Shannon's health and fitness blog

Melt in your mouth Lasagna

go-ahead-its-gluten-freeHere it is-the gluten free, dairy free, soy free lasagna recipe I’ve been dying to try. I wasn’t just pleasantly surprised, I was shocked, at how good this lasagna turned out. ¬†I think it even gave the lasagna at True Food restaurant a run for its money ūüôā ¬†If you would like to make this dish vegan and egg free, just leave out the sausage and use an egg replacer. ¬†This is definitely one of the best dishes I’ve ever made.

1  1/4 cups whole coconut milk, stirred well before pouring to prevent separation

2  14 oz. cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained on a paper towel

1 tsp sea salt, divided: 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp

1 small clove garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

11 brown rice lasagna noodles (Tinkyada brand worked well)

1  1/2 lb uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3  15 oz. cans tomato sauce

1  6 oz. can tomato paste

1/3 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Into a blender or food processor, pour the milk and 1/2 of garbanzo beans.  Blend or process until beans are roughly ground.  Add the remaining beans and blend again until creamy.  Scrape sides of blender as needed.  Add 1/2 tsp of salt, small garlic clove or garlic powder, eggs, and xanthan gum.  Blend for 20 seconds.  Stir in parsley and set aside.

Use a wide pan (12″ wide is best) to par-cook the lasagna noodles. ¬†Fill half full with water, bring water to a boil, and cook 1/2 the noodles at a time. ¬†Boil noodles gently only 6-7 minutes, or they will tear and be hard to work with. ¬†Drain and place noodles on wax paper to dry.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a 6 qt. pot.  Squeeze the sausage meat from casings into the pot and cook on medium-high, stirring to crumble meat and cook it evenly.  Continue stirring and cooking until the meat is done.  Drain excess liquid.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, 3 cloves minced garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. ¬†Into a 9×13 baking dish, spoon a small amount of sauce without sausage meat, just enough to cover the bottom. ¬†Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the pan and “patch” in the area needing noodles by cutting sections from extra noodles to fill in. ¬†Spoon 1/3 of garbanzo mixture over the noodles. ¬†Ladle 1/3 of the sauce with sausage over that. ¬†Repeat these steps 2 more times, beginning with noodles and ending with the sauce. ¬†Bake in oven uncovered 40-45 minutes. ¬†Remove from oven and allow to set 15 minutes before serving. ¬†Enjoy!

Serves 8


February 20, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Harbaugh Meatloaf

Ok, so that’s not really what it’s called, but this meatloaf was still a winner regardless of which team won the Superbowl, lol…

This gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and corn free dish is actually called Dixie Party Meatloaf, and it is delicious! It serves 8-10 people and is a crowd pleaser. ¬†And now you can guess which commercial was my fave ūüôā

2 lb. ground turkey

3/4 cup onion chopped (I used one whole onion)budweiser-clyesdale

1 cup red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped

3/4 tsp dried oregano leaves

1 6oz. can tomato paste

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1/2 cup brown rice flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ¬†Brush the bottom of a 9×13 casserole or roasting pan with grapeseed oil. ¬†In a large glass or metal bowl, mix all ingredients with a large spoon. ¬†Turn onto casserole or pan, and form into a loaf. ¬†Bake uncovered 45-50 minutes until center is no longer pink ( I had to bake for 1 1/2 hours).

Serve and enjoy!

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Balsamic Chicken

I made this one tonight and my daughter said it’s now her second favorite dish (not sure anything will ever make her happier than steak). I got this from skinnyms. once again. ¬†The only changes I made was to use 4 fresh tomatoes rather than canned, and to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta. ¬†Quinoa would probably work too. ¬† It is super easy and incredibly good! ¬†Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Yields 10 Cups | Serving size: 1 Cup | Calories: 190 | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 4 | Fat: 6g | Saturated fat: 1 g | Trans fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 53 mg | Sodium: 121 mg | Carbohydrate: 5 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 3 g | Protein 26 g


  • 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 40 ounces)
  • 2 14.5 oz can¬†diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced (Not chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup¬†balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp.¬†olive oil
  • 1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • ground black pepper¬†and¬†salt¬†to taste


Pour the olive oil on bottom of slow cooker, add chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast, put sliced onion on top of chicken then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.

Cook on high 4 hours, serve over angel hair pasta.

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake-YUM!

Stay full longer with this satisfying protein shake! Easy to make and convenient for when you’re on-the-go.
Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
  • 2 scoops¬†Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
  • 7 oz. water
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  • ¬ĺ cup pumpkin puree
  • Tiny pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten free, as always!

October 17, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health, Holidays, Weight loss | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving treats

Check out these yummy holiday treats that are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free.  Sensitive Sweets is a dedicated gluten free bakery.

