Roasted Thanksgiving Vegetables

Yes Thanksgiving is all about the heavy (#glutenfree) stuffing, pies, and bread… but it is also the one holiday that features all of my favorite VEGETABLES!! Brussels sprouts, carrots, and butternut squash, OH MY! Today I am making my go-to Thanksgiving veggies and roasting them to utter Thanksgiving perfection.

What You Will Need:

5 Organic Long Carrots
½ lb brussels sprouts
1 lb cubed butternut squash
1/4 Cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ Cup pecans
¼ cup dried cranberries
Salt, pepper, CINNAMON

What You Will Do:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Prepare vegetables as follows: Carrots – peel, then cut in half lengthwise. Cut into shorter lengths if you would like! Brussels sprouts – trim the stem end and remove the outermost leaves and cut in half. Butternut Squash- buy cubes, and cut into smaller cubes (better for cooking).

Add veggies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with coconut oil and ONE T maple syrup. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes and flip. Add your second tablespoon of maple syrup, pecans, cranberries, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more mins. TASTE. Add more maple, cinnamon, etc IF YOU WOULD LIKE.  Cook for 5 more mins.

Serve!

Cornbread

Thanksgiving staples: turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato something, and CORNBREAD. Ironically, I was never the biggest cornbread fan growing up! However, since perfecting my gluten-free cornbread recipe, I’ve become a cornbread fiend. Simple, tasty, and delicious; my fellow gluten-free need to whip up this dish this Thanksgiving!

Shoutout to Califia Farms… this recipe is dairy-free, too!

What You Will Do:
1 cup plus 2T gluten-free all-purpose flour

1  cup plus 2T gluten-free cornmeal
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1  cup Califia Farms almond milk
¼ cup dairy-free butter

What You Will Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a alrge bowl, GF All Purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Add melted dairy-free butter, almond milk, and honey.
Pour liquid bowl into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.


Pour into a 9” x 9” bread/brownie pan, and cook for 23 minutes.
Let your bread cool, and top with honey for serving! I added a little peanut butter and walnuts, too!

CBD

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! My LONG awaited post on CBD!! I have been talking for at least 2-3 months now about my obsession with CBD and its game-changing benefits, and my inbox has been flooded with questions about it. Why do I love it so much? What are my favorite brands? Do I eat it or take it in a dropper? The questions go on! I’ve also been asked… WHEN ARE YOU PUBLISHING YOUR POST?!! WHAT’S TAKING SO LONG!!?

The reason why this post took me so long to write is because CBD is confusing AF, and I have tried SO many products and different forms of CBD that I wanted to properly experience all of the products before featuring them.

Let’s start with the basics! WTF is CBD?!

CBD stands for cannabidiol (the most famous cannabinoid is THC). Both CBD and THC come from cannabis, but only THC gets you high. Think of CBD as THC’s cute lil cousin.

It’s tough to give one standard definition of CBD, because it does something different for everyone. CBD is commonly used to provide pain and anxiety relief, help with insomnia and digestion, and act as an anti-inflammatory. It has also been used to treat a range of conditions including arthritis, cancer, and seizures!

According to Dr. Jonathan Leary, Concierge Wellness Doctor, “our internal system (endocannabinoid) is responsible for regulating homeostasis in our body. Think of this as our balance system. CBD enhances this system and it helps regulate balance more efficiently! When your body is more balanced it is less stressed (hence calming you down and helping you sleep) and it puts you in a more optimal healing state. Ideally, in the future I see people taking this every day, (almost like a multi vitamin) because of [how] powerful it is to have your body more in that eased state. Furthermore, one last huge benefit is that your body doesn’t adapt to the dosage… meaning if you take it every day you won’t have to keep increasing dosages like you would have to do with pain meds, for example.”

Dr. Leary couldn’t have summed it up better! CBD puts your body back in homeostasis (or keeps it there), and your body doesn’t build up a tolerance to its amazing benefits.

CBD can be taken as a concentrated oil, cream, in food and drinks, as pills, in vapes, shampoos and more! Creams and balms can be rubbed directly on the skin (great for pain relief) and CBD oils are ingested orally.

