Tag Archives: healthy eating

10-Day Reboot: Laura’s Day 8


by Laura Caskey

by Laura Caskey

What aspect of the Re-boot are you enjoying the most and why?
I enjoy trying new foods outside my normal comfort go-to foods. Some of my favorites have been making beet & sweet potato “chips”, almond butter on celery and sliced apples sprinkled with Penzeys cake spice and walnuts. I feel better eating these instead of the normal chips.

Breakfast was gluten-free oatmeal cooked with apple, cake spice, walnuts, a date & blueberries. And the yummy hot lemon water.

Breakfast was gluten-free oatmeal cooked with apple, cake spice, walnuts, a date & blueberries. And the yummy hot lemon water.

What aspect of the Re-boot are you finding the most difficult and why?
Passing up sweets. Also this past week I was out of town most of the week, so planning to have good choices with me took extra time. It was great that each of the cities I was in had a Whole Foods so I was able to pop in to get a few things to make it work for me.

Quality of last night’s sleep/how did you feel when you woke up?
I finally had time to take a lavender Epsom salt bath last night and went to sleep easily. I did wake after 6 hours, but that is actually good for me. I felt rested when I woke up.

My morning snack of apple with Penzeys cake spice & almond butter

My morning snack of apple with Penzeys cake spice & almond butter

Are you having any specific cravings?
My cravings are cheesy Mexican food & a rich gooey dessert and a hot fudge Sunday from Amy’s ice cream. And maybe a chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting or a galaxy bar from Food Food.

How was your energy level throughout the day?
My energy level has been great. All the healthy choices really make me feel better. I think some of the foods we are avoiding really do slow me down and my body feels better without them. If I could just get my brain to buy into that I’d feel better all the time!

Lunch: sliced turkey with horseradish, purple cabbage, red onion, radishes, arugula, cucumber & any other vegetable I have, rolled up

Lunch: sliced turkey with horseradish, purple cabbage, red onion, radishes, arugula, cucumber & any other vegetable I have, rolled up

Any other observations?
When I plan ahead I feel much better making healthy choices. This reboot seems easier probably because I have continued the daily apple cider vinegar and the lemon water since the last reboot. And I already knew several of the foods I had enjoyed in the last reboot. Last time I made the brownie bites from our booklet substituting almond flavoring for the peppermint and really like them.

For dinner I made the Green Turkey Chili from the booklet. It was yummy and Stan liked it too. And I have plenty for dinner tomorrow.

For dinner I made the Green Turkey Chili from the booklet. It was yummy and Stan liked it too. And I have plenty for dinner tomorrow.

Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with other Re-Booters?
Tips that work for me are keeping lots of ready-to-eat crunchy vegetables and fruits on hand. I had not bought much in the way of organic prior to the Fall reboot, and I was surprised how much better organic vegetables & fruits taste. I have snacks in bags and ready to go, even taking them on the plane to avoid the chex mix, peanuts, etc. I also took a sliced lemon to add to hot water to avoid the wine.

Neissa’s Day 10: We Did It!! | 10 Day Body Re-Boot


by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Day 10- YAHOO!! Each day seems to get easier and easier, although on day 7 I gave in and had some caffeine (and had some every day since). I’m dying to ask Brianne why caffeine is so dang powerful!  I’ve been shocked that I haven’t had more sugar cravings, as it’s definitely my Achilles’ heel. Aside from wanting a glass of wine on Day 5, and then again tonight when dealing with a screaming child in the bathtub who proceeded to pee on me as soon as I got her out of the tub, I haven’t wanted or needed sugar or alcohol much during the 10 days. However, I do plan to treat myself with cake and wine on Thursday night! I’ve missed the occasional treat. I’m looking forward to the perspective I’ll gain in seeing how my body reacts to the sugar after being off of it.

I unfortunately still haven’t brushed my skin, made it into an Epsom salt bath or had my lemon water at night. But that’s ok. I still feel very good and will add them moving forward.

Toasted rice bread with organic peanut butter and 100% fruit spread

Toasted rice bread with organic peanut butter and 100% fruit spread

As for food, I’ve found some great options. For breakfast (and actually for any snack), I’ve devoured a a slice of toasted rice bread with organic peanut butter and 100% fruit spread, and I don’t measure any of it. I just slap on some peanut butter and spread and call it a yummy day. After years of measuring my food, I’ve given it up forever and I’ve never felt more liberated.

As for lunch, since I’m usually running around at that point in the day, my meal usually boils down to less emphasis on enjoyment and more about eating for convenience, good calories and a healthy metabolism  – which for me is a Lara Bar and one hard boiled egg.

