Homemade Matcha Latte Recipe and Week 3 of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan

I’ve been trying to master the art of the perfect matcha latte for over a year. I had been reading about the health benefits of matcha and was desperately looking for something to replace my coffee habit. I purchased a reasonably priced bag of matcha on Amazon and was off to the races. I’ve tried almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, maple syrup, honey, truvia, protein powder all with varying success. It was not until recently that I finally landed on a winning combination.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups dairy free milk of choice I am a fan of almond milk but when I was eliminating all nuts I used coconut milk and didn’t notice a substantial difference
  • 1-3 teaspoons matcha I definitely started out with less and increased over time, this is all about how much matcha flavoring you want and depending on the brand of matcha you buy it could be bitter so less is more in the beginning.
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup I tried honey and truvia and nothing compared to the taste of pure maple syrup.
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter, optional adding ghee/butter gives the latte a creamier texture and flavor and more of a bulletproof feel. If you have a hard time incorporating healthy fat into your breakfast this is a perfect way to do it. However, ghee/butter can easily be omitted if you do not need the added fat.
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or MCT oil I personally use MCT oil because I do not like the flavor of coconut. Again, MCT oil gives it a more bulletproof feel but it is not essential to the latte.1 – 2 tablespoons collagen I love adding collagen to this drink. It’s a great way to get a little more protein and my joints love it!

Directions:

  1. Heat up the milk and butter (if using)
  2. Add in matcha, maple syrup, MCT oil, and collagen and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes.

This is a fun recipe to have in the morning for a nice little boost or in the afternoon to help with those 3pm coffee cravings. Additionally, this recipe is incredibly versatile so try it out and make it your own! Right now I cannot have dairy and so I’ve been leaving the ghee/butter out and it is still just as creamy and delicious as before.

Below is the meal plan I followed for the third week of the Elimination Diet. This week I started Phase 3: The Reintroduction. I’m experimenting with a different strategy than last time. I am not following the suggested reintroduction schedule mainly because I was forcing myself to eat certain foods that I wasn’t craving or had any desire to eat, which made me miserable. Instead, this time I’m focusing on those food categories that I really enjoy and that I am 90% sure I can have. This just makes my life a little easier and I’m still only eating those foods that I really want/enjoy. Additionally, I’m throwing out the 3 day reintroduction rule (the book suggests you reintroduce each item for 3 days and then move directly onto the next one if you do not experience any negative side effects). I think overall my reintroduction was really rushed because of the recommended schedule and the desire to reintroduce all foods by Thanksgiving.

This time, I’m slowing it down and taking it at my own pace. When I come to a food that I really want to introduce, I’ll do it on my own time and schedule. Thus far this week I’ve reintroduced: citrus, almonds, peppers, and chili pepper. I plan on reintroducing cashews tonight (hello cashew butter!). I do not currently have any set plans for the reintroduction next week but I have a feeling that potatoes will be making an appearance on my menu eventually. I’m just trying to really focus on how each food affects me taking each day and week as it comes and work the program so that it is more manageable for my lifestyle.

Saturday: Day 15

Breakfast: Black beans and Lemony Kale

Lunch: Chipotle – brown rice, beans, chicken, grilled onion/green peppers and guacamole

Snack: Applesauce with cinnamon

Dinner: ½ a chicken breast with roasted peppers, zucchini, and onions

Sunday: Day 16

Breakfast: Vegan Pancakes

Lunch: Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and White Bean Bake

Snack/Pre-workout: Beanitos Chips

Dinner: Homemade Spring Roll Filling (I was munching as I was cooking)

Monday: Day 17

Breakfast: Vegan Pancakes

Lunch: Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and White Bean Bake and Raisins

Snack/Pre-workout: Banana and Beanitos Chips

Dinner: Chicken and Mushroom with Brown Rice and One Homemade Spring Roll

Tuesday: Day 18

Breakfast: Black beans, Lemony Kale, and Matcha Latte with Almond Milk

Lunch: Chicken and Mushroom with Brown Rice

Snack: 1 rice cake with almond butter

Dinner: Chicken and Mushroom with Brown Rice

Wednesday: Day 19

Breakfast: Black beans, Lemony Kale, and Matcha Latte with Almond Milk

Lunch: 3 Homemade Gluten Free Spring Rolls with Coconut Aminos

Snack/Pre-workout: 1 rice cake with almond butter and Beanitos Chips

Dinner: 2 ½ Homemade Gluten Free Spring Rolls with Coconut Aminos

Thursday Day 20

Breakfast: Black beans, Lemony Kale, and Matcha Latte with Almond Milk

Lunch: ½ cup of black beans and 1 Homemade Gluten Free Spring Rolls with Coconut Aminos

