At-Home Spa Day

 

beautypic4

 

Because of synthetic chemicals, preservatives, and excess packaging that come along with many of my personal care products, I decided that using foods and herbs straight from nature is an easy way to create some of the best beauty products.  When you use fresh and natural products, you are helping both your body and the planet.  Fresh fruits, homegrown herbs, and refreshing scents made up the at-home beauty products that I created. 

I recently invited one of my best friends, Eva Rumble, who is also my VP of Marketing, and her two daughters to come to my house for an At-Home Spa Day with me and my two girls.  Our daughters get along so well, and we had a blast pampering ourselves and teaching our girls about natural beauty.  Not only is this an excellent way to connect with friends, but it is also a budget-friendly, hands-on experience that everyone learns from.  Plus, I get to spend quality time with my girls.  We had such a fun time at our mommy/daughter “spa day.”  
[Read more...]

Top 3 Foods That Flunk Your Age

 

When it comes to aging, you really are what you eat!  It’s summertime and many of us are using sunscreen to protect ourselves from UVA and UVB rays that not only damage our skin, but can also age our skin.  But, did you know that there are foods that can age your body just as much as too much sun exposure?

 Take my 30 Day Anti-Aging Challenge below after you read about aging foods vs. anti-aging foods.

The Top 3 Foods that Flunk Your Age and get an F- grade are: Fast Foods, Fake Foods and Fried Foods.

Whopper hamburger1.  Fast foods: ex. Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries, Icy Coke, Thick Shakes, Sundaes, and Apple Pie.  Most all fast food contains excess t rans fats that make skin look stiff and inflexible, and ultimately, wrinkled.  Trans fats also age you on the inside.  They increase your risk of heart disease and stroke and are linked to higher risks of developing Type 2 diabetes.  The Institute of Medicine determined that there is NO safe consumption of trans fatty acids.

 

Hot Dogs in packages2.  Fake foods: ex. Hot Dogs and Deli Cold Cuts….”Don’t make it your way!” at Subway:  Sulfites that preserve processed and fake meats are pro-inflammatory and can cause rosacea and make skin look pasty and jaundiced colored.  Processed meats are usually high in saturated fats and have nitrates in them.  Both of those can lead to inflammation.  *Remember, we always want to nourish our bodies with ANTI-inflammatory foods, not pro-inflammatory foods.

MarshmallowsOther Fake foods that age our bodies:  Bottled lemonade and sugary beverages like soda, processed foods in boxes, cans and freezer bags, corn dogs, cotton candy, candy apples, cheese puffs, and marshmallows for smores.  Many of these items contain high amounts of sugar or sugar substitutes.  Sugar, which is linked to inflammation, aids in wrinkle production, but it also affects your overall health because it is tied to heart disease and diabetes.

Fried chicken3.  Fried foods: ex. Fried Chicken, Potato Chips and French Fries.  These foods contain trans fats that clog and stiffen the arteries and small blood vessels and make skin look old.  Anything that’s deep-fried in oil can add to inflammation throughout your body.  Trans fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower HDL “good” cholesterol.  When reading food labels, avoid products that include “partially hydrogenated oils” and “vegetable shortening.”

French Fries from McD'sThese foods do not “pass” when it comes to nourishing our bodies.  They “fail” our bodies and age us faster, and they are abundant during the summertime at cookouts, barbecues, camp outs, pool parties and at the beach.  This season, you’ll find lots of food trucks and food vendors serving many of these “F-“ foods, too.

The GOOD NEWS is that there are some incredible A+ Anti-Aging foods that are anti-inflammatory, that keep us looking younger and help to slow the aging process.

1.  Hydrating water:  Clean, filtered water.  How much easier can it be?  I love adding citrus (lemons, limes and oranges) and fresh herbs (mint, basil) and even cucumbers in my filtered water for a naturally sweet and beautifully flavored hydration drink.  I feel like I am at the spa when I drink this water!  Water detoxifies and hydrates your skin.  It helps your liver clean out impurities in your body and therefore, cleans out your skin.  Be sure to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water every day.  Get creative here!  I’ve even added berries to my water, and the flavor is amazing!

My favorite water purifier is Shaklee’s Get Clean Water System because it reduces 56 contaminants, including lead, for great tasting clean water.

Wildtree Organic Coconut Oil2.  Coconut Oil:

  • Rich in medium chain fatty acids which are smaller and easily digested. It is immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat. Stimulates our metabolisms and aids in the right kind of weight loss.
  • Contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties at help skin heal, plus it is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that make our skin healthier and more supple.
  • It’s a natural moisturizer to prevent dryness that is often caused by vitamin deficiencies (or too much sugar).
  • The emollient in coconut oil reduces wrinkling and makes skin softer.
  • Can eliminate free radicals that age skin. Great for hair and nails, too by adding moisture and antioxidants/vitamins that they are lacking.  
  • Is a natural antiseptic that prevents bacteria from damaging your skin and causing wrinkles.  
  • Removes dead skin cells and helps with elasticity of skin.