Dinner: Amy's burrito & green salad

Dinner: Amy’s burrito & green salad

For dinner, I found something super yummy in the frozen food section of Whole Foods. It’s Amy’s organic beans and rice burrito, which is gluten- and dairy-free.  I ate it along with a green salad with avocado, beets, and legumes to make sure I got my greens as well.

"spaghetti squash & meatballs"

“spaghetti squash & meatballs”

Another easy, balanced and healthy meal I cooked was “spaghetti and meatballs,” but with spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles. The recipe is in our re-boot booklet, is super yummy and has many less carbs and calories than traditional pasta.

Ultimately, the focus on sleep, a clean diet and proper hydration over these past 10 days has resulted in the end of my weird stomach pains and very healthy bowl movements (sorry, TMI — but it’s the truth!). I didn’t manage to get a massage — DANG IT! — and will definitely be making that a priority very soon!

Body Re-boot: Day 1 | by Catherine


by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

photo 1

Breakfast time! 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado & some all natural salsa (no longer wrapped in a corn tortilla)

Ok, day 1!  Since I was really trying to pay attention to how my body felt all day so that I could record it, I can say that I woke up to my alarm very tired and wanting to go back to sleep (as usual), with bags under my eyes and bloated, even my rings are tight… is that normal? Doesn’t sound like the best start to me now that I’m  sharing it out loud :/

I have to say that after my hot lemon water, Re-Boot-friendly breakfast and my first 20 oz. of water, I was feeling very satisfied.  So far, so good, I wasn’t feeling any bit deprived.

photo 2

I met my mom for lunch at my favorite Thundercloud Subs, excited to enjoy my fave gluten-free sandwich in town: gluten-free bun w/turkey, avocado, lots of veggies & peppers, spicy mustard, olive oil & salt & pepper

At one point in the day I messed up and started thumbing through Instagram for a  brain break before I caught myself and quickly logged out of my account on my phone– oh my gosh it’s not even something I do consciously anymore! It’s almost become second nature to mindlessly grab my phone to browse my friends’ photos or get up and get a snack (I’m not even hungry!?) when I need a quick 30 second escape. That was a big realization for me.

I like to think that I only occasionally look at social media (Instagram & Pinterest have definitely become my social media of choice), but in reality I reach for it a number of times a day, when instead I could do something much more rejuvenating for a break, like get up from my desk and step outside for a quick breath of fresh air. That is now my Re-Boot stand-in activity for social media & mindless snacking.

photo 3

I measured my water bottle the night before to find that it holds 20 oz. of water, so my aim is to keep this baby at my desk with me and make sure I finish at least 3 bottles by the end of the day.

photo 4

Worktime snack time! Apple with a tablespoon of all natural, unsweetened peanut butter. Just enough salty & sweet and very filling. It’s also my favorite for pre-workout energy.

Knowing that I needed to make sure I fit in 7-9 hours of sleep after getting home from school past 10pm and then get up early for work really made me much more conscious of planning out my night and responsibilities ahead of time so that I could get to sleep right when I got home. I have to say, I think I need that incentive to be better about planning ahead. It felt really good to be more prepared.

Even at the end a busy work day followed by school in the evening, I realized that I personally felt much more calm and like my mind was moving at a much more pleasantly slow pace — not always jumping from task to to-do-list task and in between busying myself with distractions like social media or TV.  Lesson learned!

photo 5

My on-the-go “kitchen sink” smoothie dinner for running off to school — frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, spinach, all natural unsweetened peanut butter, almond milk and coconut water

Usually when I get home from class my husband and I sit down and watch a TV show together to “wind-down” and spend time together, but I found that not doing that and instead grabbing books and magazines and getting ready for bed was instead so much more of a wind-down. I was relaxed after only a few minutes and easily fell asleep in time to get in over 7 hrs of sleep. Glorious!

I’m interested to see where the rest of the week takes me — it’s not easy, but I’m determined to push through!

Stuck in a Food Rut? Healthy Options to Get Unstuck

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.”
– Julia Child

Point to Ponder:
Are you stuck in a food rut?

Action Item:
Consider juicing and/or trying some of the *new* recipes below.


by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Last Tuesday at the member lunch at Abel’s on the Lake, “the Lisa’s” (Lisa Hildebrand and Lisa Joseph) inspired me to get a juicer. I’ve been wanting one for a while, but just haven’t made it a priority.  After hearing how easy and delicious it is to juice, and needing to find something *new* to try in July, I thought it was time to get my juice on.

Per their recommendation, I set out to purchase a Hurom- Premium Slow Juicer and Smoothie Maker. My first stop was Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were out of stock. So, I ventured into William Sonoma where they had plenty and they were on sale, too! Like a good food processor or Vitamix blender, the Hurom Juicer is not a cheap machine, but if used enough you will quickly get your money out of it. Plus, I’ve gotten terrible at eating vegetables simply because of the prep time, and if it weren’t for the simplicity that my Vitamix provides which quickly enables me to make my favorite fruit & protein smoothie, I wouldn’t eat enough fruit either. And so, getting the juicer is an investment in mine and my family’s health.