Dinner: ½ cup of black beans and ¼ of a fried plantain

Snack: 2 rice cakes with almond butter and ¾ of a banana

Friday: Day 21

Breakfast: Black beans, Lemony Kale, and Matcha Latte with Almond Milk

Lunch: 1 cup black beans with ½ of a fried plantain

Snack/Pre-workout: Applesauce with cinnamon and 1 rice cake with cashew butter

Dinner: Taco Bowl

This week I’ve been more focused on snacking mindfully. I think I relied on snacks a bit too much during Week 2 so this week it was all about making sure I eat a balanced meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and limiting snacks to the late afternoon/early evening so that they double as a pre-workout boost. Justin and I got into a really great workout routine this week; spinning twice and lifting four times. Those added workouts mean that I need to make sure I’m fueling properly before and after each day. I’ll post more about our fitness routine soon!

Lentil-Veggie Soup and Week 2 Meal

I’m a little behind on posting for the week but I wanted to make sure to share the Lentil-Veggie Soup recipe that dominated my Week 2 menu. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this delicious healthy recipe. I found it on one of my favorite websites www.mindbodygreen.com. I had never had lentils before and was eager to try something new. Plus, I think we were getting a little sick of white/black beans.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup dry green (French) lentils
  • 4-6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup small pasta shape of choice, optional
  • 1 cup fresh chopped kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

Directions:

  1. Soak lentils in cold water (optional but it helps the lentils digest easier)
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and spices, and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened (warning: your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing and you will become very hungry)
  3. Add lentils and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 45 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked and tender. Add pasta in the last 10 minutes of cooking, if desired.
  4. Add chopped kale and salt and pepper and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes, remove from heat and serve.

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this soup. It was pretty hearty and thickened up nicely and even included kale! I never liked kale but I’m starting to think it is a soup staple. It adds extra greens and a nice texture. This soup reminded me a lot of chili, which was amazing since I cannot have chili due to the tomatoes. This recipe will definitely make its way onto my menu again and I look forward to experimenting with different veggies.  I ended up getting 7-8 servings but this recipe could easily be scaled up or down based upon how much you want to make.

Below is the meal plan I followed for the second week of the Elimination Diet. If you would like more information about any of these recipes, just shoot me a message and I would be happy to share!

Saturday: Day 8

Breakfast: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter 1 with maple syrup and 1 with date syrup (p.s. The date syrup was amazing!)

Lunch: Veggie Soup

Snack: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and date syrup

Dinner: Harvest Squash Soup

Sunday: Day 9

Breakfast: Turkey Kale Hash

Lunch: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and date syrup

Dinner: Harvest Squash Soup

Monday: Day 10

Breakfast: Turkey Kale Hash with Roasted Sweet Potato

Lunch: Banana Muffin/Beanitos Chips

Snack: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and a banana

Dinner: Spiralized Roasted Veggies with Beans and Rice

Tuesday: Day 11

Breakfast: Turkey Kale Hash with Roasted Sweet Potato

Lunch: Spiralized Roasted Veggies with Beans and Rice

Snack: Banana Muffin and 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Dinner: Lentil Veggie Soup

Wednesday: Day 12

BreakfaSpiralized Roasted Veggies with Beans and Rice

Snack: Banana Muffin

Dinner: Lentil Veggie Soup, Beanitos Chips and 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Thursday Day 13

Breakfast: Lentil Veggie Soup

Lunch: Salad – romaine, chickpeas, onions, green beans with balsamic vinaigrette

Snack: Homemade Bone Broth

Dinner: Spiralized Roasted Veggies with Beans and Rice, Beanitos Chips, and 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Friday: Day 14

Breakfast: Lentil Veggie Soup

Lunch: Salad – romaine, spinach, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, grilled chicken, mushrooms and balsamic vinaigrette

Snack: Radishes and Homemade Bone Broth

Dinner: Spiralized Roasted Veggies with Beans and Rice and Raisins

This week wasn’t as clean as Week 1 and I certainly felt it.  I relied upon a lot of my own recipes and found out I really like sunbutter and rice cakes. During Week 3 I’m going to focus on limiting my snacks and I start Phase 3: The Reintroduction. First up is Citrus so Lemony Kale here I come!