WildTree just came out with an Organic Coconut Oil that retails around $9 per container, and my friend Jenny Paquette can answer any questions you have about it: mywildtree.com/eatwild

NeriumAD_Day-and-Night-Cream-706x1024NeriumAD Age-Defying Treatment Creams: A friend of mine, Liz Panepinto, recently introduced me to this skincare line that is rooted in nature, science and high-impact ingredients. The day and night creams have powerful antioxidant properties that help reduce signs of aging. I like this line because it is a plant-based cream and is gluten free and paraben free. I love finding skin care products that are more pure than many of the skin care products that promise to keep you looking younger, but contain harmful ingredients.

Another interesting face is that NeriumAD was originally developed as a natural cure for skin cancer, but was then recognized for fixing wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores, brown spots and sun damage. You can find out more about Nerium AD here: www.lpanepinto.nerium.com.  Contact Liz with any questions: fwm.elizabeth@gmail.com.

3.  Superfoods, Resveratrol and Black Tea/Green Tea:

superfoodsBy now, most all of you have heard about Superfoods.  I have my top 10 favorite superfoods, but there are at least 50 available to us.  Superfoods are foods with purpose that nourish our bodies.  They are nutrient dense, hard-working foods that are full of antioxidants and support our organs and immune systems.  This makes them anti-aging, plus you will feel younger eating them!

For ex. Blueberries not only have flavonoids that are excellent for memory, but they also have a high water content that makes them hydrating to your skin and to your cells. Plus, they are anti-inflammatory.

Here are my top 10 favorite superfoods:
Blueberries
Goji Berries
Flaxseeds
Beans
Avocados
Spinach
Pistachios
Bell Peppers
Dark Chocolate
Pumpkin

 
Vivix bottleWhat is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is polyphenol that has antioxidant properties which protect the body against the kind of damage that is linked to increased risk for conditions such as cancer and heart disease.  Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and in red wine, but other sources include peanuts and berries.  It helps reduce inflammation.

One really great source of resveratrol is Vivix from Shaklee.  Only Vivix contains both resveratrol and a proprietary phytonutrient blend.  This patented phytonutrient blend harnesses the powerful antioxidant properties of rare muscadine grapes and has been shown to be 10X more powerful than resveratrol alone in slowing a key mechanism of cellular aging.

Check out this video that explains how Vivix works: http://content.shaklee.com/shaklee/video/player.php?video=Vivix

Numi Organic Tea Emperor blendBlack tea and green tea
Black and green teas contain polyphenols that are plant-based nutrients with antioxidant benefits to help protect against cellular aging.  I have to tell you about my favorite Black Tea!  It’s called Numi Organic Tea.  Not only is it Non-GMO, but the taste is unbelievable.  I usually steep my Numi Emperors Puera tea and then add a little almond milk and a few drops of vanilla stevia.  This tea is so comforting!

 
Take my 30 Day Anti-Aging Challenge!
I challenge you today to do a self-motivated, anti-aging challenge for 30 days by swapping out the foods I mentioned above. All you need is a camera phone and a journal. Start whenever you are ready. Use the information in this blog to choose healthy, anti-aging food choices. Journal how your skin, hair and nails look and how much energy you have. Take a “selfie” each time you journal so you can capture how you are progressing. Share this with those you love and encourage them to try this challenge. SHARE your progress with me on my Facebook page (360yourlife), in the comments below, or email me at brooke@360yourlife.com.

I can’t wait to hear from you and to see your progress!

Other great resources to learn from:
Understanding Cellular Aging
How Fast Are You Aging?
Slow Your Aging

Cool Collard Summer Burgers

Are you looking for a unique, but healthy recipe for Memorial Day weekend this year?

This has been a new favorite in the house!  Grass fed burgers wrapped in a blanched collard greens!  This recipe is very flexible.  You can add avocados, healthy condiments, or any other healthy toppings you like.  I love adding goat cheese and cauliflower rice to my Cool Collard Green Burgers.  My husband loves cheese and avocado with several different toppings.

Cool Collard Summer Burgers
Have fun making these burgers for your family, friends and guests this weekend or any weekend this summer :)
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Ingredients
  1. First, you will need 24 oz. of Grass Fed and Finished ground beef to make 4 (6 oz.) burgers.
Ingredients for the burger marinade
  1. 4 oz. of Drew’s All Natural Rosemary Balsamic Dressing and Quick Marinade
  2. 4 oz. of Dale’s Steak Marinade
  3. 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  4. 1 tsp. of onion powder
  5. ½ tsp. crushed, dried rosemary (or 1 ½ tsp. of fresh rosemary)
  6. Juice from half of a lemon
Ingredients for the collard green wraps
  1. Whole organic collard greens
  2. Sliced avocados
  3. Organic cheese slices of choice OR goat cheese
  4. Cauliflower rice (recipe on site)
  5. Get creative! Add any other healthy toppings you like (tomatoes, organic mayo, organic ketchup and mustard, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling water, gently blanch the collard greens for 1 minute. Remove and place into an ice bath (bowl of water and ice cubes) to stop the cooking process and to retain the bright green color of the collards. Remove the leaves and dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Mix burgers ingredients and set aside. Hand press the burgers. Use ½ to ¼ pound of grass fed beef per burger, depending on your preferred burger size. Baste burgers with marinade prior to cooking.
  3. Cook approximately 3-5 minutes per side on medium heat on the grill depending on size of burger and if you prefer medium rare to medium. DO NOT OVERCOOK burger as it will dry out due to the very low fat content. I prefer medium rare. Since these burgers are grass fed and finished and have never had any antibiotics or hormones, you can safely eat this type of meat as rare or medium rare.
  4. Only flip the burgers once while cooking.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Health Tip: The omega ratio in Grass Fed and Finished beef is anti-inflammatory as opposed to pro-inflammatory with grain fed, commercial, factory-raised beef.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cool Collard Summer Burgers - burger w cauliflower rice on collard

