All posts by Savanna

My New Favorite Summer Salad

I haven’t been adventurous with my dinners lately, so yesterday I took some time to look for some new recipes. I don’t love spending a lot of time on new recipes after work during the week, so I decided to try this Carrot Ginger Rainbow salad out for our Sunday dinner and it did NOT disappoint! The only time consuming part of this meal is roasting the carrots and making it into dressing, so I suggest making that in the morning or prepping it a day or two ahead when you have extra time. 

I got the recipe from Love and Lemons and it is one of Alan and I’s new favorite meals!! You all know if I’m going to eat a salad for dinner it has to be super interesting and filling.. this one hit the spot. A perfect balanced of tang, sweet and crunch.. it’s a salad that is the last thing from boring. I only made a few tweaks and swapped some ingredients, so check out the recipe below! 

So here it is, the Love and Lemons Rainbow Kale Salad recipe with the changes I made in parenthesis! 

Ingredients
Carrot Ginger Dressing 
  • ½ cup roasted carrots (I roasted at 400 with salt, pepper, garlic and evol for about 40 minutes, or until soft)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water (1/3 for me- I like dressing thick)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger (Added a little more and 2 bulbs of fresh garlic)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Roasted Chickpeas (I swapped chickpeas for Asian Salmon- see my recipe below) 
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Salad
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, grated (Didn’t have carrots)
  • 1 small red beet, grated (Added more beets to sub for carrots- warning your hands will turn purple!!)
  • ½ watermelon radish, very thinly sliced (only had a white radish- still tasty but just not as pretty) 
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (Can’t find dried cranberries without a ton of added sugar, so did dried raisins!) 
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted (Use pine nuts instead- more gut friendly nut)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
 
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing and roast the chickpeas (Or salmon): Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with pinches of salt and pepper. Place the carrot pieces for the dressing in their own corner on the baking sheet to roast alongside the chickpeas. Roast for 25 to minutes, or until the chickpeas are browned and crisp and the carrots are soft. Set the roasted chickpeas aside. Transfer the carrots to a blender and add the water, olive oil, rice vinegar, ginger, and salt. Blend the dressing until smooth and chill in the fridge until ready to use. (I took two pieces of salmon and coasted them with raw honey, liquid aminos, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Then I roasted at 400 for 15-17 minutes, until cooked)
  2. Place the kale leaves into a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they become soft and wilted and reduce in the bowl by about half.
  3. Add the carrot, beet, watermelon radish, half of the cubed avocado, cranberries, pepitas, a few more good pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and toss. Drizzle generously with the carrot ginger dressing. Top with the remaining avocado, more dressing, the roasted chickpeas and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Season to taste and serve.
 
Notes
– Make the dressing ahead so it has time to chill in the fridge before adding to the salad. (Could do the day or morning before to make it a faster dinner)
 
 
Can’t wait to make this again and thanks to Love and Lemons for the recipe- definitely check out her website for more delicious meals! 

Sugar Free Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am not going to lie… these might be my new favorite cookies to make. We had them all of 2 days in our house before they were GONE!

They’re light, fluffy and not too sweet- but you wouldn’t believe there is no added sugar in them! Also, if you’ve been following me you know that I have absolutely no problem with clean sugar- I frequently use maple syrup, raw honey and coconut sugar! But right now I am temporarily trying to stay away from any kind of sugar (yes, that means fruit) because of my leaky gut. It’s SO much harder than I thought it would be, especially without fruit! (But I still cheat with wine sometimes hehe) 

 

The two things that made these cookies “sugar free” are the Lily’s Sweets Dark Salted Almond Bar and Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup- again, I probably wouldn’t use these all the time because pure maple syrup is only one ingredient compared to the four in this syrup, but these are both the cleanest option for no sugar and actually taste good!

So alas, here is the recipe that I got from Uncommonly Well- with just a few sugar free swaps- and definitely check out her website for more great recipes too!!

Servings15 cookies
 
Ingredients

Dry:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
Wet:
  • 1/4 cup lakanto maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 Lily’s Sweets Salted Almond Bar, chopped 
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients- almond flour, baking soda, and himalayan salt. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients: maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and egg. Once combined, add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk them together.

  3. Stir in the chocolate bar pieces, cover the bowl with a towel, and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When the dough is done chilling, form it into balls and place on the baking sheet.

  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Why I love Papa Steve’s Snack Bars!

I’m all about a snack bar in the afternoon, to grab on the go or to bring with me when I’m while traveling. I’m always on the go and finding a good quality, clean bar to bring with me is something I’m always looking for! Cue: Papa Steve’s.

Papa Steve’s are clean protein bars made with real ingredients. Every single bar is handmade in small batches from Southern California and they put NOTHING bad in their bars! They are all gluten free, and also have paleo + vegan options as well! I can’t tell you how good they taste too- like a cookie! My personal favorites are the lemon, vanilla cashew coconut and dark chocolate cherry cashew! My husband Alan also loves them, which is also a bonus. He’s not always into the healthy bars that I like, so knowing that he will eat these and have something nutritious in his body makes me smile 🙂

Here are the ingredients in the vanilla cashew coconut:
Organic coconut, pea protein, raw hemp seeds, cashews, almonds, tapioca fiber, organic coconut palm nectar, organic certified gluten free oats, organic vanilla bean.
Simple, clean and delicious.
I take these to work, with me when I’m traveling, and to the gym to eat after a workout. They could also be used as a clean dessert 🙂

There is something about knowing exactly where your food is coming from and the love that goes into making each product that makes it taste that much better, and I love supporting a brand like Papa Steve’s. Seriously, I can’t recommend these bars enough!
Here is a link to their website if you’d like to check them out!

xo Savanna

Healthier Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I needed a healthy dessert to bring to a family gathering, so I found this recipe from Erin Lives Whole and let me tell you, they were a hit! They are dairy and gluten free, and such a good combination of sweet and salty- you will want to make a double batch for sure!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (certified gluten free)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life dairy free)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, rolled oats and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar.
  4. Whisk in egg and vanilla.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.
  6. Add in chocolate chips.
  7. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to place dough on parchment paper.
  8. Bake in oven for 11-13 minutes or until slightly golden brown, adding sea salt after taking out of oven.

And that’s it! Super easy, clean and delicious. Also if you haven’t checked out Erin’s website before, make sure to do so here 🙂 She has amazing recipes!

Happy Monday! xo

Grapefruit Salmon Salad with Garnish & Gather Grocery

If you know me or have been following me for a while, then you know I love Garnish & Gather! I could go on forever, but a few reasons why I love them is because they are an Atlanta based company, they source everything from local farmers, the dishes are incredible tasting and they strive to be as sustainable as possible. If you live in the Atlanta area and haven’t tried them out yet, I highly recommend them!!

Another cool feature about Garnish & Gather that I love is that you can add-on local groceries to your order, or without a meal order! I’m talking about farm fresh veggies and local products + produce- it’s exactly like going to the farmers market, but online!!! It’s so easy and it makes me SO happy because I can get the fresh food I want even when I can’t make the farmers market, because Garnish & Gather will deliver it for me!

So this week I decided to order some food through the grocery section and create my own dish- a Grapefruit Salmon Salad! It’s tangy & light from the citrus, but nourishing & creamy from the healthy fats from the avocado + salmon. It was such an easy & tasty combo, so check out the recipe below!

Here’s what I ordered through G&G grocery:
– local arugula
– local kale
– grapefruits
– organic avocados
-salmon fillet
– sparkling grapefruit water (to accompany the salad!)

Here’s what you’ll need at home:
-olive oil
-cilantro
-pumpkin seeds
-fresh garlic

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 400

-Season salmon with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Place each filet in parchment paper (skin side down) and top with slices of grapefruit. Wrap until covered and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

-Place pumpkin seeds (as many as you want) on a baking sheet and toss in olive oil and sea salt
-Place in oven when salmon has about 10 minutes left and bake. Stir halfway through to make sure they don’t burn!

While the salmon + seeds are in the oven, it’s time to make the avocado dressing!

Avocado Dressing:
-Place one ripe avocado in a blender
-Add about 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
-Add a bulb of fresh garlic
-Add a handful of fresh cilantro
-Add a few tablespoons of water
-Season with salt and pepper to taste
Blend together until smooth!

Assembly:
Place a mix of the kale and arugula in a big salad bowl and top with the salmon, pumpkin seeds, fresh grapefruit slices and avocado dressing.
Have with a side of grapefruit sparkling water from Montane- the perfect side!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments and thank you for reading 🙂 Xo Savanna

Reformer vs. Megaformer Pilates

Today I want to talk about a frequently asked question:
What’s the difference between reformer pilates and megaformer pilates? Check out my simple breakdown below!

Similarities: The reformer and megaformer machine have similar basic structures with a carriage, platform and spring loads for added tension. They both aim to tone the body with lots of small, repetitive movements in a low impact workout setting.

Differences

Reformer pilates -is the traditional pilates machine with a focus on length, flexibility, toning and stretching with light to medium resistance. The instructor will have you stretch on the machine between moves so your body gets length and flexibility while getting your workout in. You leave feeling toned and stretched at the same time. Though it is not an easy workout, I would say it is beginner friendly. Most studios will have you take a basics or beginner class to start, which is a great way to get familiar with the machine and concept!
My favorite, beloved studio in Atlanta is The Daily and I also loove New York Pilates in NYC!

Megaformer pilates– focuses on whole body strength with springs that have a higher resistance than reformer. You transition quickly between moves to burn your muscles out and your core is working the entire class. You will probably leave feeling SHOOK because it’s a super intense workout, but it’s super effective! I would not recommend this class for beginners, but hey if you’re up for a challenge go for it!!
My favorite studios in Atlanta are Stellar Bodies, Pace and SculptHouse!


While I love both, there is a time and place for each of them in my routine! If I’ve already done some intense workout classes I won’t go to a megaformer class because it is intense, but if I feel like I need a good burn and tone session I will book a class!
I can do reformer pretty much anytime, and do it on a more consistent basis, as it has the toning and length structure that I like.
Some people love both types but some people don’t, I suggest starting with reformer and then trying megaformer.

Let me know your thoughts on this or if you have any questions!
Xo

Bean-less Turkey Chili (Low FODMAP)

I’m going to talk about something that isn’t so glamorous but hey, nutrition isn’t all about pretty food!

My digestion is weak and it makes no sense.. I eat clean, have TONS of fiber everyday, drink more water than a fish and take a strong probiotic daily. I have tried everything under the moon to help with my digestion, including celery juice, and that seemed to be the only thing that helped. (And while I love having it, it’s not sustainable to have fresh celery juice made everyday)

I started thinking and remembered hearing about the FODMAP “diet” in school, so I went back into my library and started researching. In short, the FODMAP diet is a list of foods high in a certain short-chain carbohydrates that irritate someones gut who may have continual digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation and IBS/Chron’s. I took at look at that list and I was SHOOK. Pretty much everything that I was eating was on the red list of foods to avoid…. I decided it was time to make some changes and see if it helped.

Long story short, I tried cutting out my routine apples, cashews, brussel sprouts, chickpeas, pomegranate, lentils, asparagus, onions, garlic, etc. (with the exception of when we went out to dinner) and slowly started re-trying foods after they were out of my system. Now I haven’t completely taken out everything, especially garlic because OMG IT’S SO HARD AND DELICIOUS, but the main thing I noticed that irritates my system has been chickpeas and beans. It’s crazy to realize how you could be eating something everyday without realizing how it could be affecting you!!
While legumes are going to be gone for good because it’s not a “severe” issue, I am going to cut them way down and save them for I really need hummus or am going out for tacos!

So that brings me to this low FODMAP bean-less chili recipe that I created for when we’re cooking at home! It’s sweet/savory, easy to make and you don’t even miss the beans- it is a new favorite in our household!


Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb Ground Turkey (Use quinoa to make vegan)
1 Zucchini, diced
1 Squash, diced
1 Jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 Large Sweet Potato, diced
1 Box of Low Sodium Broth (I use veggie)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Cumin
Chili Powder
*(If you need to save time do 1/2 a packet of taco seasoning instead of the above spices)

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cubed sweet potato on a baking sheet and cover with olive oil and a little sea salt. Roast for 30 minutes, until soft.
-When the potatoes are half-way done, place the squash, zucchini and turkey in a dutch oven with a little olive oil. 
-Saute until turkey is cooked and the squash are soft, about 15 minutes.
-Add in the jalapeno and the sweet potatoes and stir.
-Season to your liking with the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. (Sometimes I add a dash of salsa too)
-Stir in the vegetable broth and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Top with avocado and whatever else you like! We usually do that and cilantro. Makes 4 servings. 

Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for reading!!
xo Sav


Cinnamon Roll Smoothie (Vegan)

You might already know this, but cinnamon rolls are my favorite!! 😋
So this morning I went out on a mission to make a smoothie that tasted like one, and it did not disappoint 😍

I honestly can’t remember the last time I made a smoothie at home without spinach, but this morning I opted for frozen cauliflower instead! It really doesn’t add a taste, but it makes your smoothies super thick and adds vitamin C + antioxidants!

Here’s the ingredients I used for the smoothie:
•1/2 large frozen banana
•1/4 cup or so of frozen riced cauliflower
•scoop of Tone It Up cinnamon roll protein
•couple spoon fulls of Lavva vanilla vegan yogurt
•1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
•dash of vanilla extract
•tablespoon of Georgia Grinders almond butter
• cup or so of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
•Not essential, but I also added a scoop of flax seed for the omega-3’s/fiber

Blend all of the ingredients together and you have a FAB, creamy, dreamy and healthy cinnamon roll smoothie that will keep you full and happy!

This is definitely a new favorite smoothie of mine and I can’t wait to make it again! (Like tomorrow!)

How I Workout at Home

I love going to fitness studios, but I also love working out at home! Especially when it’s a busy month, like December, I find myself doing more at home rather then out.
It can be hard to find motivation working out at home, but if you get in the routine of it, it really saves you a lot of time and you still get a great workout in!

So here are a few of my favorite ways to workout straight in my living room!

1) The Tone It Up App– This has been the BEST investment I’ve made in a long time. It’s $12 a month, but you actually get to sign up for classes that they put together for you everyday! It’s fun because you can see who else is signed up and chat before/after class, as well as a reminder from the app when your class is coming up! There are also daily moves for you to do and a HUGE on demand section divided by “Total Body” “Yoga” “Abs” “HITT”, etc. That’s where I spend most of my time!

2) Youtube– If you don’t want to get any apps, Youtube is such a great resource! Not only is it free, there are tons of different styles videos on there as well! One of my favorite Youtube channels is “Yoga with Adriene”- she teaches tons of different styles/varieties of yoga and seriously has something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with her channel! I also love “Rebecca Louise” for quick, targeted videos. She also has a British accent which also just makes them that much better.  Tone It Up also has tons of videos on Youtube as well!

3) Easy equipment– Obviously I don’t have an at-home gym, but I do have some fitness gear that I store in bins under the TV! My essentials are booty bands, 2 different sets of weights and gliders. I also have a jumprope, kettle-ball and exercise ball but I don’t use those quite as much! If you haven’t tried out booty bands I highly recommend them because they can take any workout to the next level (and they are great for travel!) I have 2 sets of weights because I’m not super strong in my arms, but try to do drop sets with them and the gliders are  great for toning!! You can find them pretty much anywhere like Target, but here is a link to where I got mine from.

Do you workout at home? If so, what workouts do you like to do?! I want to know!

xo Sav

Cinnamon Roll Protein Oatmeal (Vegan, gluten free)

I still make smoothies in the winter, but I had to take a little break from them because I was craving something warm in the morning! So I whipped up some of my protein oatmeal, but with a cozy and delicious twist 🙂

I give you “Cinnamon Roll Protein Oatmeal” topped with caramelized banana, pecans, peanut butter and hemp seeds

Recipe:
•Combine 1/3 cups of organic rolled oats with a scoop of Tone it Up cinnamon roll protein powder and 1/2 cup of water.
•Put in microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds
•Stir in a scoop of chia + flax seeds (optional, but adds more fiber/nutrients) and a little almond milk + cinnamon

Topped it with the bananas, pecans, hemp seed and peanut butter!

I’m not sure WHY I have never put caramelized bananas on top of my oatmeal, but it is a total game changer!! It really made the whole dish so creamy and added that perfect sweetness!
All I did was put slices of banana in a pan with coconut oil and cinnamon and cooked until crisp on both sides.

This oatmeal bowl kept me full and satisfied until lunch because it has protein, fiber, complex carbs and healthy fats- the perfect way to start the day!

xo