Shannon's health and fitness blog

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

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

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

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