My Collard Burger with Avocado and Cauliflower Rice

Cool Collard Summer Burgers -Brett holding burger

Brett’s Collard Burger with Cheese and Avocado

Healthy Hands Cooking Classes for Kids

This year, I became a Healthy Hands Cooking Certified Instructor because I love to see children learn how to cook in the kitchen with their families and learn how and why to choose healthy foods. These classes are not only impacting the kids, but the parents also love seeing how their children’s nutritional educations grow! [Read more...]

Unjunk After Sports Snacks

If you have kids that play sports, then you are probably faced with bringing snacks to the game for your little ones or taking turns for the entire group.  I want to make you aware of some harmful ingredients that you may not realize are having an adverse effect on our children instead of FUELING them pre-game or post-game.  This truly hits home for me because I have two daughters that are 6 and 9 that play sports, and we’re faced with these typical snacks on a weekly basis.  [Read more...]

Not Your Momma’s Easter Eggs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Easter is only a few days away, so I decided to do something fun to get ready for the holiday.   I invited my VP of Marketing, Eva Rumble, and her two daughters over for an “egg dipping party” to make simple, delicious Krispy Dipped Eggs with me and my daughters, Reagan and Riley.  Our girls loved molding the eggs and then dipping them into chocolate and coconut.

These eggs are a healthier version of a Rice Krispie Treat without all of the extra additives, preservatives and processed sugars.  Plus, they are Gluten Free, Nut-Free, Dairy Free, and Vegan.  I promise your kids will love the taste, and they will have a great time constructing the eggs!   This is such a creative way to make a healthy Easter treat that also displays beautifully.  This recipe only has a few ingredients, and it does not take long to make.  So, grab your family and make these sweet treats for your Easter gatherings this year!

 

Krispy Dipped Eggs
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Ingredients
  1. 4 1/2 cups of Gluten Free rice cereal (I used One Degree Organic Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Cereal.)
  2. 1 cup pure maple syrup
  3. 1 cup of sunbutter
  4. 1 tbls. organic vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups of chocolate chips, melted (I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks. They are Vegan and Dairy, Nut and Soy Free.)
  6. 1 tbls. coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Pour the rice cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Bring maple syrup to a slow boil over medium low - medium heat, just until bubbles form around the pan.
  2. Once maple syrup is at a low boil, mix in the sunbutter and the vanilla. Stir until smooth consistency.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into cereal and stir until well combined.
  4. Scoop mixture into empty Easter egg containers. Fill each side just above level so that the mixture holds together when it sets. Close the egg completely - you will need to squeeze it tight.
  5. Place filled egg in the refrigerator for at least 30 min to 1 hour to set. Once set, gently open the egg containers and remove the Krispy eggs. You can serve them plain, or you can dip them in the melted chocolate + one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Notes
  1. The girls dipped their eggs in chocolate and shredded coconut.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
This is a great treat to send to school, too!  We had so much fun together making these Krispy Dipped Eggs for Easter!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did :)

Egg Treat collage

Need A Salty Fix?

Once in a while, I like to have something a little salty, but I don’t want to eat potato chips or anything too greasy.  I decided to make some Kale Chips, and wow!  They were out of this world good!  My husband, Brett and my two girls, Reagan and Riley loved them.  

Kale Chips
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Cook Time
4 min
Cook Time
4 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large bunch of raw kale
  2. 1 - 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  3. Pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Break off the woody stems on each piece of kale, leaving only the kale leaves. Wash the leaves and pat dry.
  3. Place the kale leaves in a bowl, and coat them with Extra Virgin olive oil. Try not to drown the leaves in the oil, just a light coating is all you need. Place the leaves on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 4 minutes.
  5. Flip the leaves and bake 4 more minutes.
  6. Take the leaves out and sprinkle them with the pink Himalayan salt.
  7. Enjoy!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Kale Chips - Brett thumbs up

Kale Chips - Riley smiling

You’ve probably heard that kale is good for you, but let me give you some more reasons to try kale:

1.)  Lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

2.)  High in carotenoids and flavonoids that are key to preventing cancer.