I was also pumped because the juicer inspired me to grab some organic and seasonal veggies that I do like, but always bypass out of intimidation and convenience. For example, I like beets but they stain everything red, take time to peal, chop, and I never know what to pair them with. Others I run into issues with are cucumber, carrots and celery. I know they are really good for me but they don’t excite me. So, I filled my grocery cart up with grapes, kale, spinach, beets, lemon, pineapple, carrots, tomatoes, and celery, and couldn’t wait to get home to see what I could come up with. Here are the two juices I made:


Veggie Combo (my random creation)

Veggie Combo Juice & Grape Juice

  • 1 c Packed Spinach
  • 1 Beet
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalk
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/3 c Pineapple (this adds a touch of sweet)

Grape Juice

  • 2 c  Grapes

I’ve gotta tell you, I’m fascinated with the juicing process – it is so simple and cool! As for how the drinks tasted, the ‘Veggie Combo’ was good enough and I’ll definitely make it again. The grape juice was delicious and both of my children lapped it up. Malaine (14 months) will eat and drink anything…so she was easy. Durant (3 1/2 yrs) is ridiculously picky so I told him it was Gatorade (a real treat for him) and he drank it all. SUCCESS!

Really, I’m not writing this journal to convince you to purchase a juicer. Instead, because I am not a creative cook, I don’t enjoy cooking, I find myself in a food rut all of the time, and it’s Give It a Try in July time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of my healthy, convenient and delicious summer go-to’s that might be *new* to you and might even help you get out of a food rut as well.

So on that note, here are a couple more of my faves:

Summer Potato Salad

Summer Potato Salad

by Chef Martha Pincoffs, creator of the Hot Dang Grain Burger (a healthy and convenient favorite)

  • 2 lbs Red potatoes, quartered and slightly boiled
  • 1 Small red onion, chopped
  • cooked green beans, cut in half
  • 1/2 c Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 c Olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Combine all and enjoy!

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 c Olive Oil
  • 1/3 c Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Honey

– Combine all, simmer on med/high heat
– Stir with wisk, remove from heat and toss on any salad

Watermelon Herb Salad

by  Chef Scott Tompkins

  • 1 fresh watermelon, cubed
  • 2 T fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped

Combine all and let marinade for 30 min.  Eat right away


In the event you have a juicer, are wanting to begin juicing, or are in need of *new* recipes, iGnite member and health coach Lisa Hildebrand shares these two amazingly healthy and refreshing juices:

Classic Green Juice

  • 1 bunch spinach or kale
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6-9 celery stalks
  • 1 bunch parsley or cilantro
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 to 2 green apples
  • Ginger (about 1 thumb’s worth)
  • 1/2 lemon or lime

Love My Liver Juice

  • 2-3 beets
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6-9 celery stalks
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch of mint

For even MORE healthy meal inspiration, check out our leadership team’s go-to, healthy summer dinners.

Besides the convenience, what excites me most about juicing is its health benefits. My personal belief is that food truly has the power to heal our bodies and most of what we need comes from the Earth. But because of convenience, I have not been nourishing my body with all that it needs to live and perform optimally. My favorite reminder about the amazing and intentional creation of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes comes from a book called Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness by Suzanne Somers. Check out this fascinating excerpt:

A sliced carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris, and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function to the eyes.

A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows that tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of a heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell, and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart-and blood vitalizing food.

A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds of the nut are just like the neocortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over three dozen neurotransmitters for brain function.

Kidney beans actually help heal and help maintain kidney function, and yes, they look exactly like the human kidney.

Celery, bok choy, and rhubarb, look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23 percent sodium and these foods are 23 percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, avocados and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of a female-they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted baby weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? ...It takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit.

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well as to overcome male sterility.

Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetes.

Olives assist the health function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits look like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells; they even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Enjoy branching out and trying new ways to spruce up your food!


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The Food & Confidence Connection

Almond-Berry-and-Chicken-Spinach-Salad-with-a-delicious-and-easy-dressing 4

“You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”

Points to Ponder:
Is your diet providing you the opportunity to maximize your confidence?
Is it providing you the opportunity to optimize your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being?

Action Items:
1.  Consume 20-30 gram or 1 oz of protein per meal from: fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, beans, grains, nuts and seeds (meats and eggs need to be free range and grass-fed, dairy needs to be organic, fish needs to be wild and not farm raised)

2.  If vegan, vegetarian, or serotonin levels/moods don’t increase with added protein, consume an effective and natural serotonin herbal remedy called Saint-John’s wort, which is equally as effective as Prozac in treating symptoms of depression.

Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Undoubtedly, when I began reading The Confidence Code, I never would’ve imagined all of the research that has been dedicated to determining the origin of confidence, how we get more of it and why some of us have more or less of it. And, I for sure would not have guessed that food (our diet) plays a real physiological role in our ability to have confidence. Honestly, The Confidence Code has not made the diet/confidence correlation (at least not that I’ve read yet). Rather, I have drawn this conclusion and here’s why:

In The Confidence Code, research has found that “having healthy levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in the prefrontal cortex of the brain enables us to make more rational decisions, because serotonin helps us remain calm. Our prefrontal cortex is the command center of our brain–it’s the home of executive function, rational thought and decision making. When that part of the brain is awash in serotonin, it encourages confidence in our decision making because we feel much less stress.”

Now, couple the serotonin piece with the findings from another compelling book, The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, which is based on 15 years of clinical results. She also sights that “if you have healthy and high levels of serotonin you are positive, confident, flexible, and easy-going. On the flip-side, if you have low or sinking levels of serotonin you’ll tend to become negative, obsessive, worried, irritable and sleepless. Furthermore, serotonin is emotionally vital in that it is our primary defense against depression and anxiety”. And so, if we are anxious or depressed, sustainable confidence is impossible.

Now, here’s the crazy but not surprising discovery found in the The Mood Cure. “Serotonin is made out of the foods we eat and is synthesized in your body from tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) found in foods like turkey, beef and cheese. And therefore, if we are not eating pro-serotonin foods like protein and healthy fats, and we are consuming too much anti-serotonin foods like caffeinated sodas, coffee, artificially sweetened foods and drinks (man-made/fake foods), chances are our serotonin levels are low, leaving us sluggish and not feeling confident. (Fast foods and skipped meals have depleted us from many of the vitamins and minerals that assist in the magic conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.)”

According to The Mood Cure, there are also three other neurotransmitters that affect our moods: catecholamines, GABA and endorphins. “If you are high in catecholamines, you are energized, upbeat, and alert. If you are low in catecholamines- you are sinking in lethargic funks. If you are high in GABA- you’re relaxed and stress free. If there’s a gap in your GABA- you’re wired, stressed and overwhelmed. If you are high in endorphins- you’re full of cozy feelings of comfort, pleasure and euphoria. If you are low in endorphins- you may be overly sensitive. And, to sum it all up, too much stress depletes the brain of the these “feel good” neurotransmitters. A good night’s sleep, adequate relaxation and appropriate down time are critical to restoring optimal levels of good-mood chemicals.”

I’ve always believed that ‘diet is king’ and plays a significant role in our health and happiness. After reading the scientific evidence in the The Confidence Code and The Mood Cure, I am now more convinced that the foods and drinks we consume are indeed directly related to our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual well-being and confidence.



Almond Protein Balls

Almond Protein Balls

  • 2 cups raw almond butter (freshly ground is best!)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 2 cups brown rice crisp cereal (Barbara’s brand from Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
  1. Microwave almond butter and honey for 2 minutes and stir
  2. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stir well.
  3. Roll into balls and refrigerate 1 – 2 hrs. before serving

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic Caramel

image: The Partial Ingredients

image: The Partial Ingredients

Recipe by Chef Scott Tompkins

Recipe by Chef Scott Tompkins

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 cup           Ottavio Platinum Balsamic Vinegar (available at most  HEB’s)
2 tbsp          Salted Butter
2 lbs             Fresh Brussels Sprouts *cut in half
½ cup           Golden raisins
¼ cup           Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp ea.      Kosher Salt & black pepper

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine halved brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss well to combine and place on a sheet pan and into the oven. Cook until just browned, about 30-45 min. (The darker the sprout, the more intense the flavor)
  3. Combine the roasted brussel sprouts with the raisins and drizzle with Balsamic Caramel (Recipe below)
  4. Balsamic Caramel: In a stainless steel saucepan (or non-reactive pot) reduce 1 cup of balsamic vinegar over low heat until liquid is reduced by half (takes about 20min over low-med heat).  Cut the heat and add in the butter and whisk until melted.  Let stand for about 5 min,  drizzle over anything.

— — — — —

Chef Scott TompkinsScott Tompkins is Head Chef & Manager at H-E-B on Farwest Boulevard in Austin, Texas and is a featured speaker at iGnite’s Intentional Renewal Wellness Retreat in February 2014 where he will give a cooking demo and talk (including recipes) on ‘Simplifying Healthy Meals for the Everyday.’  Scott runs his own kitchen and department, creates his own recipes and loves every minute of it. Join us at the Intentional Renewal retreat to get more great healthy recipes, learn more about the health benefits of incorporating different foods into your cooking, and more!