Breakfast

Too Busy for Breakfast? [my latest hormone balancing quick start: Gluten Free Quiche Muffins]

So long late summer nights and lazy mornings, it’s B2S (or “Back to School”) in our house.

My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!
My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!

The good: my house is cleaner than it’s been in a loooong time.

The bad: my house is quieter than it’s been in a long time.

The upside: with both of my kiddos in school, I now have a lot more time to create new recipes

and dream up even more ways to help you get ahead in your hormonal health.

They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

I was definitely in need.

(Picture waking up the kiddos and rolling them into the car by 7:45am- not always a pretty site.)

In case you’re new to my little corner of the internet- I’m a big believer that you can improve your hormones

and get ahead in your health with one magical ingredient: food.

Now, we’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies,

but the magic doesn’t always happen there. No way.

To really get ahead in your hormonal health, you have got to balance

your blood sugar from the get go (aka breakfast).

Here’s how it works:

Every time blood sugar levels spike, your pancreas swings into gear.

It produces a hormone called insulin to get the sugar out of the blood and

into the cells where it can do some work.

Eat too much sugar and your pancreas will make too much insulin.

Too much insulin in the blood will lower your blood sugar….fast.

Suddenly, that manic sugar-high feeling turns into a big. ‘ol. CRASH.

Once you crash, your adrenals have to get in the game and produce cortisol to get your blood sugar levels up again.

Do this day in and day out, and you are beating up your pancreas and killing your adrenals.

Keep in mind that once your adrenals are toast, your entire endocrine system starts to go downhill.

Over time, whipped adrenals drag down the pituitary gland and make their mark on thyroid function.

One of the first steps in taking care of your thyroid is learning how to regulate your blood sugar levels

(by cutting out sugar, my friends, ‘cause that’s where it all starts.)

That’s why I had to share my latest Gluten Free Veggie Quiche Muffin cause-I’m- running-out-the-door b’fast.

I needed a quick start to my day that would curb the sugar and up the protein all while wiping the sleepers out of my eyes.

I can’t wait to give you the recipe, but before I do, I’ve got a quickie homework assignment just for you.

Step 1. Scroll to the end of the recipe and hit the social share button of your choice.

Spread the love with your friends on facebook, pinterest, or google-plus. I really, really, really appreciate it.

It gets the word out and you might help a friends’ morning go a little smoother.

Step 2. Leave a note in the comments section and let me know what you think about this very-veggie-quiche-muffin-on-the-go.

Are you going to make ‘em? Who are you going to have them with? Sounds a silly, but this is the stuff I love to know.

With every little tweak that we make, we’re one step closer to better health. Gotta love it!

Now...here's your recipe!

~ Kristin

How to Turn Wild Cherries into a Hormonal Win{recipe: Special, Cherry Oatcake}

Down the street is our neighborhood’s giving tree.

Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.
Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.

In the fall, her leaves turn golden. In the winter,

she’s our gathering place. By spring, she smells of flowers.

And every single summer, she bears loads of sweet and tart cherries.

This year was no exception. We lucked out with a “bumper crop”.

Her branches were literally loaded with beautiful, red cherries.

If you’ve been a fan of my work, then you know that maintaining even blood sugar levels

throughout the day is vital to hormonal freedom. Often I encourage clients to cut down

on sweets and even limit their fruits to one piece a day.

Yes, we’ve been told to “eat your fruits and vegetables”, but I’d like to switch that moniker on it’s heels. I think it should read a bit more like this:

“Eat your veggies and savor your fruits.”

Fruits do contain vitamins, minerals and fiber that slow the absorption of sugar,

but in the end, fructose is fructose. Too much fructose in any one setting can throw

your pancreas into a tailspin and kick your adrenals into overdrive.

High levels of cortisol caused by stress (from blood sugar swings or life circumstances)

decreases thyroid function and TSH production.

So, what’s a mom to do when her kids are whooping and hollering

about cherries in the heat of the summer sun?

