Shannon's health and fitness blog

Chocolate chip quinoa cookies

I know I’ve been on a recipe kick lately, but i just had to share this one.  I got this recipe from my good friend, Lamar Jefferson, who gave me a cookie, then handed me the recipe.  These cookies are sooo good and jam-packed with protein, fiber, and stress busting B vitamins.  They are gluten free and will kick your cravings to the curb!  Enjoy these little pieces of heaven 🙂

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (or gluten free oatmeal flakes)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 large VERY RIPE bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (be aware that this will add dairy to this recipe, unless you can find the rare dairy free chips)
  • Pinch sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas in bowl with a fork and add vanilla, almond butter, and coconut sugar.  Add quinoa, oatmeal, coconut, and pinch of salt.  Mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter on to  cooking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Serving size:

Makes about 25 cookies that look more like muffin tops and are chewy.


October 18, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Bringing the islands to your slow cooker

I’ve had a slow cooker for a number of years now and rarely use it.  I have such a difficult time finding recipes that I think are healthy enough for my family.  Well here’s one that I found at skinny Ms. that we loved-Polynesian Chicken!  As far as the recipe goes, I did substitute Coconut Liquid Aminos for the Braggs that the recipe suggests.  I also recommend cooking this for only 4 hours.  If you have a corn allergy, just substitute potato starch for corn starch.  This is a great dairy free, gluten free meal!

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tis the season

I can’t believe it is mid-August already!  Summer is quickly winding down, school will be starting soon, and football season is upon us!  It is also the perfect time to cleanse our bodies of those extra toxins we accumulate with all that summer fun!

Detoxing and weight loss go hand in hand.  Excess toxins accumulated from hormones and antibiotics in our meat and dairy products, pesticides on our fruits and vegetables, alcohol consumption, medications we ingest, and the environmental toxins we breathe in overwhelm our liver and get stored in fat cells.  You need to cleanse your body in order to release these toxins and shrink the fat cells.
28 Days to Health is neatly packaged with all the tools necessary to walk you through the program and start the process of understanding the connection food has to your health.  You don’t need to live in the area.  I have successfully taught this program over the phone and through e-mails.  I can walk anyone through this program regardless of where you live in the United States, and even if you live in Australia, Canada, and the UK.

If you are looking to decrease body fat, eliminate addictions to sugar, carbs, or caffeine, reduce aches and pains in your body, improve your digestion, and experience the feeling of having consistent energy…then read on to find out more.
How it works 

The cleanse is for 28 days and begins on September 7th (the Wednesday after Labor Day).  The first conference call will be on Tuesday, September 6.

The program consists of dietary restrictions and nutritional supplements. There are some things to eliminate from the diet including gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, and coffee.  The supplements include a protein powder, fiber, detoxifying tea, a detox drink, and other optional items.  There will be weekly conference calls with Shannon to educate you about nutrition and support you through the cleanse program.  The program includes 40 pages of recipes and shopping lists for a number of stores to help you with food choices and where to find them.

$50 program fee if committed by August 31 (50% savings)

$250 for supplements with Preferred Client discount program or $300 full retail
Contact Shannon by


In May I decided for my husband and I that we were going to try the 28 Days to Health Cleanse.   Our first week was good and bad…. the food that I cooked from the recipes were great but detoxing our system was a little harder.  My stomach was upset by the cleanse with a bit of cramping the first day, less on the second day and by the third day all was well.  My husband had a little harder time eating smaller portions, so we increased his shakes for that first week.   28 days later I lost 13 lbs and my husband lost 25lbs.  We decided that we wanted to stay with our new eating life style so now we still do shakes twice a day and have a meal that I make from scratch with only organic, hormone, anti biotic, gluten and soy free.   I love to cook so it has reminded me that what I make tastes so much better than a box of anything.   We have added the gym back into our life and my husband has gone on to lose another 10lbs and I have lost a few more myself.  We feel healthy and look healthier.   This has been an experience that I share with everyone I meet.     Thanks again Shannon for opening our eyes about food  – Reamy and Jeff Newman