Homemade Veggie Soup and Week 1 of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan

 

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As promised, I am sharing my fool-proof homemade veggie soup recipe. What I love most about this recipe is that it is so versatile. I have made it numerous times and no two times have been the same. Plus this is the perfect way to get rid of some veggies that have been hanging out in your refrigerator and since it is has been so cold here in the Midwest; a simple warming soup has been much needed!

There are two ways to make this soup and which one you make really depends on whether you include uncooked rice. I will give you both the longer and the shorter versions so that you can do what works best for you!

Ingredients:

    • 12 cups Broth (I like to use Vegetable Broth or Chicken Stock but this recipe would also be amazing with homemade bone broth)
    • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
    • 2 cans cooked beans of choice (I usually use white beans or kidney beans) or cooked protein of choice. I’ve used ground turkey before and it was delicious
    • 2-4 cups chopped veggies of choice (some of my favorites are carrots, mushrooms, celery, onion, leeks, broccoli, potato or squash) [I like to make my soups fairly hearty so I include lots of extra veggies, if you like more brothy soups decrease the amount of veggies]
    • 4 cups chopped kale (this is a must! You will barely realize you are even eating kale in this recipe and it’s so good)
    • ½ cup chopped parsley (or other fresh herb)
    • Salt and Pepper to Taste

 

 

 

 

Directions Long Version:

  1. Bring the stock to a gentle boil. Add the rice and veggies that take longer to cook like onion or leeks. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining veggies and beans, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through.
  3. Add the kale, fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes. (If using cooked ground turkey, chicken, or beef I would add it here)
  4. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings, if desired.

That’s it! In about an hour you will have an entire pot of warming healing soup! But if you don’t have an hour to make soup then here’s a shorter version.

Directions Short Version:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive, avocado, or coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, onion, and garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mixed veggies and stock as well as any option additions (if you want to include rice it will have to already be cooked as uncooked rice will not cook fully in this shorter version). Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
  3. Add the kale, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes (if using cooked ground turkey, chicken, or beef, I would had it here).
  4. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings, if desired.

Done! These recipes can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many servings you would like to make. The above recipes make between 10-12 servings. Having this soup handy has been a lifesaver this first week of the Elimination Diet. I personally love eating it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and will routinely have it for a few meals a day. It is stocked full of healthy veggies but also keeps me full with the addition of beans or ground turkey, chicken, or beef. Below is the meal plan I followed for the first week of the Elimination Diet. If you would like more information about any of these recipes, just shoot me a message and I would be happy to share!

Saturday: Day 1

Breakfast: Very Berry Chia Smoothie and Herbal Tea

Snack: Applesauce

Lunch: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup

Dinner: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup and a Banana

Sunday: Day 2

Breakfast: Very Berry Chia Smoothie and Herbal Tea

Lunch: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup

Snack: Applesauce

Dinner: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup and a Banana

Monday: Day 3

Breakfast: Very Berry Chia Smoothie and Herbal Tea

Lunch: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup

Snack: Homemade Bone Broth

Dinner: Veggie Soup and 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Tuesday: Day 4

Breakfast: Veggie Soup

Lunch: Veggie Soup

Snack: Applesauce

Dinner: Black bean, sweet potato tacos

Wednesday: Day 5

Breakfast: Very Berry Chia Smoothie and Herbal Tea

Lunch: Black bean, sweet potato tacos

Snack: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Dinner: Italian Herb Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Thursday: Day 6

Breakfast: Veggie Soup with ½ banana, and a cup of bone broth

Lunch: Black bean, sweet potato tacos

Snack: Applesauce

Dinner: 2 rice cakes with sunbutter and raisins

Friday: Day 7

Breakfast: Veggie Soup

Lunch: Black bean, sweet potato tacos

Snack: Bone Broth

Dinner: Veggie Soup

As you can see, I stick to a similar menu throughout the week. I have very little time to make dinners so I always double my recipes so that we can have plenty of leftovers. When you are making a major change in your diet the key is to always have healthy food ready to eat and to keep it simple! I didn’t try any new recipes this week and only had to cook 2 nights this week. Plus I have extra leftovers to help me start the weekend off right. I’ll be doing some meal prepping this weekend and hopefully this time I will remember to take pictures while I do it!

New Year, New Me… or is it?

I have mentioned before that I will be embarking on my second (and hopefully final) Elimination Diet. There is nothing special about starting the Elimination Diet in January. I simply have a slower social month and knew that I would have time to devote to the program without being tempted with Christmas cookies and champagne.