3.)  Is a Nutritional Powerhouse!  1 cup of kale only has 33 calories, it has lots of calcium and antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, and it is also high in copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.

4.)  High in lutein and zeaxanthin that are great for eye health.

It could not be any easier to make these kale chips, and I hope you will keep this simple recipe on hand to make whenever you want a healthy snack or a fun side dish.

 

Kale Chips - raw kale on cutting board

 

Kale Chips - kale coated in EVOO

 

Kale Chips - baked and ready for salt

Healthy Taco Night!

I love to have themed dinners on Sunday night if I can pull it off because the kids have so much fun!  This past Sunday, we were feeling festive and decided to have a Mexican theme for dinner because my kids wanted tacos. We had so many giggles and fun especially with the Pandora mariachi band music playing in the background. I am sure you can use your imagination!  This was such an easy dinner to put together, and the only major prep was making the cashew cheese.

Here is how I made the tacos:

Healthy Taco Night
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Ingredients
  1. grass fed and finished beef from Grayson Farms, browned
  2. organic chicken, cooked and shredded
  3. tomatoes, chopped
  4. avocados, sliced
  5. whole collard greens (for the adults to use as "soft taco shells") - use these to make this recipe Gluten-Free
  6. organic corn taco shells (for the kids)
  7. cashew cheese (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. We lined up all of the ingredients and served up some yummy and healthy tacos!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cashew Cheese
This makes so much cheese that we had leftovers and used it for a vegetable dip and as a spread on wraps and sandwiches the next day. I found this recipe from The Blender Girl, and there are so many different ways to make it! Just choose one that fits your taste buds that day.
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Basic Raw Cashew Cheese
  1. 2 cups raw cashews soaked in filtered water for 2 – 4 hours (soaking is optional)
  2. 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup filtered water as needed for desired consistency
  3. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  5. 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  6. 1 tsp sea salt
  7. 1 Tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  8. I like my cheese the consistency of ricotta. The more water you add, the creamier and thinner the cheese will become. Add less water for a thicker, more rustic cheese.
For a different flavor omit the nutritional yeast, garlic and 1/2 of the lemon juice from the basic recipe and try adding and making
Herb cheese
  1. 1 chopped green onion
  2. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  3. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  4. 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  5. 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Tomato basil cheese
  1. 1 tsp organic tomato paste
  2. 2 cloves fresh garlic
  3. 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Chili chive cheese
  1. 1 – 2 Tbsp Chopped Chives
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Chili cheese
  1. 1 – 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  2. a pinch of red chili flakes or chopped fresh chili
  3. or
  4. 1 – 2 Tbsp freshly chopped fresh flat parsley
  5. 2 chopped green onions
  6. 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  7. 1/2 tsp ground chipotle or 1/2 finely chopped jalapeno pepper or 1 Serrano chili
Sweet cheese
  1. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  2. 1 tsp raw agave nectar
Truffle cheese
  1. 2 tsp truffle oil
  2. freshly ground pepper
Sesame cheese
  1. 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  2. 1 Tbsp tahini paste
Instructions
  1. Place the cashews, 1/2 of the water, 1/2 of the lemon juice, garlic and sea salt in the food processor and pulse until roughly blended.
  2. Gradually add in more lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste. I have listed granulated garlic as optional. I find this is a nice touch if you like a garlicky cheese.
Notes
  1. Tips!
Selecting and storing raw cashews
  1. “Raw” cashews are widely available in pre-packaged bags as well as bulk bins. Always purchase from a supplier where there is a high turnover to ensure freshness and quality. Look for plump cashews that are uniform in color. Avoid the limp and shriveled ones. Cashews should smell nutty and sweet. If they have a sharp or bitter smell they have gone rancid. To preserve the precious oils, store cashews in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to six months. Always soak cashews before using to remove the enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Sweetheart Pancakes

Reagan eating Sweetheart Pancakes

Reagan eating Sweetheart Pancakes

I love living in North Carolina where we have beautiful weather all year long.  Since I’m a Florida native, I get so excited when NC gets snow, and this week, we got almost 10 inches!  With my husband and daughters snowed in with me, I am taking full advantage of building a snowman and sledding with them, plus I’m making special, healthy meals and treats for them.

Riley wrote down Gilda's pancake ingredients

Riley wrote down Gilda’s pancake ingredients

For breakfast, I decided to make a new pancake recipe based on a recipe from my dear friend Gilda who makes the most awesome pancakes ever!  My daughter Riley decided to write down Gilda’s ingredients so we wouldn’t forget :)  The only ingredient she forgot to write down was Vegan Chocolate Chips!

Here is how I made these incredible Gluten Free, Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Pancakes that I served my family this morning.  