I say, “Pick’ em and have yourself some fun.”

I made this Special Cherry Oatcake a hormonal winner by switching things up

with these four steps to minimize a blood sugar conundrum.

1. Soak grains in yogurt.

Soaking grains helps to breakdown any anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest parts of the grain. 

Soaking may seem time consuming at first glance, but it’s really more about thinking ahead.

And soaking  grains has another hormonal benefit. Often, low thyroid equals poor digestion.

When grains are easier to digest, there’s a lot less drag on your thyroid.

2. 50-50 steel cut oats and rolled oats.

Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, and both are less processed than quick oats.

With more of it’s natural juju intact, steel cut oats won’t sway blood sugar like the others.

You can up your hormonal mastery here and play with the percentage of steel cut vs. rolled oats in this recipe.

I ended up going 50/50 but I bet 75/25 (favoring steel cut oats) would work well too.

3. It’s got protein.

4 eggs and ½ cup of nuts are added to up the protein and slow down the glycemic response

of the fruit and the tiny bit of honey.

Balanced hormones start with balanced blood sugar levels. It’s not that we can’t enjoy sweetness in our life,

but those sweet flavors are best when tempered with proper ratios of fat and protein.

4. It's made in a pan.

Maybe the best part of this special Cherry Oatcake is that it’s made in a pan.

If you’re in a hormonal slump, then you know that you don’t have a whole lot of energy

to waste nor time to spare. There’s nothing like having something on hand that you can serve to

your kids or enjoy for yourself that hits the spot without throwing you into a blood sugar tizzy.

So without further adieu, here she is, my special Cherry Oatcake recipe.

Check it out and tell me what you think of my sweet-and-sour snack in the comment section.

As always, I love hearing from you.

~ Kristin

Tricky ways to sneak more protein in your breakfast (works for kids, too!

Momma always said, “Eat your breakfast.” And she was right.

Breakfast (or breaking the fast) is “the meal” to get the most mojo out of your day.

A balanced breakfast with proteins, high quality fats and slow-burning carbs will do more for stabilizing your blood sugar and balancing your hormones than just about anything.

Take Kelly for example.

Kelly is a hard working, stay-at-home mom of two girls. She came to see me because her hotflashes were literally driving her crazy. She’d spike heat on most afternoons and soak her sheets at night.

When she came to see me, we went through her food choices and found that her breakfasts were lacking. Once the coffee and toast wore off, her body would scream for more fuel. This started the whole reach for a quick carb snack, give-me-quickie-food now cycle.

She just didn’t have the reserves in her breakfast choice to make it through till high noon let alone have her stable by the afternoon. Once she added a more substantial breakfast and increased her protein for her first meal of the day, she was able to get a better handle on her food choices throughout the day. And, her hot flashes went away. Not only that, but her clothes got a little looser and she started sleeping.

Now all this info is well and good for us momma’s. We can wrap our heads around eating more balanced meals, but what do we do when it comes to our kiddos? Most kids are known to be picky and difficult eaters. They’ll eat just about anything if it’s sweet. But when it comes to protein and more nutrient dense foods, they tend turn their cheek or have “just a little”.

One study following a group of students found that those kids eating breakfast scored better on cognitive tests- especially ones that included visual tasks.

The researchers even took it one step further. They then observed the same group of kiddos and compared sugary out-of-the-box cereal to oatmeal. The oatmeal eaters scored again and won out on test scores. Here in the United States, eggs tend to be the go-to protein for breakfast. They’re affordable, usually in the fridge, and quick to scramble up. But what if your kids (or you) get tired of the same old scramble?

That’s when you gotta get sneaky… er, creative. I stir eggs into just about anything.: oatmeal, chai drinks, miso soup, you name it. I’ll even add more eggs than the cookie recipe calls for, then adjust the flour (about a ½ cup or so) and add a half a cup arrowroot. Eggs are power! I have a great recipe for you but first, I’d love to hear your tricks in the comments below.