I briefly discussed my journey with the Elimination Diet before and as promised I’m going to talk a little bit more about it, which will help explain why you will be seeing more food posts than normal. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks I will be able to share some of my favorite healthy recipes with you and if you are embarking on a Whole30 or other similar elimination diet hopefully these recipes will give you some inspiration to keep going.

Unlike the Whole30, I think the title of the “Elimination Diet” is misleading. After reading the book and completing the program, I can testify that this is not a diet in the traditional sense of the word. When I hear “diet” I immediately think of weird juice cleanses, calorie restriction, arbitrary rules and unhealthy weight loss. The purpose of the Elimination Diet is not to lose weight; in fact, you can successfully complete the program and not lose a single pound. Although most individuals report losing weight while completing the program, weight loss is simply a by-product. The purpose of the Elimination Diet is to identify those foods that are causing you adverse reactions such as nausea (a big one for me), headaches, bloating, and digestive issues. By finding and identifying your intolerant foods and eliminating them from your diet, you are healing your body from the inside out. It may be the case that you actually gain weight while completing the program, if keeping weight on has been an issue for you. The Elimination Diet’s goal is to help identify the perfect diet for you. It was created by the husband and wife duo Tom Maltere and Alissa Segersten; Tom  an Advanced Functional Medicine Nutritionist and Ali a chef. Together they used their expertise to create a program that helps individuals find the foods that are making them feel sick, tired, bloated, etc. and created simple delicious recipes to get you through the program. I rely upon the Elimination Diet recipes fairly heavily in the first two phases of the program and each one has not disappointed. Some of the recipes have even become staples in our menu whether or not I am completing the program.

The program is broken up into three phases: (1) detox – 2 days, (2) eliminate – 2 weeks, (3) reintroduce – ~ 60 days. As you can see this is not a quick and easy program. It requires a lot of organization, preparation, and as I found out, a lot of willpower. You should actually be able to complete only one Elimination Diet (with periodic check-ins every 6 months) and never have to do it again, which makes what I’m about to do a bit out of the ordinary.

I originally started the Elimination Diet in June of 2016 and at the same time started taking vitamins recommended by my doctor. I made it through the detox and elimination portions of the program fine but I was only able to make it through a few reintroductions (citrus and nightshades) before I started having a severe reaction to what seemed like everything. I continued on with the program for about four weeks thinking that everything I was eating was making me sick. Through a process of trial and error, I finally discovered that my magnesium pills were the source of my constant nausea. By the time I made this discovery I was completely exhausted and frustrated. I had just spent the last four weeks eating what I thought was healthy food and still getting sick on a daily basis. I was utterly defeated.

I ended up limping along through the rest of the program but knew that my results were not accurate. Before the start of the reintroduction, I felt better than I have ever felt but through the process I had lost that amazing feeling and I couldn’t get it back no matter how hard I tried.  Somewhere in the final weeks, I resolved myself to the fact that I would indeed have to start over. Put simply, I had received so many false positives due to the magnesium pills that my results were not credible.

This discovery occurred within a few weeks of Thanksgiving and I decided to take the holidays as a break and as soon as my schedule cleared up and I had the time to devote the program I would make my second (and hopefully final) attempt and figuring out all of my intolerant foods.

The first attempt was not a complete failure. I did discover that tomatoes, quinoa, pecans, and cayenne are not my friends and have been feeling better since removing them from my diet. However, I feel my old symptoms creeping up (fatigue, headaches, aches, pains) and know that some things were missed. So on Saturday, January 7, 2017, I started the Detox. It was not as bad as the first go around (thankfully) but still not a walk in the park.

Luckily, I had spent the previous week prepping. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was also trying to eat a few of my unhealthy favorites (I’m looking at you tuna noodle casserole) before the Detox began but I did cut back on animal protein and sugar. I also planned my meals for the first four days and picked up everything I needed in preparation of the weekend since there is nothing worse than having to go to the grocery store when you cannot eat 90% of what’s there.

One of the keys to the first few days was keeping everything as simple as possible. I chose recipes that I have made before and that require few ingredients. I ended up making the Very Berry Chia Smoothie (slightly modified) and the Creamy Broccoli-Mushroom Soup both from the Elimination Diet.

However, as I entered the Elimination portion of the program, I knew that I would be craving something with more substance, especially since Justin and I tried to keep our workout schedule the same. I ended up making a huge pot of homemade veggie soup and chicken bone broth and it has been hitting the spot! On Friday, I’ll give a rundown of this weeks meals as well as my fool-proof veggie soup recipe.

For those of you who have completed an elimination diet or are thinking about doing so, I would love to hear from you!

– KT