Back in January of 2017 I met an amazing young woman who decided one day that enough was enough and literally turned her health around within a very short amount of time. In a matter of six months, she not only transformed her own health, but went from eating pizza on her couch to competing in Femsport and starting her own business! She is now on a mission to help other women in prepping and cooking healthy meals. Back to Basic Eats is here to spread the word that you are only one decision away from changing your life. Gabrielle is here today to share her story and her family’s 3 favorite healthy meals.
From Eating to Survive to Eating for Function
Hello everyone, my name is Gabrielle, and I’ve turned my life around by cleaning up my diet and eating for function. Back in January 2016 I gave birth to my son and as most new moms quickly discover – there is no blueprint for how that goes! You sometimes find yourself in the thick of babyhood, taking every day as it comes – trying to make the best of everything and “survive” that initial chaos.
Fast forward to my First Mother’s Day in 2016 when I was getting prepped for surgery to have my gallbladder removed because of gallstones. This was 100% related to the way I was eating! My diet consisted of frozen pizzas, cereal and milk 3 times a day, grilled cheese & well.. you get the picture! Once my gallbladder was removed I was super sensitive to processed foods and it seemed like anything would go right through me.
It was December 2016 and I looked to my hubby and told him I needed to do something. There was no way I could keep eating the way I was eating and do zero exercise. That was when I decided to join Fit By Design. I took part in the Warrior Woman Quest- a holistic program that incorporates every aspect of well being.
During the Quest we had the opportunity to meet with Karen and it was everything and more that I could have hoped for. I’m sure, like most women who get a new eating plan or have looked at changing their diet significantly think:
“WTF! Where am I going to find the time to prep everything? How much more is this going to cost me? Where do I even find half of these ingredients?”
It took me 2-3 weeks to find my groove into my new 80/20 Paleo lifestyle. Now I can take an old recipe and make it clean, look in my fridge and whip up dinner with whatever is in there. Sure, it was a lot of money to get my pantry and fridge flipped to Paleo, but the way I look at it, it’s an investment in my health and my life.
As I continued on my journey, the more people I spoke to (women specifically) said their biggest barrier was having no time to do all the prep for the week. This is where a light bulb went off for me! Why don’t I create a business where this eliminates that specific barrier and @backtobasiceats was born.
With Back to Basic Eats, my goal is to assist women, families, or anyone that needs this service remove the barrier of not having time to prep or get the groceries they need for the week. I want to make eating healthy and for function as accessible as possible. Back to Basic Eats is an in-home prep and cooking service with an emphasis on Paleo, gluten and dairy free meals but will cater to all dietary requests. You can check out my home packages here
To get you started here are a few recipes that I’ve tried in my household that have been a great success with my little guy and hubby.
Easy Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash
I saw this recipe pop up on my social media newsfeed, and I knew I didn’t want to make it the way it was because of the peanuts, peanut butter and sugar, I also didn’t have any Spaghetti squash on hand, so I used zucchini noodles instead.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts (subbed for cashews)
* Cook Spaghetti Squash or use whatever you have on hand
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2/3 peanut butter (subbed for almond butter, could also used cashew butter)
- ¼ cup sugar (subbed for maple syrup)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (could also use coconut amino’s)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, as the recipe didn’t specify)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
Method for Peanut Sauce
1. Put all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil and then bring it to a simmer for 5 minutes and let the sauce thicken
2. Add minced garlic, chopped parsley, and ¼ cup of sauce to spaghetti squash, and combine
3. Add sprouts, bell peppers and carrots.
*Note: The sauce makes a large quantity, I froze the leftover and it thawed and reheated nicely. I also added in leftover chicken, you could add any protein you want.
Glazed Banana Bread Donut Holes
I found this recipe from Chrissa Benson from @physicalkitchness, I made this last week, super easy and a clean snack for everyone to enjoy. We’re also in Canada so they are now going to be called “Glazed Banana Bread Timbits”
Honey Vanilla Glaze
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon arrowroot powder combined with 1 teaspoon water
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoon flax seeds
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a medium bowl combine ripe bananas, chia, flax and vanilla extract, then add egg. Stir well to combine
3. Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and coconut flour. Mix until a thick batter has formed
4. Using wet hands, mold the batter into 12-14 small balls/timbits. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. ( I used a smaller ice cream scoop/melon baller)
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until timbits have set
6. Remove from the oven, let them cool slightly, and place the timbits on a wire cooling rack with the lined-baking sheet underneath the wire rack.
7. Once balls are fully cooled, start on glaze
8. In a small pot, bring the coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract to a gentle simmer
9. Remove from heat and pour in the arrowroot/water mixture, whisking for 1-2 minutes until there isn’t any clumps
10. Let mixture cool slightly, then pour over top and side of timbits using a spoon
11. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
12. Take out and enjoy!
The next recipe is from my first Paleo cookbook, that has been well loved; full of food stains, the binding is coming off and there’s a few accidental pieces of dried herbs throughout the pages. Weeknight Paleo by Julie and Charles Mayfield has been super helpful to my family and I. 99% of the food I have made from this cookbook everyone in my house has eaten it completely.
Kung Pao Chicken
(This is a great dish to curb your Chinese food cravings)
For the Chicken
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot or tapioca flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry or Chinese rice wine (optional)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or gluten-free oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, chili-garlic sauce or other hot sauce (omit if you have little ones or someone who can’t handle a lot of heat)
- 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or date paste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or coconut oil
- 6-8 (to taste) dried red chilles, seeded and cut in half lengthwise (omit if you have little ones or someone who can’t handle a lot of heat)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 red or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup unsalted roasted cashews or macadamia nuts
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
· For cauliflower rice you can cook it in any type of fat until browned, add garlic and/or onion powder, salt and pepper and ¼ cup of any stock you may have on hand
1. To marinate the chicken: In a glass container with a lid, combine the arrowroot or tapioca flour, salt, coconut aminos, and sherry (if using). Add the chicken to the mixture and allow to marinate for as little as 10 minutes or as long as overnight (refrigerated)
2. To make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the coconut aminos, Sriracha, vinegar, honey, and sesame oil. This can be made a day ahead and kept covered at room temperature.
3. Drain chicken from the marinade.
4. To make the stir-fry: Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the oil and once shimmering add the chiles and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the garlic, ginger, and bell peppers, stirring to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes to slightly soften the bell peppers.
6. Pour in the sauce, cashews, and green onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes more to heat through.
7. Serve over cauliflower rice or any rice, and garnish with the reserved green onion.
Note: any protein would work in this dish.