Thanksgiving Specials!
Pumpkin Pie Flavor Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies
Thanksgiving Goodies by Sensitive Sweets!
Our Pumpkin Pie (free of gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts) is available by the slice ($3.50) or a whole pie (nine slices for $29). Pre-order whole pies by ordering online or calling us @¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†714-968-9169¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†. We also have great sugar cookies with fun frosting Turkey’s which are $36.00 for 1 dozen.Note, if you pay online, we will contact you to arrange a pick-up time. All orders require at least 24 hours to process.
Shop Online

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health, Holidays | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lance Armstrong endorses Arbonne protein shakes

Did you hear the news? ¬†Lance Armstrong is recommending Arbonne protein shakes on his livestrong website. ¬†This doesn’t really surprise me. ¬†A while back the Armstrong racing team went gluten free and noticed a dramatic improvement in the way they felt, as well as in their athletic performance. ¬†Arbonne products are all gluten free, toxin free, and high quality. ¬†For more information on these great products, go to

May 14, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Is wheat making you fat?

So I’ve blogged plenty about my 28 day cleanse which prohibits dairy, soy, gluten, sugar, vinegar, caffeine, and alcohol. ¬†I finished my cleanse over a month ago and have tried to stick to the food requirements of the cleanse. ¬†Sure, I’ve had a little feta cheese or frozen yogurt here and there, but I’ve tried to stay away from gluten because it really makes me tired. ¬†I’m eating plenty of carbs, but no wheat. ¬†And I’m still losing weight! ¬†Everyday someone comments about how lean I’m looking and wants to know what I’m doing. ¬†So I started wondering what the connection is between wheat/gluten and weight loss and decided to do some research. ¬†This is what I found:

Wheat products cause your blood sugar to spike. ¬†Even whole wheat bread will raise your blood sugar just as much as white bread does. ¬†Why? ¬†Because grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes work to more quickly convert starch into glucose. ¬†When your blood sugar spikes, your body releases insulin, which signals the body to store fat. ¬†Insulin also takes your blood sugar from a high to an extreme low resulting in hunger, cravings, and extreme fatigue. ¬†Of course, we need insulin in our body, but if it is released too often it will make it hard to lose weight and harm your health. ¬†Interestingly enough, I also found that there is a high correlation between Celiac’s disease (allergy or intolerance to wheat/gluten) and Type I diabetes.

Gluten free products are becoming quite popular lately.  While some are great choices, others contain a lot of sugar and fat.  So read your labels to be sure you are picking a healthy product!

The best choice for fat burning  is to eat whole grains, rather than ground up grains.  Grains like rice, spelt, millet, quinoa, and sprouted grain will not spike your blood sugar and actually help you lose weight.


January 14, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I LOVE this program!

Yesterday was the last day of my 28 day cleanse, but I’ve decided to stick with it a little longer because I’m loving it so much. ¬†I’ve received many inquiries about this cleanse and what it has done for me. ¬†I’ve enthusiastically bragged about my incredible (and still shocking) energy levels, my improved sleep, my decrease in aches and pains, my new and improved knee (after 5 years of pain ¬†I’m amazed every day how good it feels), no PMS, no cramps, my overall feeling of well being, etc, etc. ¬†And even though I haven’t checked my weight yet, I’ve been told repeatedly, by many people over the last two weeks, how lean I’m looking (always so nice to hear ūüôā ) While all this has been wonderful, there are other reasons I think this nutritional program is awesome.

This program is not a fad.  It teaches people how to remove the toxins and inflammatory foods from their diet.  Toxins in our environment can lead to many health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, skin conditions, chronic pain, digestive problems, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and auto-immune disorders such as lupus.  This program also teaches how to continue this eating regimen at least 80% of the time after the cleanse is finished.

The list of suggested foods and substitutions that can be eaten on this program is quite long and extensive, giving people many options with their meals. ¬†A shopping list for Trader Joe’s , Whole Foods, and Henry’s is even provided to help those on the program with their shopping choices and where to find it.

A list of recipes are provided to make it easier to prepare meals that adhere to the program. ¬†There’s even a list of shake recipes provided so you don’t get bored with the same flavor everyday.

This program really teaches people how to eat for their health and how to continue to do so down the road. ¬†It makes as easy as can be to follow and I found it to be quite enjoyable, something I’ve never experienced on any other cleanse program.

I am excited to be able to offer and teach this program to others!  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in making a healthy change in your life!

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , | Leave a comment

“Officially” hooked on Arbonne

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know I have been taking part in a 28 day anti-inflammatory, detox cleanse. ¬†My experience with this cleanse has far exceeded my expectations! ¬†I have a continuous flow of energy all day long and, at night, I am having the best quality sleep that I’ve had in years. ¬†My chronic injuries are no longer causing me pain. ¬†Overall, I feel absolutely amazing.

The nutritional products used on this cleanse are manufactured and sold through the Arbonne company. ¬†Even though I still have a few more days left on my cleanse, I have been so impressed with the products and this entire nutritional program, that I jumped at the chance to become an Arbonne consultant. ¬†I am proud to put my name behind this company. ¬† Arbonne has been around for 17 years and is known for their natural, botanical line of skin care and cosmetics. ¬†Their health and weight loss products have proven themselves to be as natural and “clean” as the rest of their line.

I have been having fun learning about their skin care products as well, and am pleased to find their products have been great for my extremely sensitive skin.

If you are interested in this incredible nutritional program or the Arbonne line of products, please feel free to contact me!

December 8, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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