When Shannon first told me about the 28 day cleanse, I thought there is no way I could ever do this, but I wanted to try.  For the last year or so I had been having a lot of stomach problems and my face was always breaking out.
The first 4 days were by far the hardest, but I stuck with it and was so glad I did.  Within the first week all my stomach issues were gone, my skin was clearer than it had been in a long time, I was sleeping the best I had slept in the past two years and I was not having mood swings.  It was a very stressful time for me as I was chairing an event at the school that was in its first year, so I was creating the wheel.  Things that would normally send me over the edge, I was able to giggle about and say “well, it will all work out”.  I thought without caffeine I would never survive, but I was wrong, the fizz tabs are amazing and give you that boost of energy you need around 3PM.
I slowly introduced gluten back into my diet and my stomach issues returned within two days.  Since that day, I have started buying gluten free everything.  There is so much out there now to choose from, it is not as hard to be gluten free as it was just a couple years ago.  I also noticed my mood swings return when I introduced coffee back into my diet, now I now only drink coffee once in a blue moon and stick with decaf when I do.
I truly felt amazing on the cleanse!  I notice such a difference when I introduce certain things back into my diet, that I have made a life style change including staying away from gluten, dairy, etc.  I have a protein shake for breakfast every morning and most days for lunch as well.  I still use the fizz tabs and the herbal tea too!
It truly was a great experience for me and I am so glad I did this, it changed my life!
-Jen Schafer
A few things that I LOVE……flat stomach, NO BURPING!!, less mood swings, clear skin and feeling great.  I truly believe that by eliminating the gluten/wheat and diary that my body is MUCH happier.  My digestive tract is working like never before and I do not feel hungry or have cravings.  The shakes are so sweet (plus have a little sugar in them) so I don’t crave sugar at all.  I don’t know which factors are contributing to my skin but I think it is a combination of it all.  I only had one pimple on my period…..a total miracle.  I think these are the main factors that are helping my skin: diary and gluten elimination. I feel like I can walk out of my house without makeup right now and not feel uncomfortable!!!  Total miracle in my book!! -Jen Woodward



August 16, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Another fave….yummm!

I am pretty hesitant these days to share my favorite finds.  Seems like every time I blog about a new food,  everyone goes out and buys it and there’s none left for me when I get to the store!  But I just can’t keep this one to myself, I just had to share.  Trader Joes has made my day, yet again.  Normally, I don’t even bother looking at salad dressings.  Usually, they are loaded with sugar or have a dairy base.  I prefer my avocado and lemon juice to salad dressing any day.  However, today something made me stop and take a look.  There in front of me was Trader Joes very own hummus salad dressing.  Dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and not one single gram of sugar.  The best part is that it tastes awesome!!!  Any one who has gone through my anti-inflammatory nutrition program knows how much I stress how great hummus is.  The perfect food!  Trader Joes had the brilliant idea of making a salad dressing with it.  Just make sure you leave some for me!!!

July 22, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | 1 Comment

The Bite Market

By now, most people know that I have a dairy, soy and gluten free diet and that I teach how and why of this lifestyle in my 28 day cleanse program.  So you can imagine my delight when I found this gem of a store!  I was wandering through the stores at the Orange Circle in Orange with my mom, sister, and daughter when we came across the Bite Market.  This specialty grocery store offers a variety of delicious gluten free and dairy foods for the whole family.  The owner, Bridget Reilly, also offers fresh picked and locally grown produce, as well as eco friendly soaps, detergents, and paper products.

Bridget and her family have been gluten free and dairy free for about 8 years and she is very knowledgeable about the products she carries.  I was thrilled to see brands in her store that even Mother’s Market doesn’t carry.

For more information you can visit their website at  Here you can find an online store, recipes, and resources!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gluten and Autoimmunity: How You Could Still Be Gluten Sensitive With Negative Lab Tests By Dr. Ian Beckingham D.C.