Is it legal!? Most states allow CBD products in some form, usually for medical purposes. States that have legalized marijuana view CBD products as legal, too, and there are only four states that consider all cannabis-derived products, including CBD, to be illegal: Kansas, Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

What has MY personal experience with CBD been like? The two biggest areas I’ve noticed the direct impact of taking CBD are on my anxiety and my digestion. After my first ever CBD experience, I immediately went to the bathroom. LIKE WHAT?! Literally within 30 minutes of taking it. And we all know digestion is my biggest issue. I have long struggled with anxiety, too. My heart races and I am agitated/full of brain fog. I used to be a HUGE weed girl to calm my anxiety, and the way people joke “I need a drink,” I believed “I need a hit.” Since starting CBD I haven’t touched weed. I feel chill and calm and my anxiety has significantly improved.

People always say to me, “if it helps with sleep, why do you take it in the morning? Doesn’t it make you drowsy?” To which I reference what Dr. Leary said earlier. CBD brings your body back into homeostasis, so if you are having trouble sleeping, it is because you are out of homeostasis. CBD brings you back to a state where your body functions better and therefore when you go to sleep at night, your body is capable of having a better night sleep. There is NO component in the drug (for lack of better word) that will give you a drowsy side effect, unless the CBD is paired with a calming agent like ashwaganda etc.

Brands I’ve been vibing:

CURED: TOP PICK ALERT ** Full-spectrum CBD nibbles, tinctures, and treats! Each product is tested 3 times to verify its cannabinoid profile and ensure the absence of pesticides and heavy metals. Cured makes a Classic Mint Oil, Cookie Dough, Full Spectrum Raw Oil, Spices, and CANINE TREATS! Yes, not only is their CBD safe for humans, but it is safe for your pups! The cookie dough… holy WOW!

Cured ships to all fifty states… Click HERE and use code NOBREAD for 15% Off

Plant People: Started by my friend and Chef, Gabe Kennedy, I knew this brand would be one of my top CBD pick’s! In addition to a tincture, Plant People has an everyday pill, CBD infused Olive oil, a balm and a pilled called ‘calm.’ Calm is my FAVORITE. It provides a  beneficial blend of full-spectrum CBD and clinical strength adaptogenic and nervine herbs. It supports your body’s ability to manage and deal with stress, promotes present awareness, and boosts body and brain function.

** OBSESSED WITH EACH PP PRODUCY

Green Roads: The first ever brand of CBD that I tried! I had ABSOLUTELY no idea what to expect when trying Green Roads, and little did I know I would fall in love at first droplet. Their oils only have two ingredients: their CBD oil and vegetable glycerin so they are vegan, gluten-free, and are non-GMO. Because it was my first run at CBD, I was totally taken aback by the taste (ALL CBD tinctures have a taste!) but after my first couple of doses I fell in LOVE. Like so in LOVE that I went on social media proclaiming my love, and that is what led to this blog post. I immediately noticed changes in my digestion and anxiety! They also have TheraGreen, a muscle/joint cream which is great for topical treatments. All of the ingredients used in this are natural and include the following: CBD, lavender oil, chamomile extract, vitamin E, cucumber extract and menthol.

OMAX: Two Small Softgels. One Big Breakthrough in CBD. OMAX is more than CBD, it gives you a better body for life. Because the first few brands of CBD I tried were tinctures, I kinda put it in my head that taking CBD as capsules wouldn’t be as effective as the tinctures. Well… I was WRONG! The Phyto-Max Stress Remedy is an innovative, triple-action CBD fusion supplement that helps calm the body, relieve anxious feelings, support optimal inflammatory response, and support overall mind and body wellness. Unlike other CBD products, the secret is the patent-pending blend of these three therapeutic ingredients, that puts your body in the ultimate bliss zone, with no THC and no high!

*Super into this brand!

Beekeeper’s Naturals: Superfood’s from the hive! Beekeeper’s products have been UNREAL for my health; so when I found out they had CBD products I was clearly in heaven. According to Founder, Carly Stein, “honey on its own is great for supporting sleep since it allows amino acids like tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier. It is also high in enzymes and helps stock the liver glycogen stores which help you sleep through the night.” Their honey products WITH CBD are a highly bioavailable source of chill, and use all natural compounds that support balance, rest, and recovery. They use a unique emulsion formulated with MCT and sunflower lecithin, which is designed to naturally maximize bioavailability and absorption to increase the effectiveness of the CBD/hemp oil.

