Tag Archives: Tips

Bulletproof Coffee

Dave Asprey came across the healing power of fats combined with caffeine on his 18K climb of a mountain in Tibet. This lifesaving drink re-energized him so he could go further to conquer the mountain. On his return home, his inquisitive mind began to intensely research what cause his sudden recovery and miraculous burst of energy. His findings have led to a phenomenon. I can’t afford his coffee and additives so I have my own recipe that I have tweaked.

I am addicted to this golden deliciousness! Here is my basic recipe and included are a few toppings/variations to take it to the next level!! Watch my YouTube video on this topic here.

Here are additional tips on how to make this coffee.

Secondly, I want to acknowledge that this recipe is from the brilliant mind of Dave Asprey, please stop by his page, The Bulletproof Executive, for more of his research and findings.

I am addicted to this golden deliciousness! Here is my basic recipe and included are a few toppings/variations to take it to the next level!!

INGREDIENTS
Here is how you make the basic coffee. I use 8 cups boiling water, that is cooled for a minute and add 1/2-1 tablespoons of organic mountain grown coffee for each cup of water. It all depends on how jolted you want to be for the day and how strong you like your coffee.
2 tablespoons Kerrygold Butter
I know in the video I said Kerryman (local Chicago bar that my friend DJs at) instead of the butter. I like both, so no judgement.
1 tablespoon MCT oil
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
2-4 tablespoons equivalence of sugar substitute (I love stevia)

DIRECTIONS
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy.

VARIATIONS/FLAVORS
Add 2-4 tablespoons of any unsweetened syrups such as raspberry, caramel, hazelnut (I recommend the Davanci all natural series or you can find anything on Amazon) I sometimes add fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Aztec Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Apple Cinnamon Coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 apple, peeled

Chocolate Shake Coffee
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Shake Coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Coconut Creme Coffee
1/4 cup coconut cream (this is condensed coconut milk, no sugar added)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mochachino Coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate Mint Coffee
2 tablespoons mint extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Almond Joy Coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut cream (this is condensed coconut milk, no sugar added)

Paleo/Low-Carb Lifestyle: The Basics

There is so much associated with starting a new lifestyle, notice how I didn’t say diet. Diet implies a change until you reach your goal and then you go back to the way you were living. This will never work if you think of it as a diet because you will go back to what made you unhealthy and fat and the yo-yoing begins.

So, commit to this. This is a change for the rest of your life.

Here is my YouTube intro video to the Paleo/Low-Carb lifestyle.

STEP 1: EDUCATING YOURSELF
Before you start any diet, you should get blood-work done and see what your starting point it, consult your doctor because I am not one. I do not play one on tv and do not want to be one. Sorry mom and dad.

If you want to learn about these lifestyles, may I recommend that you start at the bookstore/library?

Paleo
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
by Mark Sisson

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
by William Davis

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
by Sarah Ballantyne

Low-Carb
Here is a link to the top books on Amazon. I prefer the Atkings and Keto based books as a source of education to understand the process.

STEP 2: WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING
To start a healthy lifestyle, begin by determine your macros. What are macros? “To macro” means to track the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you consume. Determining how much your body needs is important too, if you can’t understand your resting metabolic rate, you will never understand what your body naturally burns and how much fuel it requires.

We can all guess what our daily intake is but until you spend time tracking it, you will never know. I personally fund this step to be shocking. When I first started this food journey, I realized that I had no idea what a serving size was. I also grossly underestimated my daily intake. Tracking my daily food intake allowed me to see that I was not eating enough fats and that my protein levels were way too high. Making these small changes helped me get back on track and eventually led to losses.

If you are interested in trying the low-carb lifestyle, use this macro calculator or as they call it, the keto calculator.

Keto Calculator

If It Fits Your Macros Calculator

If you want to follow the Paleo lifestyle, I recommend using the following macro calculator.

STEP 3: THE ORGANIC LIST
Like I mentioned in the video, you can choose what foods to buy organic. The Environmental Working Group has a great article that identifies the top foods that should be purchased organic and it can be found here.

To this list, I add organic free-range eggs as well as organic grass-fed meats.

STEP 4: WHAT TO EAT
Now that you have been fully educated about the foods and how our body reacts to them, it is time to hit the grocery store, here is a list of the staples in my kitchen that I could not live without. Whenever possible or when financially feasible, go for the organic option.  Read the labels and look for foods with no additives, sugars or unknown items.

I know it can be confusing but sugars come in many forms and can be called many different things, here is a comprehensive list of the various names sugar goes by and anything ending in an -ose is usually a sugar derivative. So, avoid at all cost!

Here are two sites that provide a great list of foods to buy:
Ketogenic Diet Resources
Atkins Phase 1

Here is my personal list of items I can’t live without:
Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheese (my favorite)
Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
Organic Pork Rinds
BodyLogix Whey Protein Powder
Organic Raspberries
Organic Blueberries
Organic Spinach
Frozen Organic Kale (for smoothies)
Avocados
Organic Grass-fed Butter
Organic Butter
Coconut Flour
Almond Meal
Organic grass-fed beef
Sugar-free, dextrose free bacon or pork belly
Coffee
Organic Free-range Eggs
Now Foods Organic Liquid Glycerite Stevia
MCT Oil
Organic Coconut Oil
Organic Coco Nibs

STEP 5: TRACKING IT ALL
Now that you know what to eat and how much your body needs, let’s start tracking everything. Here are some amazing sites that will help you along your way.
My Fitness Pal
Fit Day
Cronometer

STEP 6: WORK OFF THAT FOOD
Eating is just half the battle, now start moving! I personally love going to classes, yoga, riding my bike or rock climbing. You should try to workout at least 2-5 times a week. You can start out with walks, hitting the gym for 30 minutes or anything you like. The important part is starting to get active and staying active!

The apps that I mentioned above will help you stay on track by calculating your input and output. Please make sure you are eating enough, that is a rookie mistake that many people make. They think that by cutting their calories further, they will lose more weight. You will actually cause your body to go into starvation mode and stop burning calories and actually store them.

I think that is an amazing start for anyone!

This Empty Plate’s YouTube Channel

I am so proud to announce the debut of my YouTube Channel. I wanted to take our relationship one step further, I know it isn’t always convenient to read lengthy recipes and with the more complicated recipes, it is nice to see how I prepare them. Your feedback was received and thanks to your help, my page is debuting.
So, please go here and subscribe to my page, while you are at it, I think you should subscribe to all my social media outlets (which conveniently can be found below.)

What can you expect?
Exciting new recipes that show you how to customize to your palette and diet.

Get educated about food, ingredients and the benefits of what you are eating. I will do all the research for you!

Other ways you can follow me:
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter

Roasting Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are inherently sweet and delicious. They are my favorite thing to add toRoasted Red Bell Pepper any dish! Here is a way to kick it up another notch (in the words of the famous chef, Emeril Lagasse)by just roasting it on the oven.

This simple method adds so much flavor to the peppers, you will taste a hint of smokiness, the pepper gets sweeter and the flesh becomes so soft. I absolutely adore this. I also love canning them once they have been roasted. You can choose to either can them in vinegar or oil but always add some spices to the mix. Once they marinate in there, you can use the oil to cook with for added flavor. Genius, right??

Directions

Turn your oven broiler on low. Wash and dry the red bell peppers and place in a single row on a baking sheet. I like to cover the bottom in aluminum foil to make clean up that much easier.

Place the baking sheet with the peppers under the broiler. You have to keep a close eye because you will notice small brown bubbles will appear. You want the skin to darken but not to become completely black. This process will only take a few minutes (2-4 minutes.)

Remove the baking sheet and turn the peppers over to expose the other side. You want the entire pepper to have brown blisters throughout.

Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a plastic sealable bag and allow the steam that is contained to separate the skin from the pepper. After 15-20 minutes, remove the peppers and the skin should come off quite easily.