Every day patients come in to my chronic condition centers suffering from conditions like Hashimoto’s hypothyroid, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. These diseases have very limited treatment options for the patient consisting mostly of drugs and steroids. For very few of my patients these treatments help but most are frustrated saying “the condition controls me and I do not control the condition”. The underlying cause of most chronic conditions is autoimmunity. Autoimmune disease is where your immune system attacks a particular area or system of the body. If you do not address why the body has turned against itself you will continue to have symptoms and even develop whole new system failures. To find out if you have an autoimmune disease I recommend antibody testing.

An antibody is a protein marker. The body’s immune system produces antibodies in response to unwanted material like molds, virus, bacteria, and parasites. These substances are labeled antigens. Antibodies can be produced when the body has a reaction to a food it is sensitive to or comes in contact with a harmful chemical. Antibodies can mistakenly be produced against a bodies own healthy tissue when the immune system becomes confused. The antibody marks the tissue for removal and signals the immune response. This is the cause of autoimmune reactions. I like to check for gluten antibodies, myelin (fatty sheath around the nerves) antibodies, cerebellar (back part of the brain controlling balance, coordinated movement, and spinal muscles) antibodies.More examples of are antibodies to pancreatic islet cells often called type 1 diabetes and antibodies to the thyroid are usually associated with Hashimoto’s disease.

Patients ask “Dr. Beckingham why does my immune system go crazy to begin with?” One common issue is food sensitivity in particular gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a protein that exists in wheat that acts like an immune system provoking antigen. The protein has been shown in some studies to be a food sensitivity of up to 81% of people from northern European decent. This protein is what makes our crackers stick together, our soups thick, and our salad dressing creamy. Gluten sensitivity includes wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, rye, and barley. Gluten can be hidden as soy sauce, food starch, malt extract and dextrins to name a few.

If you put a food that you are sensitive to in your system every day your immune system will continually be fired up and attack the offending food just like a bacteria or parasite. This in turn creates too many soldiers in your immune army that have no leadership. A mutiny is the common result. The mutiny manifests itself as an attack on healthy tissue like your thyroid, nerves, or the joints of your body.

Patients often tell me that they have been tested for gluten and they are negative so that can’t be the problem. This is the simple answer to that question. The blood tests that people have been getting only tests for a part of gluten called alpha gliadin. Alpha gliadin is only one of the building blocks of gluten. Until recently it has been believed that alpha gliadin was the prime suspect of gluten sensitivity. Published peer reviewed journals have now shown that not only does alpha gliadin pose a threat but you can be allergic to beta, gamma, omega gliadins as well. If you are allergic to beta gliadin and have a test for alpha gliadin it will show that you are fine when in reality you have gluten allergies.

As if this were not enough you can be allergic to a substance called glutenin which is also part of gluten. You could be allergic to transglutaminase which is a gluten enzyme. I have seen patients in my office sensitive to deaminated gliadin or gluteomorphin (the addictive part of breads). A true gluten test needs 12 components in it not just the 1 alpha gliadin test which has been the industry standard for years. It frightens me to think of how many patients have been eating gluten thinking they have tested negative when in fact they have a true gluten sensitivity that was missed because of improper testing.

Why is this so important you may ask? Recent studies have shown a link between gluten sensitivity and psychiatric illness, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, and obesity to name a few. Why are so many people so sensitive now when 50 years ago it seemed like nobody was? Simple, the genetic modification of foods make more gluten per piece of wheat when compared to a generation ago, poor nutrition overall, chronic stress (raised cortisol hurts immune tolerance), leaky gut syndrome, the storage of wheat products in huge bins on average of 2 years so the food can get covered in enterotoxins (waste product of fungus and mold), and overall lack of adequate digestive enzymes in our body.

This is why I insist on a full gluten panel of 12 tests for my prospective patients even before I accept a case. This test can be done with 1 vial of blood sent to a lab in Arizona that tests for all 12 potential gluten sensitivities specifically.