Brooke's Gluten-Free Pancake Ingredients

Brooke’s Gluten-Free Pancake Ingredients

Sweetheart Pancakes
I cut these pancakes into heart shapes to show some extra love!!! Spread the LOVE this month!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of Gluten Free Pancake Mix (like Namaste brand or Pamela's brand)
  2. 1 cup Shaklee plant-based protein
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/3 cup Gluten-Free chocolate chips
  5. 2 tbsp. of coconut oil
  6. 1.5 Cup of Flax Milk or Coconut Milk
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together until just combined.
  2. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake mix into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Optional: you can pour a little maple syrup over the pancakes if you wish.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Veggie Stew

Veggie Stew in a Crockpot
While spending time with my family and watching our Carolina Panthers play on Sunday, I made this super yummy veggie stew that my husband and kids fell in love with! This recipe was inspired by my friend, Alexandra Arrandt from Top Team Fitness, but I put my own twist on this delicious stew. Here is the quick and easy recipe for you to try!
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In a crockpot, add the following ingredients
  1. 1 box of Organic low sodium chicken broth
  2. 2 large Portabello mushrooms, chopped (you could also use a pint of baby portabella mushrooms, chopped)
  3. 2 celery sticks, chopped
  4. 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  5. 1 head of broccoli, chopped (including the stems)
  6. 2 large carrots, chopped
  7. 1/2 red onion, chopped
  8. 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  9. 2 cups of black beans
  10. 4 garlic cloves, diced
  11. Fresh parsley
  12. Fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Turn your crock pot on to Low and cook for 6 hours or on High for 3 - 4 hours. This was so easy! I really just chopped whatever veggies I thought would be good and threw it in the crockpot! Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Perfectly Pumpkin Smoothie

Those who know me well know that I LOVE my smoothies every morning!  I especially love to drink seasonal smoothies so I can taste the fresh produce from each season. Since it’s Fall, I wanted to share my Perfectly Pumpkin Smoothie recipe that I think you are really going to love!  You will feel so satisfied after drinking it, and your energy level will be solid throughout the day.

If you’ve never tried a pumpkin smoothie before, you won’t believe how creamy and delicious they are!  Even though this recipe is simple and so easy to throw into a blender, the flavors are amazing and you’ll feel like you are drinking something closer to a milkshake than a smoothie, but without all of the unhealthy ingredients.

Perfectly Pumpkin Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of ice
  2. 1 cup of almond milk (or coconut milk)
  3. 3 - 4 tbsp. of organic pumpkin puree (use more if you like a stronger pumpkin taste)
  4. 2 scoops of Shaklee 180 Vanilla Chai protein
  5. 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp of honey or 1/2 teaspoon of stevia
  7. 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon or 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  8. Optional: 2 tsp. of organic cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
  3. Enjoy!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin is so versatile and so good for us!  Not only does it containcarotenoids, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium and Tryptophan (found in Prozac), it also helps keep our eyes healthy and our skin wrinkle-free!

I want to share with you a pumpkin muffin recipe that is perfect for breakfast or as afternoon snack!  Since these muffins are Nut-Free and Gluten-Free, they are a healthy, delicious muffin to bring to school.  I always have these ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator, so I can make these muffins whenever I need them.

Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Muffins
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Wet Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  2. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  3. 4 eggs, at room temperature
  4. 3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
Dry Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  2. 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  3. 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  4. ¼ tsp. of salt
*Optional topping or mix in
  1. Cacao Nibs or your choice of nuts (muffins will no longer be Nut-Free if you use nuts).
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix in one egg at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the organic pumpkin puree.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once combines, you can mix in cacao nibs, seeds or nuts if desired, or you can just leave the batter plain.
  4. Coat your muffin tin with coconut oil or coconut oil spray. Fill muffin tins to the top with the batter. Top the muffins with extra toppings if desired.
  5. For mini muffins, bake for 13-15 minutes or until done.
  6. For regular sized muffins, bake for 22-25 minutes or until done.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
  8. They taste great right out of the oven, but they taste even better the next day (if you still have any leftover)!Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can add pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for added texture while still keeping the muffin Nut-Free.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Wet Ingredients for Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Muffins

Wet Ingredients

Dry Ingredients for Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Muffins

Dry Ingredients

Optional Toppings or Mix Ins for Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Muffins

Optional Toppings or Mix Ins

 

 

 

Pumpkin Hummus

It’s “All Things Pumpkin” season!

I love using pumpkins in the Fall to make healthy, hearty recipes that not only taste great, but give me so many vital nutrients to build health in my body. Below is one of my Go To recipes to make as a quick appetizer for guests or to take to parties and school or work functions.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Hummus
A fall twist on traditional hummus.
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  3. 1/4 cup raw almond butter, or nut butter of choice
  4. 2 tbsp Wildtree Grapeseed Oil
  5. 3 tbsp honey
  6. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  10. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  11. 1/8 tsp cloves
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Serve with whole-grain pita chips or apple slices.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Pumpkin Hummus Ingredients

Pumpkin Hummus

Happy Tummy Lasagna

I always try to make recipes that are healthy, DELICIOUS, fun and easy! We all have a favorite pasta or lasagna dish that we love to eat, but we may feel a little guilty and bloated after eating it. I am so happy to share one of my favorite family dishes with you that you can enjoy and feel guilt and bloat free!

This is a wonderful meal for the entire family to enjoy for dinner, and it’s a fantastic dish to serve around the holidays! When I make this dish, my husband and I always end up eating the leftovers for lunch the next day! My Happy Tummy Lasagna is packed full of health benefits, and you can eat this and really feel great afterwards! What I love the most about this dish is that my girls love helping me make it, and we have truly turned this into a staple in our home that I know my girls will one day share with their children. Making memories in the kitchen with my girls has become one of my favorite things to do, and I hope that you will try this with your loved ones too! :)

 

Happy Tummy Lasagna
Healthy Twist on Traditional Lasagna
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep and have ready
  1. 9x11 glass baking dish
  2. 6 zucchinis, thinly sliced the long way with a mandolin slicer
Prepare for Step 1
  1. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  2. 2 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  3. 1 onion, diced
Have Ready for Step 2
  1. 2 lbs of Grass Fed Beef. I use T and D Farms Beef.
Have these items ready for step 3
  1. 2 cups of diced roma tomatoes
  2. 1 (6 ounce) can of organic tomato paste
  3. 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  4. 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of Pink Himalayan salt
  7. 1/2 tbsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. ** Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Step 1: In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the extra-virgin olive oil for 3 minutes.
  3. Step 2: Add the ground beef and brown.
  4. Step 3: Add the diced roma tomatoes, tomato paste and the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Step 4: Start layering your glass dish with your first zucchini layer. You can overlap the zucchini slices - a helper is always useful!
  6. Step 5: Layer some of the meat over the zucchini layer.
  7. Continue to layer meat and zucchini slices ending with the meat as the top and final layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Step 6: Remove from the oven and add your cheese of choice (optional). I prefer goat cheese to top it off. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 1 onions garlic EVOO

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 2 T&D Farms meat pic

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 3A Mix tomatoes meat dry ingred

 

Zucchini Lasagna - Riley and Brooke layering zucchini

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 4 Layering

 

Zucchini Lasagna - step 5 All layers in dish

 

 

Macadamia Mahi Mahi

We love Wild Mahi Mahi in our home, so I am always trying new recipes to change it up and have some variety.  My girls love helping me with this recipe, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes of prep time!  When I started having my girls (ages 5 and 8) help me with dinner, I noticed it was so much easier to get them to be excited about dinner.  They talk about how much they LOVE what “they” help to make!  Try it!  I promise you will have great success.

Costco carries Wild Caught Mahi Mahi that is:

  • Wild Pacific Mahi-Mahi
  • Boneless, skinless
  • Center cut portions, 4-8 oz each
  • Individually vacuum-packed & quick frozen
  • Kept frozen
  • 3 lb resealable bag

Macadamia Mahi Mahi
**I also wanted to share some "real" photos of what went down in my kitchen with my girls helping. I hope this will inspire you to try this with your kids, too! Let me know if you try it! :)
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Wild Caught Mahi Mahi fillets
  2. 1 cup of Macadamia nuts, chopped (We used a hand held chopper that my 5 year old, Riley, loves to help with.)
  3. 1 cup of coconut milk (We use Native Forest Coconut Milk because the can is BPA free.)
  4. 1/4 tsp. of sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. of pepper
  6. Coconut oil to coat baking dish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle the fish with the salt and pepper first.
  3. Have a 13 X 9 baking dish lightly coated with coconut oil and ready to place the fish on.
  4. Pour the macadamia nuts in one bowl and milk in another bowl.
  5. Dip one side of the fish in the milk, the dip it in the nuts and place in the dish. Complete steps for all 4 Mahi Mahi filets.
  6. Bake fish for 20 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

 

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Riley chopping nuts

My 5 year old feels so proud chopping anything!
Here, she is chopping the macadamia nuts in our hand chopper.

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan holding fish

 My 8 year old is dipping the fish in the coconut milk and then in the macadamia nuts!

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan prep fish

Dinner was accomplished!

We were all ready, and guess what?  It was so easy and quick that we never felt like we were “slaving away in the kitchen”.

This is a great Mother/Child activity that will make them feel excited about preparing dinner with you!


Healthy Gluten Free/Nut Free Brownies

I love making healthy treats for my girls.  These Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies are so quick and easy to make you will love this recipe.  I love that every ingredient actually has a health benefit, so I’ve listed those for you below my recipe.  Here are three ways to enjoy this great “healthy treat” without the guilt:

1.)  On the weekends, it can be a breakfast muffin.

2.)  During the week, it can be an after school snack.

3.)  You can use it in place of cupcakes along with my Dairy and Gluten Free Frosting for birthday parties!

Also, you can also make this recipe into Brownie Pops or Brownie Cut Outs.  These are great ways to get the kids involved!