Vital You Bath Bombs: CBD in your bath… ABSOLUTELY! According to Founder, Jenna, who started Vital You because she couldn’t stand the long list of ingredients and chemicals in bath bombs, she “add(s) blends of flower essences to work with the emotional body, therapeutic grade essentail oils, organic coconut oil, epsom salts, and blends of herbs. Each bath bomb has their own unique ‘personality’ and intention behind it. Whether it’s to relax, invigorate or to ease sore muscles, there’s a bomb for all. I also only use the most natural colorants possible, such as organic blueberry & beetroot powder. So even though the bombs don’t create bath art as some do, you can feel good about what you’re soaking in! We recommend starting out with one of our 50mg bombs to feel the effects of CBD in your own body. We also recommend soaking with the bomb in the tub for at least 15 minutes to allow the magic of the CBD, flower essences, herbs and essential oils to fully work their magic into your body.”

Tonic: Founder, Brittany, created her blends to make integrative, adaptogenic plant based wellness solutions that take the powers of CBD to the next level. It started when she combined Ashwagandha + CBD, and the results changed her life! This blend is called the OG. From there she developed other blends and started experimenting with other ingredients until she developed the formulations you see today. Their best seller is the Chill Tonic which has CBD, Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm & Passion Flower – amazing for anxiety/winding down for the evening. All doses have the base of broad spectrum hemp extract, MCT oil, and Black Seed Oil (amazing for enhancing the anti-inflammatory, immune- boosting effects of CBD). And they even have a pure maple syrup (only 3mL per 30mL bottle) sourced locally from a maple farm down the street from their hemp farm! I love the creative use of adaptogens with the CBD, and I’ve use each of the Tonic products!

Hemp Farmacy: The newest brand of CBD I have tried! Their ultimate mission is to support local communities while providing a fair marketplace for farmers. The first Hemp Farmacy opened 2 years ago and was the first Hemp & CBD Dispensary on the East Coast. They now have 7 locations and an online store. All Hemp Farmacy products pass a rigorous vetting process before entering stores; they are all US grown & manufactured, are tested in a 3rd party lab and are examined for consistency/quality by their expert staff. I use their tincture!

Medterrafully compliant CBD products extracted from US grown industrial hemp. Every plant is extracted under the strict guidelines of the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and then third party tested and guaranteed to be free of contaminants. They utilize a CO2 extraction that allows them to draw the CBD from the plant material and filter out unnatural substances, maximizing pure CBD concentration with 0% THC, guaranteed.

Physician’s Preferred: I use their Full Spectrum Everyday Wellness Tinctures in 1000mg. Its great for your immune system as well as the rest of your body. In addition to this, they make sleep aids (very popular) and  menstrual relief tinctures and pain creams!

ICEHOTEL

A few weeks ago I was asked to go on the most epic adventure with Under Armour, and told I would be staying at the WORLD FAMOUS ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.

“Cool,” I thought. I’ve always wanted to go to Stockholm, and I’ve seen pictures of the exotic and unique ICEHOTEL! With just days until my trip, I did some research on ICEHOTEL and its surrounding town/city, as I do whenever I travel.

“Oh boy.”

  1. ICEHOTEL is NOT in Stockholm
  2. It is a 1.5 hour flight north of Stockholm… and north of the Arctic Circle!
  3. Those amazing ice sculptures I was seeing in pictures of the hotel rooms? ACTUAL ICE. And the white walls? Again, ICE. The white carpet? Not carpet. You guessed it… ICE!

And so began THE wildest hotel experience of my LIFE.

The ICEHOTEL is a world famous hotel and an art exhibition made of ice and snow. Founded in 1989, it is reborn in a new guise every winter. The hotel consists of cold rooms and warm rooms; the cold rooms are absolutely fascinating… and -5 degrees Celsius!! No that isn’t a typo- negative FIVE degrees celsius.

“How in the world am I going to sleep?! Or SURVIVE?!”

Equipped with Under Armour’s ColdGear apparel, I set off on my adventure.

The COLD Rooms

These pictures don’t do the rooms justice… nothing will do the room’s justice. They are S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R! As is the entire hotel. From my bedrooms steps, to the walls, to the bed frame, everything was made out of ice. On top of my bed frame was a fur blanket and a sleeping bag… so yeah… I was a little nervous! But my nerves quickly faded and I had one of the coolest (literally) night sleeps of my life!

To sleep, I wore UnderArmour Recovery wear. The fabric returns infrared energy to your body, boosting localized blood flow & increasing the amount of oxygen reaching your muscles to restore your muscles faster. It’s insulating properties kept me SO warm during the night. I thought I was going to have to wear layers on layers! My sleeping bag was insulating, too, up to -20 degrees C, so negative 5 degrees was a breeze (okay I’ll stop with the puns).

Before I make myself out to sound like a tough-girl who had no issues in the room, I have to tell you what the best part of the room was. THE HEATED BATHROOM. So yes, I totally hid in the bathroom before going to bed, and during the night I totally got up to use the bathroom, regroup, and go back out into the cold. The bathroom also has a sauna! I didn’t use mine, but definitely was tempted to. In the morning you are woken up by the Hotel with a warm juice 🙂 I truly had such a deep, relaxing sleep!

The WARM Rooms

After my one night stay in the cold room, I was READY for the warm room! If you are like me and think a warm room means 70-75 degrees F, then this room wasn’t THAT warm. I’d give it a solid 65 degrees F… so it was still a little chilly but WAY better than -5 celsius! The rooms are simple and adorable… they do the trick!

The FOOD

The ICEHOTEL is in a pretty remote area, so no need to research local eateries… you will end up having all of your meals onsite at their restaurant. I totally went to town at the breakfast buffet- bacon, sausage, deli meets, a (GF) granola bar, a gluten-free bread basket, and fresh veggies/fruit are several of the gluten-free options.

The staff at the hotel and restaurant couldn’t have been more accommodating when it came to dietary restrictions. For instance, the tray of scrambled eggs contained dairy, so the chef made me my own dairy-free omelette!

The restaurant served the most delicious dinner, too! To start, the salmon appetizer is cornflake crusted and dipped in soy, so NOT gluten-free, but they made me a gluten-free, dairy-free version every night. It was AMAZING! I also ordered the beef tartar appetizer with fries and the asparagus and totally recommend both. For mains, the reindeer stew was gluten-free. Yes… REINDEER stew. I tried a bite… but there was something about having a REINDEER stew that I didn’t vibe with so I didn’t order my own. The steak is another gluten-free option, but I ordered the Arctic Char entree EVERY. NIGHT. It was SOO good! Why does fish (and just everything) taste better in Europe!? The dish came with potatoes and veggies… so filling and such a dream!

I commented to my friends that I was going to leave the trip five pounds heavier or five pounds lighter. I was eating like a truck driver!! Snacks, GF bread; I wanted ALL the carbs. Well I came back way lighter… my body was working in overdrive to keep me warm and burning SO many calories!

Activities:

It goes without saying, if you go to the northern most point in Sweden, you must go see the Northern lights!! In the winter months, these lights dance across the sky in fascinating colors and shapes. We went on the ICEHOTEL’s Northern Lights Tour, and it was a truly amazing experience. Our guide led us on a hike, the only lights coming from our headlights, and we ended at a remote cabin alongside a frozen river.

Looking up at the sky, I saw faint green lines whisk across the sky. Given it was November, we were a month or two early for prime Northern Lights, but I am so happy I was able to see them! I will note… the pictures you see online of Northern Lights… those are NOT from a viewer’s cell phone, ha! What our photographer was able to capture through his veryyy professional lens was astonishing, mind-blowing, incredible… I’ll stop there! The Northern Lights are a must!

Other activities at ICEHOTEL include ice sculpting, a wilderness dinner, dog-sledding, snow-mobiling, and more!

Under Armour ColdGear:

How did I survive this freezing cold experience? No joke, Under Armour’s ColdGear is a SAVIOR! Sleeping in my ice room I wore the UA Recovery Gear. One thin layer literally did the trick, and its insulating abilities kept me so warm and comfortable all night! Pictures 2 and 4 below are of the ColdGear Hybrid Jacket. This jacket is SO light, yet so insulating that I was totally warm in it! In picture number one I am wearing the Balaclava hoodie which is UNREAL for running! It goes over your chin and lips, and has air holes for your mouth so you can run and breath properly without the chill!

THANK YOU UNDER ARMOUR FOR THIS EPIC ADVENTURE. I pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I could push to, and stayed warm and fashionable along the way. If you have the chance to go to the ICEHOTEL in your life you absolutely should. BUCKET LIST, CHECKED!!

xx, Nicole

Hot Chocolate Made with Vital Proteins Mocha Creamer

I talk all the time about my obsession with Vital Proteins (blog, here!), and if you follow me on Instagram, then you will see Vital Proteins on my stories pretty much daily! I’ll save you my speech on why VP and collagen are a necessary part of one’s diet (hair and nail growth, heal leaky gut syndrome, clears skin) and instead, I will talk about their NEWEST addition, Mocha Creamer! For the coffee drinkers out there, this is TOTALLY for you! And if you don’t drink coffee like myself, then this creamer is MEANT for your hot chocolate!

Order your Vital Proteins, here! 

