I would like to take a moment before I begin my planned post and say.. Arkansas, I love you.

Last night, as many of you probably know from the news coverage, tornadoes ripped my state apart and so many people are left homeless, carless, devastated, missing loved ones and pets. Parents lost children, children lost parents, so many lives were taken from this earth way too soon. Entire towns were destroyed- Vilonia and Mayflower totally demolished. Our hearts are aching across this beautiful state, and as Arkansans we need to step up and help as much as we can.

Please, if you’re in central Arkansas, and you can help, donate your man time. I know that New Life Church has people volunteering today, and many other churches and organizations will be taking volunteers in the weeks to come. You can also contact the Red Cross, they take donations and volunteers. Many places around town here in Fort Smith are taking up donations of items needed- clothes, toiletries, non perishable food, etc., 5news and 40/29 news have available drop off locations listed on their websites.

I pray for peace and comfort for the beautiful citizens of my great state today, and in the coming weeks of rebuilding their lives. God Bless us all, and please, please, remember to have a plan in place and seek shelter as soon as possible during a tornado warning.

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Pineapple Salsa

 

Sounds delicious, eh? That is because it IS!!

I have probably posted about this delicious treat before…. it IS one of my summer faves, after all. Totally worth a repeat post, I think.

Pineapple Salsa & Ray Bans


  Want to know a secret? I didn’t like pineapple until like, 2 years ago, when I was slicing one up for my sister and decided to try a bite. CRAZY, right?! I’m not, and I haven’t ever been, a huge tropical fruit fan. I mean, yeah, they smell good (usually) but something about texture was always a problem for me. Luckily, as I’m getting older, my tastes are changing, and so are my texture problems. Like pineapple, for instance. Or honeydew, I can finally eat that one, too. I was totally missing out! My favorite summer meal involves pineapple salsa, grilled pineapple, grilled chicken, grilled bell peppers, grilled cornable (corn on the…. I used to say cornable as a kid, and I still do! ha!) cob, and unsweet, ice cold tea. Y’all. I’m like, drooling over here, right now! So fire up the grill, and while its getting hot, whip up this pineapple salsa to serve with cucumber chips, on top of chicken or grilled anything, or just eat it with a spoon. Pineapple Salsa
NOTHING in this recipe is measured out. Sometimes I make it for myself, sometimes for a group of people. Everything is fresh and healthy, so unless you’re counting your carbs for a contest prep or cutting, you should be fine without measuring. Cooking by taste is so much fun, I often don’t measure a dang thing. Until I wish I could remember how I created that one thing…. ;)

Core a fresh delicious beautiful pineapple. I stop mid way to drain the juice into a glass. I’ll post what I do with it, after this recipe.

Grab a serrano pepper, and dice it up. Dice, Dice, Baby!

Mince a small handful of fresh cilantro

Dice a red or orange bell pepper

Mix everything in a bowl

Sprinkle generously with pink himalayan sea salt and black pepper

ENJOY!

And for a healthy kick and boost of energy, mix your pineapple juice with a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar and a shake of cayenne pepper. Sip slowly and enjoy!

 

 

 

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So lately the thing I have noticed most often listening to people talk about their weight, their upcoming summer vacations, their schedules…

No one seems to have the time, or think they have the time, to plan and prepare healthy meals. To this, I say, PSSSHHHHHH. Of COURSE YOU DO!

I think the main reason people feel this way is because y’all might be out buying the normal American Grocery Haul. By this, I mean high sodium, high chemical, high fructose corn syrup laden “phood.” It is so easy for ANYONE to get swept away by the rush rush rush of our “do more, be more” society. Work, kids going to school, cub scouts, baseball, dance, church.. where is the time to cook? Why not just hit up the drive thru?

BECAUSE YOUR SUPER SIZE FRIES WILL KILL YOU.

Ok… now that I have your attention. :P

Here are the TOP FIVE FOODS to have on hand in your kitchen to help with A) food prep and time management B) weight loss C)chemical and sugar addiction.

What?! FIVE FOODS?! THAT’s IT?!

Kinda.

1. lean protein
Chicken, lean ground beef, ground turkey, fish, eggs…….. organic, non GMO for all of these, when possible. If you’re a vegan/vegetarian, organic non GMO tofu, beans, greens. If you’re in a rush in the mornings, you can substitute or add in a protein shake (I like Cellucor brand), too.

2. frozen vegetables
Why not fresh? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking fresh vegetables. Farmers market fresh is the way to go, or grow your own! But if you’re one of those “I don’t have time” people, frozen veggies are the way to go. Recent studies show that frozen veggies contain the same amount of vitamins and nutrients when compared to “fresh” vegetables that have been shipped prior to being ripe and then sit in the grocery store (great article in Muscle & Fitness magazine!). All you have to do is pour them into a skillet with a bit of water or coconut oil, some Mrs. Dash, and voila, you’ve got stir fry!

3. fresh fruit
Not frozen? Right. Why? Fruit is nature’s fast food. Easy for grab and go, keep apples, bananas, pears, peaches, plums- whatever is in season- close at hand to satisfy your sweet tooth! Fruit is so portable .. banana in the briefcase, apple in the cup holder of your car.. you’ll never be hungry on the go again!

4. raw nuts + nut butters
High in healthy fats, and with some protein, natural nut butters are perfect to go alongside a piece of fruit or Ezekiel bread. Raw nuts are also one of my favorite grab and go snacks- when you’re meal prepping just throw a serving size (1 oz, about 24 almonds) in to a baggie and stick it in your bag. With nuts, make sure you soak them for about an hour (up to 24) before eating them. I like to soak ours then dehydrate them. Sometimes for a sweeter snack I dehydrate them with raw honey drizzled over them, and a bit of pink himalayan sea salt.

5. healthy carbs
No more white rice. No more wonder bread. No more flour tortillas. Those are all simple carbs and turn straight to sugar in the blood. So, if you’re watching your sugar intake (you should be! The daily recommended value is something like 30g, when in reality 10g is way too much, and the average American consumes 30+ grams PER MEAL! Sugar feeds cancer and so many other illnesses!) or if you’re pre-diabetic, these foods are really terrible for you. Carbs are good for you- when they’re complex. You can still enjoy rice, just opt for organic brown rice. My family eats quinoa a lot in place of rice and sometimes in place of pasta. There are other options for pasta, like black bean pasta, or making your own “noodles” out of vegetables (like zucchini- called zoodles!). Ditch the Wonder Bread in favor of Ezekiel bread, and you can also get Ezekiel sprouted tortillas!

If you make these small changes, you will see your health improve drastically, and you will also see the excess weight start to drop off. Little, sustainable changes are the key to big results!!

xoxo

Chile infused Feta Spread

April 22nd, 2014 | Posted by kandicepoirier in meal prep | recipes - (0 Comments)

Sometimes, I feel homesick.

Homesick for summer days on the Tennessee River, or Pickwick Lake, chasing the sun with my best friend on her bright yellow boat. Lounging in the glorious, sweltering southern heat that is a Tennessee Summer. You seriously can’t beat it. Sometimes muddy water, a bright blue sky, a couple of cold ones.. raybans and tan lines, flip flops and gas stops at one of the several marinas around. Ah, the life.

Another place I feel homesick for is Downtown Savannah. Savannah, Tennessee, y’all. It’s not as “southern” as Savannah, Georgia (or so I hear) but it is home, and it is historic and well cared for and welcoming.

One of my favorite places in Downtown Savannah is Uptown Bistro. I have spent so many hours there, sipping wine with friends and family, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, cultivating new friendships, and enjoying old ones. One season (the menu changes with the seasons, adorable, right!?) there was an entire Mediterranean feel, and one of my favorite items was a chile infused feta spread with pita and kalamata olives.

When I was visiting not too long ago, I of course stopped in for dinner! The spread wasn’t on the menu anymore, but my sweet friend, and the owner, Gail, whipped up my favorite in the kitchen just for me. :) I love being a regular. I knew right then I couldn’t live without this in my life anymore! Gail shared her ingredients with me, and when I came home, I re-created it but left a few things out to make it fit my macros.

Here’s my version.. we’ll call it Uptown Fiery Feta a la #kandipiekitchen

xoxo

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This recipe is a single serving, but is easily doubled/tripled/etc.
1/4c feta cheese
1tbsp olive oil
chile powder to taste

Mix well, enjoy.

How I plan to make it next time is a little different. I am going to make chile infused olive oil and use that to mix in with the feta. I plan to make it by using a small oil bottle, 1 sliced chile pepper stuffed inside, and let sit for a few days or a week.

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Brunch-worthy

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by kandicepoirier in desserts | meal prep | recipes - (0 Comments)

The weather is warmer, y’all, and my southern roots are screaming “front porch brunch!” Ok, maybe its not really my southern roots, since I was rooted in doritos and potted meat sandwiches, but the chef in me LOVES a good brunch!

So tonight, for dessert, I worked on a little recipe for brunch when my mother in law visits at the end of the month. I love doing brunch for her, its so fun and I know she enjoys it. Once, she thanked me for taking such good care of her when she visits. I just love being the hostess!

Brunch worthy strawberry salad

 

I made a larger bowl, and a single serving size. I love the idea of serving this healthy brunch side in individual, pretty little dishes. Especially champagne flutes, with mimosas and poinsettias!

To create the SINGLE SERVING SIZE:

2 strawberries, diced
1 tsp feta cheese
1 tsp pine nuts (raw or roast them in the oven with coconut oil and mint leaves)
drizzle with raw honey

This is perfect and I”ll probably serve alongside eggs benedict and tiny toasts with glazed bacon.

 

Happy Brunching!

xo
kP

Oh, spring, you flirty thing! I am so happy that warmer weather is here! Flowers are blooming and I am just dying to eat a million vegetables every day.

Tonight I threw together some of my favorite ingredients to create a veggie dinner that was totally delightful and filling, and loved by the whole family. Enjoy!

 

green beans and quinoa


  To create this yummy dinner, you will need (serves 4) 3 cups fresh french beans 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled 1 cup zima tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil generous sprinkling of garlic powder generous sprinkling of onion powder 1 cup quinoa, cooked

This is such a simple, delicious meal- perfect for those summer nights after baseball games and boat rides!

This is such a simple, delicious meal- perfect for those summer nights after baseball games and boat rides!

Sautee the french beans in the olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder until almost tender, then add the tomatoes. Toss the mixture so the tomatoes become coated with the olive oil as well. Once the beans are tender and the tomatoes are warm, remove from heat.

Serve beans and tomatoes with 1/4c quinoa and sprinkle with 1/4c feta cheese.

Optional: Sprinkle with crushed red pepper or balsamic vinegar for a little *kick* :)

Small Changes for Big Results

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by kandicepoirier in General - (0 Comments)

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Today I was so fortunate to be able to speak at the local library here in Fort Smith! It is their employee development day and I was asked to speak a little bit about little things they can do to make changes to their health. I had so much fun! The people were so kind and attentive, and they applauded me. Seriously, best experience ever. ;)

You can listen to my little talk by clicking on the SoundCloud link above!

Little Changes for BIG Improvements!

  • Take the stairs, walk, or ride a bike whenever possible
  • Cook with coconut oil or olive oil instead of canola/vegetable oil
  • Switch from dairy milk to almond or coconut, carageenen free
  • Use coconut or brown rice flour in place of regular flour
  • Swap refined sugar for organic sugar or coconut sugar
  • Use stevia (I like Truvia) whenever possible in place of sugar
  • Drink more water! At least half your body weight in ounces daily (120lbs = 60oz water)
  • Measure your portions!
  • Ditch the fast food/candy bar/mini chip bags in favor of Nature’s ORIGINAL fast food- FRUIT!
  • Snack on nuts- raw or roasted but never salted
  • Try going meatless one day a week
  • Eat fish or chicken, cut back on red meat. Be aware of where your food comes from!
  • Shop locally
  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • Take time for you- meditation & yoga
  • Drink herbal tea at night instead of snacking
  • Write down or track your food intake daily with a notebook or an app like My Fitness Pal

Thanks for listening :)

xo
kP

 

Totally WICKED

February 10th, 2014 | Posted by kandicepoirier in ambassador | desserts | meal prep | neocell | recipes - (0 Comments)

Happy  Monday to you!

I’m coming off the best weekend, ever! My parents took me, my sister, my brother’s fiancé, and my other brother’s girlfriend to see Wicked at the Orpheum in Memphis! I was so worried we wouldn’t be able to go- the snow and ice has been relentless for us this winter! I mean, relentless for small southern towns that aren’t prepared or even used to driving in this winter weather mess! But, my dad, the hero, drove us safe and sound on the ice all the way! Oh, and I’m a hero too, I guess, for making it from my house to theirs, which is a 3 hour journey. :) Wicked was everything I wanted it to be, and more. I read the book years ago, it was actually a gift from my parents… so it was extra special that I got to see the play with my mom and sister (my dad didn’t go to the play, he went with my uncle and brother in law to check out Beale Street). Of course since we were in Memphis we had BBQ. ;) Live a little, right?!

Today I began the process to shape up my eating. AGAIN. I find that as I am busier with my own clients, social commitments, and writing, its easier for me to slip up or neglect my own health. NOT GOOD, y’all. Not good at all.. for my skin, my mentality, my energy, my pants!

You know I’m a huge fan of NeoCell. They’re so fantastic, as a company, to their customers and to me as an ambassador. I especially love the french vanilla collagen sport protein powder. I probably love it the most because even though its white in the container, it is PURPLE when you use it!! So this morning, my pancakes were a bit purple. :) SO MUCH FUN!

NeoCell Protein Pancake

 

To make these delicious protein pancakes, mix 1/2 banana, 1 scoop NeoCell Collagen Sport, 2 egg whites, and 1/4c almond milk together, then cook like you would a normal pancake.

Now.. I know you’re BURNING INSIDE about the little balls of chocolate, and the chocolate fudge looking heart on top of the pancakes. Well, let me tell you!

FONDANT. FUDGE. SPREAD.

Wait, what?! Ok. So, if you’ve known me a long time, you know that before I found a love for being healthy, I had a very serious affair with cake decorating and cake pops.

red velvet | scrumpture

 

I even ran a small bakery out of my home in Tennessee for a while. So fun! But, the more I delved in to the world of health and fitness, the guiltier I felt about providing people with sweets, and showing my kids tons of sweets and providing them for others while telling them NO.

I have missed cake decorating, to be honest. Well, I did primarily cupcakes and cake pops. I love creating, I love art, and baking/frosting was a fabulous outlet for me. So, I’ve been playing around with a healthy, sculpt-able frosting recipe.. and this morning, I GOT IT. :)

Protein Pancakes

 

It is SO simple, and SO EASY. Melt 1 tsp coconut oil, add 1tbsp plain greek yogurt, and 2tbsp raw cacao powder or pb2. I used chocolate pb2 this morning… and then I had fun playing with my healthy “fondant.” To make it more solid (for more embellished decor), adding more powder might work, but also using more coconut oil, then refrigerating it a bit so it reaches a more solid texture… I’m still playing with it.

Please enjoy, and experiment away! I would love to see your creations if you use this “fondant, fudge type” frosting on any of your meals!

xo

kP

You’re Sweet, HONEY!

January 30th, 2014 | Posted by kandicepoirier in desserts | recipes - (0 Comments)
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Raw honey: get your buzz on

Honey… yum.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten the obvious out of the way, let’s talk about what all the buzz is over…. buzz, buzz, buzz…

Have you been sick this year? Fortunately, I haven’t (yet). My older daughter goes to public school, so it really is just a matter of time before some germy mcGermson comes home with her and infects the rest of us. Bright outlook, huh? ;)

If you have been sick, maybe you’ve already consumed a bit of honey this winter. If you haven’t, maybe you’ve given out the “hot toddy” recipe to your sickie friends… a shot of warm whiskey, some lemon juice, and some honey. Well, if you’re from the south, anyway. I think most people recommend green tea with lemon and honey. I digress.

Honey isn’t just there for you when you’re sick. But I bet you didn’t know that if you’re consuming honey from the bear-shaped bottle at your local Wal-Mart, you’re probably not getting many of the benefits from it anyway.

Say, what now!? But I love that honey bear! It was always a welcome sight to see on a Saturday morning when my mom would serve us big fluffy buttermilk biscuits and butter smothered in honey on the side. Yuuusssssss so good! My step-dad would always shoo us away from the honey-butter bowl and slurp it all up. Too bad we weren’t *really* eating honey, haha.

So besides being sick, here are a couple of reasons YOU should be consuming raw honey on the daily:

1. It has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. CHA-CHING!

2. Raw honey promotes digestive health

3. It strengthens the immune system, and can even alleviate allergies!

4. RAW HONEY TASTES BETTER

5. It can treat skin wounds and infections

6. Raw honey can stabilize blood pressure and balance sugar levels!

7. LOCAL raw honey can carry the type of pollen an individual is allergic to, so consuming LOCAL raw honey will seriously help with allergy problems. AMAZING, right?!

8. Raw honey is an expectorant and anti-inflammatory.

9. Raw honey has not been pasteurized or treated- if you’re consuming honey that HAS BEEN pasteurized or treated, you might as well be consuming refined sugar. Scary, right?

10. Did I mention that raw honey just.. tastes better? It is like eating spoonfuls of delicious candy RIGHT FROM THE JAR!

If these reasons aren’t enough to make you seek out a local bee keeper… well, you’re doomed. Ok, I’m kidding, you’re not doomed. But you’re seriously missing out. Honey is good for SO many things… grab yourself a jar of local raw honey and enjoy!

Why shopping local is important, especially when it comes to honey: The health and wellness of the bees, first and foremost. By buying locally produced honey, you can be in touch with the source, and ask questions. How do the bees live (what types of materials are their hives made from?)? Where are the hives kept? What, if any, pesticides are used around the hives? Bee keeping is a beautiful thing, and the bees work hard to make the honey… and the bee keepers work hard, too. Buying locally produced honey is a bit more expensive, but you also get the guarantee that you know your honey isn't being mixed with GMO corn syrup, or any other chemicals.

Why shopping local is important, especially when it comes to honey:
The health and wellness of the bees, first and foremost. By buying locally produced honey, you can be in touch with the source, and ask questions. How do the bees live (what types of materials are their hives made from?)? Where are the hives kept? What, if any, pesticides are used around the hives?
Bee keeping is a beautiful thing, and the bees work hard to make the honey… and the bee keepers work hard, too. Buying locally produced honey is a bit more expensive, but you also get the guarantee that you know your honey isn’t being mixed with GMO corn syrup, or any other chemicals.

 

My husband bought a little Meyer Lemon tree for me yesterday. I'm so excited! It smells amazing in my house, and once it warms up, it will be placed outside during the day to catch some sun… and to provide a little rest stop for any little bee that wants  to visit! Part of saving the bees is creating a habitat! Planting flowers that bees like in your garden, or creating a nesting site with hollow bamboo, there are so many things that you can do to help save our bees! Find out more by visiting buzzaboutbees.net

My husband bought a little Meyer Lemon tree for me yesterday. I’m so excited! It smells amazing in my house, and once it warms up, it will be placed outside during the day to catch some sun… and to provide a little rest stop for any little bee that wants to visit! Part of saving the bees is creating a habitat! Planting flowers that bees like in your garden, or creating a nesting site with hollow bamboo, there are so many things that you can do to help save our bees! Find out more by visiting buzzaboutbees.net

RECIPE time, y’all!

You didn’t think I would create this gorgeous post about delicious honey and leave you to your own devices, did you!?

NO!

Please try my delicious Sweet & Spicy Carrot Fries!

Sweet & Spicy Carrot Fries

To serve 2-3 people, use 4 large, whole carrots. Wash and peel them, then dice them in to french-fry shapes.

Bake them at 400 with coconut oil and cayenne pepper until tender, then broil them on high for about 3 minutes. When they come out of the oven and you’ve plated them, drizzle a teaspoon or two of fresh, local honey over them. Enjoy!

*I am not a carrot fan and these were SO AMAZING. Please enjoy this recipe and let me know how you liked it! If you’re serving to kids, you can definitely substitute the cayenne pepper for garlic or even sea salt.

Remember when you were a kid and you just LOVED meatloaf night? Yeah, I don’t either. LOL!

Except.. my kids really enjoy meat loaf night. But not because its anything special, just because they’re both crazy over ketchup.

We sometimes have store-bought ketchup, organic, of course. But I try not to buy too much. Last summer, my Grandma Connie made the BEST ketchup ever with tomatoes from her garden. It was SO SO good! It obviously did not last very long in my house with my little dippers. Back to meatloaf. It is SO EASY. And it is so HEALTHY if you make it properly (Like my veggie filled meatloaf HERE.) You can make it in a muffin tin and end up with lunch on the go for the week. Whatever works.

I’m trying to break the ketchup habit and mix things up a bit for my kiddos. Also, I have a brand new jar of salsa from Grandma’s garden stash that is just begging me to open it. Soooooo why not come up with some insanely delicious taco meatloaf?! YEAH.

Here’s the recipe:

1lb ground turkey
5 cloves garlic, minced (its flu season, eat all the garlic you can!)
1 small white onion, minced
1 egg
3tbsp nutritional yeast
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375, mix all ingredients, and put in a loaf pan (or muffin tin). Bake until turkey is done. Top with salsa and lettuce, enjoy!

I plan to serve ours tonight with brown rice or quinoa, shredded romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, and cholula. Enjoy!

Its FRIDAY, y’all!

I’m so excited! I love Friday. I love Monday, too… well, I love every day. ;) This weekend, get your Saturday going properly with this delicious PROTEIN muffin recipe!

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These are delicious- even my husband enjoyed them and he’s usually not a fan of “protein” anything besides a straight up protein shake. You could also put walnuts in them and they’ll be fab!

Recipe:

2 frozen bananas, thawed
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/4 c coconut flour
1 scoop french vanilla whey protein (I used NEOCELL Collagen Sport)
1 egg
2 tbsp gf df Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Mix, bake @ 350 for 20 minutes

Bear