Brooke’s Gluten Free Brownies
Just 9 healthy ingredients! You can also make this recipe into Brownie Pops or Brownie Cut Outs. These are great ways to get the kids involved!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can black beans, drained
  2. 1/2 c. cocoa
  3. 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin coconut oil
  4. 1/2 c. xylitol
  5. 2 level tsp. stevia powder
  6. 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  7. 3 large free range eggs
  8. 1/2 c. Shaklee’s Instant Protein Mix
  9. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  10. 1/4 c. water
Instructions
  1. Just add the ingredients and blend. I like using my Blendtec blender.
  2. Add chocolate chips if desired for a more chewy chocolate flavor.
  3. Be sure to mix the chips in by hand after blending the other ingredients.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

 

Health Benefits of Ingredients:

Black Beans are a satisfying protein and do not contain any of the saturated fats found in other protein sources, like red meat.  They also have more antioxidants than blueberries!

Cocoa is high in magnesium which is important for heart health.

Extra-virgin Coconut Oil lowers cholesterol as well as abdominal fat, and it helps to restore normal thyroid.  Plus, it is good for our skin and hair.

Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, is safe for diabetics to use, and it helps to prevent cavities unlike white sugar.

Stevia Powder, derived from the Stevia plant, helps with high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, indigestion, weight loss, tooth decay, osteoporosis and many other conditions.

Organic Vanilla Extract alleviates anxiety and reduces free radicals.

Free Range Eggs are not only incredible sources of high quality protein and fat, but they are also very high in nutrients.

Shaklee Instant Protein Mix contains Leucine, an amino acid found in lean meats, legumes and egg whites, that helps to build lean muscle and contributes to healthy, long-term weight loss.  Shaklee Instant Protein Mix also includes 9 important amino acids.


Cauliflower Fried Rice

I LOVE Cauliflower!  I have replaced it for my mash potatoes and now for rice! Cauliflower Rice is so versatile, and it is extremely good for you. Did you know that 1 cup of cauliflower can give you up to 86% of your daily Vitamin C? Plus, cauliflower is linked to cancer prevention, particularly in the bladder, breast, colon, prostate and ovaries.

Cauliflower Fried Rice
The Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe below can be used with or without the coconut flour. You can really change it up however you like. I LOVE this recipe because I really feel like I am eating "fried rice". Most recently, I made this as a side dish with fish, but I have also made it with chicken as a chicken and rice stir fry. I really hope you enjoy this as much as my family did! :-)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of organic cauliflower, stem removed
  2. 1/2 red or yellow onion, minced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 Tbsp fresh basil, diced
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  7. 1 tsp. of sea salt
  8. Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam the cauliflower and put in a bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the cauliflower down to the consistency of rice.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the Ingredient Mixture.
  3. Combine the two bowls and mix. Heat 3-4 Tbsp of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, pour the mixture into the skillet.
  4. *You only want to use coconut oil when cooking or frying at a high heat. Why? Coconut oil has a high smoke point. Some oils will start smoking at a low temperature and release their nutritional qualities. But, coconut oil retains its flavor and nutritional value at higher cooking temperatures.
  5. Fry cauliflower mixture for 7-10 minutes, and it will be good to go. :-)
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Wild Flounder with Fresh Herbs

I cook fish at least 2-3 times a week!  I LOVE changing up the style with just simple easy ingredients found in 

my back yard.  The herbs make this dish so flavorful and my kids kept begging me for more.  Both of my girls told me this was their favorite dish by far.  I was shocked because Mahi Mahi is always the “staple” easy fish that they love, but they truly LOVED this Wild Founder and I know your family will too!

I buy most of my WILD Fish from Costco because I think its the best deal and highest quality I can find where I live.  The brand I use is Orca Bay, and make sure you look for the WILD fish label!  I paired the wild flounder with steamed broccoli and Cauliflower Fried Rice.  :-) Enjoy!

Wild Flounder with Cauliflower Rice
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Wild Flounder with Fresh Herbs
  2. 4 Filets of Flounder
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt/Pepper
  5. Herbs: 1/4 cup of Cilantro, 1/4 Cup of Parsley, 2 Tbs. Mint Leaves
  6. 3 Tbs. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop herbs in a processor and then pour in 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and continue to run the machine.
  3. Transfer to small bowl or dish and stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Brush herbs mixture over fish to coat top.
  5. Bake fish for 15 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Fish with Califlower rice and broccoli 9-17-13b

Mahi Mahi Frenzy

I love Wild Fish and my favorite is Mahi Mahi! I went on a Wild Mahi Mahi Fish Frenzy and cooked it two nights in a row. However, I did two completely different recipes and they seemed so different it really didn’t seem like over kill at all! I am all about simple, easy and healthy and you can’t get much easier and quicker than these two recipes! I hope this will inspire you to try one of these recipes. Let me know what you think! :-)