What You Will Need:
1.5 C Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 T Maple Syrup
2 T Cacao Powder
1 Serving Vital Proteins Mocha Collagen Creamer
Pinch of salt
Gluten-free, dairy-free mini marshmallows
What You Will Do:
Boil unsweetened coconut milk and add to Vitamix.
Add maple syrup, cacao powder, salt, and collagen peptides.
Blend on high until fully mixed!
 Serve and top with mini chocolate chips and marshmallows!

Enjoy!!!

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

WTF Is NOBREAD!?

Hi guys! I realized that over the years I’ve done interviews and podcasts all about NOBREAD and I, but not once have I written a post about us. Well it’s time I answer the age-old question, ‘WTF IS NOBREAD?!”

Here it goes…

I was diagnosed with my gluten allergy when I was 19. I call it my “gluten allergy” versus “Celiac Disease” because at this time I was under the impression that I just had an allergy, not the autoimmune condition.

Any who, fast-forward 4 years and I was 23 and working at J.P. Morgan as an Equity Sales Analyst. I had THE job and THE life, but I wasn’t fulfilled. Partially because a large part of my job was client entertaining, and every day and night that I went out with my clients, I ended up sick or taking Benadryl/some other pill to mask how ill I was. “Gluten-free” wasn’t trendy or cool by any means in 2013, and I always felt uncomfortable telling my colleagues, clients, and the restaurant staff about my condition when I ordered. When I did have the chance to inform people of my allergy, given the lack of gluten awareness out there, I wasn’t confident that people understood what I was talking about or really grasp how severe my condition was.

I took matters into my own hands and started a restaurant guide, outlining gluten-free meal options at New York City’s hottest restaurants. This guide, which still exists on my website, provides a review, photos, and custom gluten-free menu options. This guide has since expanded to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, D.C., London, and San Francisco! I have a temporary pause on launching more cities, even though the information I have on the city guides is invaluable. I hope to resume city launches soon!!

OKAY BACK TO WTF IS NOBREAD, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not a restaurant blogger anymore. NOBREAD now includes (and is mainly comprised of) my gluten-free recipes, product features, travels, and wellness tips. As NOBREAD grew, I realized it was important to cater to gluten-free people outside of just the cities my restaurant guides were in. Gluten-free is UNIVERSAL, and NOBREAD needed to be too.

My recipes can be made by anyone, anywhere, anytime and my travels are meant to show that you can still travel the world with your allergy. The world is slowly but surely catching on to the gluten-free lifestyle! I’ve had gluten-free croissants and pastries in Paris and gluten-free bread and pasta in Italy. Not only do I show you the dedicated GF spots in each country or place I travel to, but just like my U.S. city guides, I show you the best gluten-free options at local hotspots. And of course, just everything else cool and awesome about the city/country!

But there is a greater purpose to NOBREAD. It is a message I hope to really start emphasizing going forward. YOU CAN STILL LIVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY (and gluten-free life) while having FUN. Let loose and eat those crispy gluten-free French fries when you are out (in moderation), and at your next meal, stick with something home-cooked and simply prepared. Go out with your girls and have a margarita, OR sub a margarita for a healthier cocktail like a tequila soda, and in the morning, take a hot yoga class!! Life is about BALANCE. A healthy life and a fun life shouldn’t be incongruous. I’m never ‘the drunk one’ or the ‘unhealthy eater’ but I indulge because otherwise I would go CRAZY!

JUST BECAUSE YOUR LIFE HAS TO BE AFFECTED, DOESN’T MEAN YOUR LIFESTYLE SHOULD BE.

As I really work on honing in on and owning this, you can expect blog posts on the following topics:

ALCOHOL and Going Out
Traveling Essentials
The Right Questions to Ask While Dining Out
My Go-To Meals and Snack Brands
Fitness and Workout Plans
Why I Get IV Drips
What To Order When You Dine Out
AND SO MANY MORE!!

NOBREAD, once a restaurant guide, has become my life (Nicole Cogan) as ‘NOBREAD.’ As I mentioned earlier, I was first diagnosed with a gluten allergy/intolerance, and in later years I have been diagnosed with Celiac’s as I carry the Celiac gene and my blood tests indicate so. I have not done an endoscopy to confirm this. My thought on this is that if I am going to live my life the same after the endoscopy as I am living it today, than why undergo the stress of the test? In the past, surgeries and procedures where I’ve needed anesthesia haven’t been the kindest on my stomach. This is just my thought process… doesn’t have to be yours!

Xoxo, Nicole a.k.a. NOBREAD