To sum up I have seen in my practice that when followed strictly a appropriate gluten-free diet is often life-transforming for symptomatic patients.

Dr. Ian Beckingham DC specializes in helping patients suffering from chronic conditions such as hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia, diabetes, vertigo, insomnia, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADD/ADHD, chronic pain, and other autoimmune conditions. Dr. Ian Beckingham has two chronic condition centers in Glendale and West Los Angeles. He enjoys talking about all health issues and speaks often. To schedule a free consultation, sign up for a workshop, get more information on Dr. Beckingham, his clinics, or to receive free information go to or His email is

Article Source:

Dr. Ian Beckingham D.C. - EzineArticles Expert Author

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Few of my New Favorite Snacks

In my quest to be gluten free I have been on the hunt for some very tasty gluten free foods.  All of these new goodies have been found at Mother’s Market.  If they don’t have one close to you, call them up and tell them to build one because they are one of the best health food stores around!

The first snack I came across were kickin’ kale krisps by Leaf Organics.  This was the first kale snack I have found that didn’t contain an ingredient that I’m allergic to.  I’m not sure how to describe the flavor of this delicious treat, but it is intense to say the least.  It is found in a brown paper bag in the gluten free section found in the front of the store.

Next, in the same section, I found Mary’s Gone Crackers Sticks and Twigs.  These gluten free pretzel sticks have just a hint of sea salt and can be very addictive.  Please note nutritional label states that just 8 of these treats have 5 grams of fat, so don’t overindulge!

There are two gluten free bread products I have found that my 10 year old gives two thumbs up to.  The first, Food for Life gluten free english muffins, she discovered at Grandma’s house.  She told me that they are better than any other english muffin she’s ever eaten, and I had to agree with her.  The second was Rudi’s gluten free multigrain sandwich bread.  I’m not much of a bread person, so I haven’t tried it.  However, the kiddo said it’s her new favorite bread so I’m guessing it’s pretty good!  Both of these items are found in the freezer section at Mother’s Market.

Last, but not least, while I was on my cleanse last year I discovered a dairy free, soy free, and gluten free energy bar called Larabar.  These bars have the shortest ingredient list I have ever seen, consisting of only fruits and nuts.  They are high in sugar but it is strictly sugar from the fruits, nothing added.  My only comment about this bar is, if you have any nut allergies, check the labels.  The flavor name doesn’t always reveal what’s in the bar and I had 2 incidents where I ate one with something I’m allergic to.

If you’re looking to add a few healthier snacks to your diet, I highly recommend all of these.  My daughter loves them all, so don’t be afraid to try them out on your kids as well!

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Children, Food, Health | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Aftermath

Today marks my 6th day off the 28 day cleanse.  I have continued to eat the same food as I did on the cleanse, I just haven’t had my two protein shakes a day.  I feel even better now than I did on the cleanse, if that’s even possible.  I’ve done a number of cleanses in the past, and even if I felt good while on them, afterwards was always a disaster.  I would either get sick (once so bad I thought I would have to be hospitalized for asthma) or spend weeks trying to get my energy back.  This cleanse is quite the opposite.  I feel better than I have in years!   The only time I didn’t was when I reintroduced something that was prohibited on the cleanse.

Now I’ve known for a number of years that dairy is not my friend, which is why I rarely have it.  It gives me intestinal problems and makes me break out.  However, when I reintroduced dairy just one time, I was presented with pretty bad knee pain.  As you know, my knee has felt the best ever in five years while on this cleanse.  A little dairy and the pain came right back.  I was surprised!  The worst one, though, was the gluten.  One meal with gluten and I was so exhausted I just wanted to lay down on the floor and nap.  I was so tired, my eyes burned.  Needless to say, I haven’t had gluten since.  I’m guessing that’s why I’ve been feeling so good, because I haven’t been eating gluten.

Besides that, I feel amazing.  My energy level is still very high, even though my life is on chaos mode right now.  My sleep is still good and, as long as I don’t eat dairy, soy, or gluten, my joints feel great!  Oh yeah, and I’m still losing weight, while eating plenty of food.