Chop them up ad add them to salads, soups, serve as appetizers with a cheese plate or can then for later.

Perfectly Crispy Pork Belly

I adore bacon but I can’t stand to buy bacon from the store. Have you ever read the labels? There are preservatives and sugars (dextrose being one) that are not good for human consumption. I prefer to make my own which is actually cheaper. I go to the local butcher shop and buy Pork Belly which is bacon. The butcher is kind enough to slice it to my preferences (thick-cut all the way baby!) In Uncooked Pork BellyChicago, I found organic bacon for $4.99 which is the same price as pre-sliced treated bacon that isn’t even organic. So, this is a better deal and so much healthier!
Ingredients
1 pound pork belly (aka bacon)
black pepper
salt

Directions
Place the oven rack right in the center.

Line a baking sheet with foil and leave excess foil so it hangs over the pan, this will keep the bacon grease from dripping onto the pan.

You can use a cooling rack on top of the foil to get the crispiest bacon. If you would like to do this, spray the cooling rack and place it on the foil.

Place the cut pork belly on the foil or on the cooling rack. Place the pork belly in a single layer and do not allow it to overlap. I like to add pepper to my bacon at this point to give it added flavor.Perfectly Crispy Pork Belly

Turn the oven on 400 degrees F, it is very important that you do not preheat the oven. You will be placing the bacon in a cold oven.

Cook the bacon for 12-17 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thick you back was cut. I prefer to have thick cut bacon, you should start looking in on your bacon at the 10 minute mark. Do not open the oven, just turn on the oven light. Once the bacon looks golden brown, remove it from the oven. Remember that it will continue to cook even outside of the oven so if you let it get brown it will only brown further, which you don’t want.

Place the bacon on a paper towel to absorb the grease and cool off, you can also place it on a clean cooling rack if you desire. I like to salt the pork belly at this point.

Save the bacon grease for cooking eggs or meat. It should not be wasted.

TIPS
The oven should not be preheated, you will be placing the bacon into a cold oven.

To freeze the bacon: undercook the bacon a bit, freeze it after cooling off. When it is time to cook the bacon, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds on high and you will have perfectly cooked bacon.

Remove the bacon immediately after cooking. The bacon will continue to cook from the residual heat that it holds within but you don’t want it to continue cooking from the heat that comes off of the baking sheet.

For the non-low-carbers, you can sprinkle some brown sugar or dip the bacon in maple syrup before baking. This makes a great variation.

Thanksgiving Tips

ThanksgivingHere are a few tips to make this holiday a bit easier on you and your loved ones.

1.) BRINE is the new black
Brine your turkey for a minimum of 12 hours to a maximum of 72 hours. Submerge the turkey in these ingredients for a flavorful and moist bird.
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 gallon ice water

Submerge the turkey in the liquid and keep refrigerated. I like to use  a very large food safe plastic bag.

2.) Feed the crowd
To keep the crowds happy (let’s face it, sometimes it takes  a bit longer than we expected to cook the bird and sides), have a few appetizers on hand. My favorites include the Artichoke Spinach Dip and Canapé au Coloré.

3.) Hydrate the crowd
I like to make a few adult beverages and the virgin versions to keep the day flowing nicely. Just make sure you keep the kiddy drinks separate so no accidents occur.  My favorites include the Dreamsicle and Raspberry Nectar.

4.) PREP, PREP, PREP & PREP
Prepare the sides and desserts the day before. You don’t not want to be spending the whole day cooking and cleaning. Make anything and everything ahead of time and all you have to do is throw it in the oven or finish it off.

5.) Ask for help
There is nothing wrong with asking friends and family to bring a side or dessert. Also, have them pitch in when you need it. You are a super hero but even they need help from time to time.

6.) Remember what Thanksgiving is all about
Thanksgiving is about family and friends. Don’t get stressed, enjoy every moment. No one will notice if you forgot a garnish or if the rolls didn’t come out until after everything was served. Just breathe and enjoy!