim