Matcha Muffins

For 27 years I bragged about my zero-caffeine diet… And then I was introduced to matcha. Although the superfood contains caffeine, it also contains a ton of other amazing properties, which is why it is now a staple part of my diet. Matcha is a powerful antioxidant, it boosts metabolism, burns calories, aids in concentration, and has a ton of vitamins. And those are just a few of the benefits!

Side note- there is nothing wrong with caffeine if you ask me personally, I just choose to avoid it.

As much as I love my matcha latte’s, I also love incorporating matcha into my recipes. For MONTHS now I’ve tried to perfect matcha muffins, and I’m happy to announce the recipe is complete! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

What You Will Need:
1 3/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup + 2T Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1T matcha
Handful blueberries

What You Will Do:
In a large bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil, maple syrup, and egg.
In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, matcha.
Pour bowl of dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.


Add a small handful of blueberries and mix again!
Line a muffin tray with muffin cups, and pour batter into the cups. You will have enough batter for 11-12 muffins!


Garnish with more blueberries if you’d like! Aim for 2-3 blueberries per muffin.
Cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Check with a toothpick (if it comes out clean, you are done, otherwise cook up to 18 minutes!)

Beet Pancakes

Valentine’s Day is HERE, so we decided to make the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast! Beets are FULL of nutrients, and their beautiful pink color made the root a no brainer to create a recipe with. These bad boys are also vegan, and super allergy-friendly! And not to mention, they are quick and easy and perfect to make on this special morning. Happy Valentine’s Day!

What You Will Need:
1 1/4 cup oat flour
1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons water- refrigerate for 3 minutes)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup juice from boiled beets
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 1/4 cup hemp milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Vegan chocolate chips sprinkled on top (or in the batter, too!)

What You Will Do:
Boil beets in water for 5 minutes, or until water is red!
In a large mixing bowl combine oat flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a separate bowl combine chia egg, water from boiled beets, vegan butter, hemp milk, vanilla, and maple syrup.


Pour your dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are combined.


Heat up skillet on the stove, pour batter onto griddle (4 at a time) and cook till golden brown (don’t forget to flip!)


Optional: add maple syrup and chocolate chips on top!

NIMA Sensor

IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE! What you ask? Nima; a discreet and portable food sensor that allows consumers to test their meals for gluten in a few minutes. It’s been called a pregnancy test for gluten, which is the best way to think about it! Regardless of what you call it, Nima is a total game-changer for the gluten-free industry, enabling customers to dine safely and get to the bottom of, “what exactly is in the food we eat?”
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So how does it work? It’s SO easy! Here’s what you do:

1 – Drop some food into the disposable capsule and screw on the cap.
2 – Insert capsule into the Nima device.
3 – Press the button to power on Nima and begin testing. It’s that easy.
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Nima is sensitive to 20 ppm (parts per million) and specific to gluten. If Nima detects any levels of gluten, it will display a wheat symbol. If Nima displays a smile, it means that any levels of gluten are below the FDA guidance for gluten-free (20 ppm). The best part about Nima is that the device also connects to a mobile app, so you can share your results with the gluten-free community!
The retail price of a Nima starter kit, which includes the reusable sensor and three disposable test capsules, is $229 (the original version) or $289 (newest version). By using the code “NOBREAD” at checkout, you will receive a $15 discount on your starter kit! 
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Before I sign off, it is important to note that Nima is coming out this week with their latest sensor… a peanut sensor! It truly is a game-changing device that is changing the allergy-friendly world… dairy and tree-nut devices are on the horizon!
To read more about Nima, check out their website, here!

Jersey Mike’s Introduces a Gluten-Free Sub!

Jersey Mike’s is king of the SUB. So it’s safe to say not only have I not been, but I avoid going! Well that all changed this week when I went to the sandwich shop for the first time! I learned the franchise now carries GF subs in all locations, so of course I had to give it a try ASAP!

The rolls are manufactured in Denver by Udi’s parent company Boulder Brands, and the bread was tested in more than 200 locations in six states over the course of two years! LEGIT!

So you may be wondering, does the team keep the GF rolls totally safe and away from the gluten-filled rolls? The answer is YES! Jersey Mike’s worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group to develop procedures and a training video to prevent cross-contamination. To make the gluten-free subs, workers must wash their hands, change their gloves, wash the work counter and make the subs on top of a separate sheet of paper in order to reduce the risk of cross-contact with gluten.

It’s no surprise JM’s has decided to cater to our community with the rollout of their new roll… they take pride in their MSA Grade top round beef that is trimmed and cooked right in the store, and care immensely about the quality of produce they serve their customers.

What I liked most about JM’s is that everything is prepared right in front of you. I am able to attest that, without telling the team about my allergy, just simply ordering the GF sub, they followed proper protocol to ensure there wasn’t any cross contamination on the deli counter. Jersey Mike’s tradition of quality is top notch and much appreciated! I highly recommend trying the gluten-free sub ASAP!

Why I Do Acupuncture and Cupping

When I was first diagnosed with my gluten intolerance and I was dealing with immune issues, I became a total believer in alternative practices. I mean, the doctor who first diagnosed me with my intolerances, and changed my life after 19 years of constant unexplained illnesses, was a chiropractor who specialized in homeopathic care. All the traditional doctors I was going to were loading me up with medication as a ‘remedy’!!

I often joke that I’ve done every weird, voo-doo type of wellness practice there is, and when new ones emerge, I try them, too! Of all of the practices and techniques I’ve done over the last nine years, the best I’ve ever felt was when I was doing acupuncture with a paleo diet. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese Medicine that involves stimulating specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. This allows for movement along our bodies meridians and clears blockages.

Introducing acupuncture’s older, more bad-ass sister, cupping. I’ve done cupping religiously now since August and absolutely love it. So what is it? Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air.” (MindBodyGreen) Through suction, the underlying tissue is raised into the cup, increasing circulation. The suction also lifts stagnant toxins so your body can excrete them.

The misconception with cupping is that the circle marks you are left with at the end a) stay for a super long time and b) are a result of the suction. The outer circle, yes, is a result of the cups being circular, but the dark red marks that remain are static blood, lymph, toxins and more that have been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface.

Common Cupping questions:

  1. Do you actually feel a difference? And how can you tell? Yes. In the day following a cupping session it is important to drink a TON of water to move the toxins (that have now been pulled up and released into your system) out of your system. You may feel detox symptoms! These symptoms range from headaches and nausea to body aches. In the long-term, cupping improves joint and muscle pain, balances hormones, promotes relaxation, boosts skin health, and improves digestion! I mainly use cupping to balance my hormones, de-bloat, and help my digestion.
  2. Does it hurt? Nope! It feels a little itchy/tight for a minute or two and then I honestly feel so relaxed I can fall asleep!
  3. How long do the marks last? The darker the circle, the more blockage you have in the area. Also the darker your circles, the longer it takes to go away. My light colored circles are typically gone in 3 or so days, and the darker ones typically take 5-7 days!

*The first photo was taken after my first ever session! And the second photo shows my progress two months later after going 1-2x a week consistently! 

The first picture in this post, with the heart-shaped marks (how cute is my acupuncturist?!) was taken just this week. I’ve been traveling and on the go non-stop since the holiday’s, and have been out of my weekly acupuncture/cupping routine… and clearly my body is feeling it! I’m back to my weekly visits, and I can’t wait to start feeling the benefits again!!

For acupuncture and cupping I go to Dr. Kara . Her office is in Beverly Hills, and not only is she a total acupuncture WIZARD but she is an AMAZING human being. I highly recommend seeing her!

xx, Nicole

 

 

 

My Workout Routine!

I am constantly asked what I do for workouts! Well, would you believe me if I told you I don’t have a gym membership?! Gyms stress me out… and I find it hard to stay motivated when I am there!

I moved here from New York City, the city of walking. And before my NYC days I went to Cornell University where I walked 30 minutes uphill to classes every day and all over campus. So when I moved to Los Angeles, the city of driving and traffic, my walk time was seriously cut down. And not even cut in half… it was cut into a tiny little fraction! So what do I do to remedy this little situation? I walk around my neighborhood MINIMUM once a day (I aim for twice a day on a good day!) for at least 40 minutes per session. I’m a brisk walker, so I definitely break a sweat, too!

Living in Los Angeles enables me to do so many activities that keep me in great shape! I hike at least twice a week, go roller blading with my girl friends in Venice, and ride a bike whenever I can!

So that’s it… you just walk and do activities? NAH. I also do classes, but classes come second to getting my walk(s) in!

Currently I am on a pilates kick! I discovered this class in LA, Hot Pilates, thanks to Selena Gomez. TRUE STORY. I heard she goes to all the time, and she looks bomb, so I decided to go and try it out one day. It’s Mat Pilates in a 95 degree room! The sweat I break here is unlike the sweat I break in any other class. My full body is DRENCHED by the time we are half way through.

I highly recommend the intro special: $100 for unlimited classes in your first month! After the first week I was AMAZED at the new definition I was seeing in my body.

They also offer a range of classes, from classes that focus on your booty, to an all over sculpt (my go-to), to a yoga style pilates. I go to sculpt most often, but definitely hit some of the other classes to change it up. And given the studio has so many different teachers, no two classes are ever the same! Even if you go to the same instructor religiously!

Studio MDR is another Los Angeles based fitness class, anddddd BOLD STATEMENT ALERT. It is the HARDEST class in Los Angeles! And by that I mean hardest in the best way possible! You will be sore AF the next day, yet the class is fun, the teachers are awesome and energetic, and your body will legit see results after just one class. Take Mary Miller’s class!!

Because I know the majority of you reading this post want to know what classes I take, here’s my list of specific classes!

I do yoga once a week and I go to Core Power (c2 or Sculpt) or Modo Yoga. I call Core Power “the Soul Cycle of yoga.” It’s a more upbeat yoga, with a bit of a sexiness to it. For the real deal yoga, where you are in touch with your center and your being, go to Modo! You’ll sweat a ton in both. Recently I’ve tried y7 a few times and I like it! It’s all flow, and it’s different because there are no mirrors and you are in a dark room. I like this because I don’t stare at myself in the mirror and judge myself. Thinking ‘hey I’m bloated today’ while trying to connect with your soul is pretty distracting, and y7 removes this!

Other workout classes I’ll throw into the mix! 
Class by TT- Los Angeles, Vancouver, NYC. A totally spiritual experience. Think yoga meets mat pilates, with chanting and a bit of meditating. Exotic and you’ll be sore the next day, too.
Barre 3– Nationwide- Fricken love this class! I wish we had one in Los Angeles, so instead I do it every time I go back to NYC. It is Barre but with a TON of movement! So you’ll get a bit of cardio in, too!
Training Mate– Los Angeles. Circuit training with stud Australian instructors! One minute stations that you do on repeat. A tough workout, and SUPER fun. PS- buy their calendar.
Sweat with Bec- Bec is MY GIRL. Raddest human I know, and her bands will transform your body. If you are in NYC, take this class!!

Right now my girlfriends and I are on a dancing kick!  We’ve been doing private classes, but I’m told the Sweat Shop (Silver Lake) and Edge (WeHo) are the spots to go for group dance. Even the most simple dances are SUCH a cardio workout!

As you can see, I try not to do anything more than once or twice a week. My body responds best to diversity!! What workouts do YOU do?

xx, Nicole