Not only that, but my workouts have really improved.   About 8-9 years ago I was running a 7 minute mile.  After my knee injury and a bout with adrenal fatigue, it dropped to a 10 minute mile.  That is quite a drop for an athlete.  Over the 28 days I have been on this cleanse, that 10 minute mile has gradually gotten faster.  Today I ran 5 miles at an 8.5 minute mile.  In one month I was able to close that gap by 50%.  While my racing days are long gone, I would still like to feel like the athlete I once was, just a little bit.  Now I do 🙂

This whole experience has been a real eye-opener for me when it comes to the effect food has on our health.  I already knew so much about this, yet experiencing it for myself was quite enlightening.

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 12 -Thanksgiving and fizzy tabs

Today was day 12 of my 28 day anti-inflammatory, detox cleanse and I have been feeling amazing!  I had two days off this week from my asthma inhaler with no asthma symptoms at all.  Cold weather usually brings on more asthma problems for me, but the diet is definitely helping relieve that.  As you know, today was Thanksgiving and I was determined to stick with my cleanse.  I knew I could eat turkey and vegetables, but I really love stuffing!  Sooo, I made my own gluten-free stuffing.  It turned out good, but not as good as the real thing.  I’ll have to work on that recipe 🙂  As much as I love pie, I refrained from eating any.  I decided that the temporary pleasure my taste buds would get, would not be worth how bad I would feel afterwards and for the next 2 days.  I ended the night feeling just as good as I had when I started my day.  No bloating, no drowsiness, no stomach ache, no headache…you get the picture.  I am quite proud of myself for sticking with my program.

You’re probably wondering what fizzy tabs are and what they have to do with Thanksgiving.  Well, they really have nothing to do with Thanksgiving actually, but I needed to rave about my new “energy drink.”  This cleanse limits caffeine intake, so they have a product for caffeine addicts like myself.  Fizzy tabs are tablets loaded with B vitamins and amino acids that you dissolve in a glass of water.  They come in citrus and pomegranate (my fave) and give you a natural boost without the amped up, jittery feeling you get from coffee or energy drinks.  I love these fizzy tabs so much, they will become a permanent fixture for me long after this 28 day cleanse is over.

I’m almost half way through this program and it is by far the best cleanse I have ever done!  I will definitely be maintaining much of this eating regimen after I’ve finished the cleanse, the results are so worth it!

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | 2 Comments

My latest adventure

So today was my first day on a new cleansing program.  My friend, Kendra Cannoy, had done this cleanse a while back and convinced me to try it.  This cleanse is an anti-inflammatory, detox cleanse that allows 2 protein drinks and one meal throughout the day.  Meals must be free of dairy, soy, sugar, vinegar, alcohol, gluten, and coffee, soda, and diet drinks.  All meat must be unprocessed, antibiotic and hormone free, and grass fed.  I decided this would be fairly easy for me to accomplish because it comes very close to the way I eat now.  Many times I find myself mentioning to my clients the role food plays in the inflammatory process, but I don’t really have a method for others to follow.  I am trying this out in the hopes that it will be a cleanse that I can suggest for clients with constant pain, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.  And because it is wheat and gluten free, it is perfect for the growing numbers of people who have celiac’s disease.

This cleanse comes with a protein powder that is rice and pea-based.  This is the first protein powder I have ever found that is dairy and soy free!  I can’t tell you how excited I was about that!  There is also a detox tea and liquid herbs to help detox the liver and remove excess fluids.

Surprisingly, I was not hungry at all today and I even ran for an hour in the morning.  The protein drinks are delicious and satisfying.  My legs did feel a bit heavy on my run, but I’m not sure if that was from the detox tea or from walking Disneyland all day yesterday!  Needless to say, by dinnertime (when I actually got to eat my food) I wasn’t too hungry and could not finish my dinner.

This cleanse is supposed to last for 28 days.  So far, I seem to be off to a good start!  I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

November 14, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment