Why I’ve Done IV Therapy for the Last EIGHT Years

Every time I Instagram Story or Snap a video of myself having an IV drip, I’m met with a flood of DM’s and comments asking:

What’s Wrong!?
OMG are you okay?!
Do those actually help?!

The answers? Nothing’s wrong! I’m great! And YES!

In addition to going gluten-free and my daily probiotic, I credit vitamin drips with drastically improving my health. Can you believe that I’ve been doing IV Vitamin Therapy for eight years now?! IV Vitamin Therapy injects vitamins directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract. Sadly, no matter how many vegetables you eat or vitamins you take, if you have a compromised gut, you will not be able to absorb the nutrients. Using an IV bypasses this!

My integrative doctor from home (Long Island), Kristine Blanche, was the first one to open my eyes to the world of IV Therapy. I was two years deep into gluten-free life, and although my chronic hives had gone away and chronic illnesses were starting to ease, I was still dealing with a plethora of health issues. For one, my blood tests were indicating that I was TOTALLY malnourished, which was baffling as I was living on fruits and vegetables and leading a ‘healthy’ life. But after 20 years of gut damage, it’s understandable that my gut was far from healthy. One of the biggest signs that my body was malnourished was that I was going on about one year of #noperiod.

At my first meeting with Kristine, she conducted full body lab work and assured me that with IV Therapy, I’d feel great and have my period back within weeks of seeing her.

Enter Vitamin Drip. My blood tests indicated which vitamins I was low in, and Kristine tailored my IV according to the vitamins and nutrients my labs indicated I needed. That’s the amazing part of IV Therapy! Yes your local IV center likely offers a set menu of IV options, but ultimately, each IV bag can be customized to your specific needs.

After my second vitamin drip, yes my SECOND drip, I got my period! This just proved that my body was finally getting the vitamins it needed. A healthy period is a sign of a healthy body!!

I continued to do vitamin drips with Kristine weekly, and then monthly while I was away at school. When I am having health set backs I do vitamin drips frequently, but when I am feeling great I do them sparingly. Even when I feel totally ‘healthy,’ I still do IV Therapy as maintenance to keep me in my healthy state.

Now that I live in Los Angeles, and I don’t have Kristine (although I text her constantly… isn’t text a beautiful thing??) I’ve had a tough time finding an IV Vitamin Center where I feel totally comfortable. That is until I found The Hydration Room.

Started in Orange County and now with a new location in Santa Monica, The Hydration Room is CLEAN AF, has a plethora of menu items, and the staff is incredibly kind and accommodating. Most importantly, they are SO professional!! I have difficult veins (every doctor or nurse I have ever come across has told me so) and the nurse at The Hydration Room finds my vein within seconds EVERY. TIME. That is because she is emergency room trained and has been administering IV’s for years!

If you are looking for an IV here in Los Angeles, this is your spot. Not only does The Hydration Room have education in the center as to why IV Therapy is beneficial, but they have a HUGE menu of drip options with information on each, and they are happy to custom a bag, too!

I can’t tell you enough how beneficial IV Therapy is if you have a compromised gut. If you’ve been feeling poorly for a while, and can’t seem to figure out why, I highly suggest giving IV Therapy a shot!

BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™

Summer recipes are my absolute favorite. Grilled seafood and vegetables, avocado on everything, and that good ‘ol margarita that makes the meal complete. Well, there is one summer dish that is often overlooked, and today I’m bringing this delicious side recipe to center stage. BEANS! BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ to be exact.

BUSH’S® Black Beans are naturally gluten-free, only 120 calories per half cup serving, and have 7 grams of protein per serving! Oh, and the beans have just the right amount of spice!

Today I am making my classic summer lunch dish, and packing on a little bit of heat thanks to BUSH’s® Beans.

What You Will Need:
3-4 oz Wild Shrimp
1 Can BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™
½ Avocado
Handful of Tortilla Chips
1/2T Avocado oil

What You Will Do:

Remove the BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ from the can and heat for 1-2 minutes in a microwave safe dish.
While your beans are baking, sauté 3-4oz defrosted or fresh Wild Shrimp in 1/2T avocado oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook your shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Plate your shrimp, along with the tortilla chips and mashed avocado.
Scoop about 1/3 can of BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ onto the plate, too!

Serve and enjoy!

Blondie Bars with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

I’ve tried making blondies for years, but have yet to develop the perfect recipe. Well my friends, that all changed TODAY. Not only did these blondies come out just as I wanted them to, but they were delicious and totally allergy-free!! Feast your eyes on my new favorite recipe, courtesy of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chip Minis! 

You’ve seen me post Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate for YEARS now, and there is a reason for it. I am absolutely OBSESSED with it! The mini chips, dark chocolate morsels, and mega chunks are staples in my cabinets, and not only are they incredibly delicious, but the chocolate, as well as the entire Enjoy Life Foods brand, is entirely allergy-free.

I’m known to grab a handful of chocolate chips after each meal, but I also use the chocolate in just about every recipe I make. (i.e. the topping on my Classic Banana Bread and as the necessary coating for my Chocolate Avocado Marshmallow Cups)

What You Will Need:

  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour 
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Chia egg, (1T chia powder to 3T water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate

What You Will Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix your GF flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix your chia egg, HALF of the vegan butter, and vanilla.
Combine the two bowls and stir/whisk until totally blended.
**We added the second half of the vegan butter AS IT WAS NEEDED. I was hoping to only need 3/4 C, but I finally got the consistency I wanted after I used the full cup. 

Add your Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate minis!!
Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet or brownie pan, and dab with remaining vegan butter so the blondies don’t totally stick.
Spread dough on the parchment paper. We opted for a thin blondie versus thick.
Bake at 350 for ~17 minutes. Check in at the 15 minute mark. They COULD have been taken out then, but I wanted the bottom to be a little bit more crisp.

Let your blondie cool for ~15 minutes and then slice into bars!
Melt more Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate in the microwave, and drizzle it on top of the bars for more chocolatey goodness!

SERVE!

Links:

 

Matcha Pancakes

Kourtney Kardashian is my favorite Kardashian. Why? Because if you watch the show, then you know that she is my little gluten-free, dairy-free spirit animal! While her family makes fun of her alternative milks and salad combinations, I share in her enthusiasm! Today I am remaking my favorite Kourtney recipe, Matcha Pancakes.

What You Will Need:

1 Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Matcha Powder
1T Baking Powder
Pinch of salt

What You Will Do:
Combine eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla into a large bowl.
Separately, combine GF Flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
Pour dry ingredients, slowly, into the bowl of wet ingredients.


Whisk until totally combined.
Spray coconut oil onto a pancake pan.
Pour batter onto the pan, aiming to make 4 pancakes at a time.
When pancake starts to bubble and the bottom firms, flip!
Cook on the opposite side for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Stack up your pancakes and add toppings! I love adding maple syrup and strawberries… their flavors compliment the vanilla and matcha so well!

This recipe will make about 12 pancakes, so make a half portion if only feeding 1-2 people!

Salmon Avocado “Un”Roll

SUSHI. I FRICKEN LOVE IT. But whenever I order sushi I am met with rolled eyes and a TON of questions.

“Wait, rice is gluten-free?”
“Doesn’t soy sauce have gluten??”
“You eat carbs??”

Yes, yes, and yes.
Rice, in its purest form, is gluten-free.
Soy Sauce has gluten, but tamari sauce is gluten-free and tastes exactly the same (and many restaurants carry it).
Yes, I LOVE my carbs. I also ALWAYS opt for white rice over brown, but that’s a story for another time.

Sushi is the one food category I always order when I am out, but never make on my own. Partially because I don’t have a sushi roller, and partially because even if I had one, making sushi isn’t worth the time and mess.

This Salmon Avocado “Un”roll is a take of my favorite sushi roll and will give you all of the sushi feels… without the mess!

What You Will Need:
1 Sushi Sheet (I use seasnax)
1/2 Cup white rice
3″ cucumber- peeled and cut
1/3 Avocado
3-4oz Wild Salmon
optional: gluten-free tamari soy sauce

What You Will Do:
Steam or boil your white rice and place it on top of the sushi sheet.
Layer on your sliced cucumber and avocado.
Sauté wild salmon and add it to the ‘roll.’
If you crave a bit of salt, add tamari!
Take a bite and enjoy!!

Three GREEN Smoothies I love right now!

If there is one thing to know about me, it is that I love smoothies. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner; I could have smoothies for them all! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you are quite familiar with my extensive smoothie recipe selection. Well, there are THREE, yes THREE, GREEN smoothies I have been enjoying all summer and they NEED to be added to your smoothie menus. I know summer is pretty much over, but better late than never, right? xx Nicole

  1. Collagen Packed and Refreshed 

1.5 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
1/2 Avocado
Handful of Spinach and Kale
1/4 Cup Raspberries
3 cucumber slices
Squeeze of Lemon

  1. Daily Harvest Cup- Banana & Greens

ADD:
Fill Daily Harvest Cup with Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 Scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen

Use Code NOBREAD at Checkout on Daily Harvest for 3 free cups with your first order! 

  1. Hip, Hemp, and Vegan

1.5 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I use Califia)
2T Vanilla Hemp Protein (I use Nutiva)
Handful of Spinach
1T Chia Seeds
½ Avocado
1/4 Cup Blueberries

L to R: Daily Harvest, Hip Hemp, Collagen Packed