How do you squeeze more protein into your family’s diet? Do you have a go-to breakfast that’s balanced enough to satisfy you—and that your kids gobble up? And, if you’ve got the pickiest kids on the planet, I want to hear about them too.

My turn: Here’s my family’s favorite breakfast: Oatmeal with stealth eggs. Oatmeal Steel cut oats are the way to go! Soaking them overnight to make them easier to digest—and half the cooking time for your busy morning.

- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water
- salt
- coconut milk
- 1-2 eggs cinnamon

1. Place oats and water in a pot. Add salt. Cover and let the oats soak all night long on the counter.

2. In the morning, bring the oats to a boil over a medium high flame.

3. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer. Take a minute to skim off any foam that might be floating on top.

4. Cover, and cook on simmer for 20 minutes. Although oats do contain protein, here’s where I up the protein for my crew by stiring in one or two eggs.

5. My kids love coconut milk and cinnamon in their oatmeal. For variety, we do all sorts of crazy things. We’ll add ground almonds, maybe a few frozen berries (they help cool the porridge), even add a spoonful of coconut butter. Yum!

~ Kristin

Meet Annie Volk - My HeartBeet Chef

There always comes a time in life when you’re ready to expand, take flight and do some things a little different. This is one of those times for me.

Over the years, I’ve run into my fair share of amazing practitioners and gifted folks. And I’m at the point in my work where I just can’t wait to share more and more with you. Yes, I’ve loved working for myself. I get to call the shots and essentially the buck stops right here. But now, I’m ready to open up and shine the spotlight brighter.

Each month, I’ll be featuring resources from different practitioners, culinary wizards, and other experts in their field. Everyone will have their own tips and pearls to share regarding hormones and the wonders of health. We’re going to be getting our hands in down and dirty, and who knows, this really could expand into something bigger (yes, I’ve got a pretty cool idea up my sleeve- we’ll just see if she wants to be birthed).

Without further adieu, I am so excited to introduce you to my first guest. Her name is Annie Volk and she’s the culinary whiz behind the HeartBeet Chef. Check her out here.

Take a look at these Paleo Cinnamon Rolls- and check out the ingredients, my friends. She made ‘em just how I like ‘em. No refined sugars here, just maple syrup and a whole lot of love.

This gal has stolen my heart and I’m one of her biggest fans. She’ll come to your house and deliver a week worth of super nourishing, gourmet meals. And, if you haven’t already guessed, she’s a paleo whiz.

~ Kristin

Salmon and Spinach Goat Cheese Omelet

Every now and then I get a morning when I can take my time and linger over breakfast. It doesn’t happen a lot in our busy household of four, but when it does I make sure that I make a good one.

I’m a big believer of high quality breakfasts. I see this all the time in my private practice. Often, someone will come in to my office with hormones that are out of whack. They’re energy is dragging, they’re feeling a little lack luster and usually they want to lose a few pounds. As I dig, often the story reveals that they’re barely eating breakfast. Maybe they’re eating a little toast with fruit, or a bit of oatmeal. But rarely are they eating anything of much substance early in the morning.

Once we do the big switcheroo and get them eating more in the morning, the changes start happening. The weight starts to come off, their energy improves, and very often we find that they’re moods get a little lift. It sometimes seems like such a little change couldn’t make such a big difference, but it does. And very often the change happens quickly.

This is my all-time favorite breakfasts. I usually make this when I have a little extra time in the morning. This recipe is for one serving, but sometimes I make a really big one with 6 eggs and we split it four ways. I usually have a few roasted potatoes left-over in the fridge that I like to heat up for the side.

All of this, plus a hot cup of my favorite tea (I’m really digging Tulsi Tea’s lemon ginger) and I am ready to take on the day. Go ahead and share this one with a friend. We all need a little inspiration on the food front from time to time, and maybe this little omelet right here might make someone's day.

~ Kristin