Brooke's Basil Tomato Mahi Mahi
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 mahi-mahi fillets
  2. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  4. 2 lemons
  5. Fresh Basil
  6. Fresh Garlic, chopped
  7. 2 Tomatoes
  8. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. Parchment Paper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet with Mahi Mahi fillets
  3. Dust Paprika over fish to help browning
  4. Squeeze lemon juice and spread garlic over fish
  5. Slice tomatoes and arrange on top of fish then drizzle with oil
  6. Sprinkle fresh basil and salt/pepper to taste
  7. Fold parchment paper over fish to make a tent (secure with toothpicks)
  8. Bake on 375 for 20-25 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Cashew Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Mahi Mahi Filets
  2. 2 cups of chopped cashews
  3. 1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour (or flour of choice)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  5. 1/2 cup of Native Forest coconut milk
  6. Sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Rinse fish and pat dry
  3. Season with sea salt and pepper
  4. Mix flour with cayenne pepper and spread flat on a dish
  5. Pour coconut milk in one bowl and cashews in one bowl
  6. Dip fish on top only into flour, then coconut milk then cashews
  7. Place on dish with oil on bottom face up basically grease dish with extra virgin olive oil
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Tomato Basil Mahi CollageCCC Collage

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened, shredded dried coconut
  2. 4 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Mix in blender for 2 minutes until pureed and smooth.
  2. Optional: Add vanilla or honey to sweeten.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Homemade Non-GMO Soy Milk

Homemade Soy Milk
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons Shaklee Instant Protein Soy Mix
  2. 1 cup filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add to blender and blend until well mixed.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Grammy’s Game Hens

grammy

My Grammy’s Game Hens will become a staple in my home now. My amazing Grammy passed away a few months ago and my heart will never be the same. I have realized that the pain from the loss may never go away, but that I needed to move on and start to create memories with my family to keep her spirit alive. My Grammy had a home in Florida and in the North Carolina Mountains. I went to college in North Carolina and every summer and throughout the school year, I would venture up with my friends to enjoy her home cooked meals. One meal that always stuck out to me was her Game Hens! After college, when I met my husband Brett, we often visited Grammy in the mountain home and this was a staple dinner. I have so many wonderful memories of my Grammy, but this meal reminds me so much of her, it will become a Thomas Family Staple! I had a very fun night with my family talking about Grammy and making Game Hens! I am learning through the pain of the loss how important it is to focus on the happy times and to keep her memory alive! I hope you enjoy my Grammy’s Game Hens as much as our family did!

We served these with Zucchini Linguine!

dinner1

Grammy Game Hens
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For the hens
  1. 2 Cornish Game Hens
  2. 1 teaspoon paprika
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Sauce
  1. ½ cup sliced shallots
  2. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  3. 1/3 cup dry sherry
  4. ½ cup organic chicken broth
  5. 2 tablespoon raw unsalted butter, room temperature
  6. 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  7. 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  8. 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  9. 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. For the hens, remove the backbone with kitchen shears and discard. Cut the hens in half by splitting the breast plate with a chef’s knife. Dry hens with paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl, combine paprika, sea salt, and pepper then season the hens with the mixture.
  4. Heat oil in skillet and sear hens skin side down over medium heat until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Flip hens and sear for 2 minutes. Transfer hens to the oven and roast until the thickest part of the breast is 165 degrees (about 10 minutes). Transfer hens to a plate and let rest while making sauce.
  5. For the sauce, sauté shallots and garlic in the same skillet over medium heat until soft (about 3 minutes). Add sherry. Cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add broth and simmer about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Combine butter and flour and swirl into sauce one tablespoon at a time. Turn off heat, stir in rosemary, thyme, and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over hens.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

Zucchini Linguine

I made this dish alongside of my Grammy’s Game Hens and it was a definite hit! You could easily use this type of linguine as a healthier alternative to traditional linguine. I love this side dish because it is different – it jazzes dinner up a bit! We all love and need that, right?

Zucchini Linguine
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Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchini, ends trimmed
  2. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  4. Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Julienne zucchini using a chef’s knife or mandoline (I love this handheld mandoline slicer on Amazon).
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook until softened (2-3 minutes). Stir in oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

zucchinizucchini1

 

Moroccan Vegetable Quinoa

This was the first time trying a Moroccan dish and I will definitely be making more Moroccan spiced dishes! I added shredded chicken breast for my husband, but I had the veggie version like below. Let us know if you try it and if you add any additions.

 

Moroccan Vegetable Quinoa
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 carrots, peeled and halved length wise and diced into 1-inch sections
  2. 2 medium yellow or zucchini squash, half-moon sliced
  3. 1 red onion, cut into cubes
  4. ¼ cup organic chicken broth
  5. ¼ cup honey
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for tossing vegetables
  7. Juice of ½ lemon
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 3 cups cooked quinoa
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Toss carrots, zucchini, and onion in a bowl with EVOO, salt, and black pepper then transfer vegetables to a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Combine broth, honey, EVOO, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, add quinoa and vegetables and mix until well combined. Pour the sauce mixture onto the quinoa and mix until all is well covered.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
 

Chilled Melon Mint Soup

This refreshing soup is great for a quick lunch or as a starter to your summer dinner.

Chilled Melon Mint Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Melon (Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelon)
  2. 1 cup mint leaves
  3. ½ cup chives
  4. 2 cups seedless grapes
Instructions
  1. Puree all ingredients in a high speed blender until well combined.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/