In a society that offers countless flavor options in food, you have got to be careful what is actually being used to “flavor” our favorite foods! Nine times out of ten, flavored foods and beverages don’t contain the actual wholesome, organic ingredient that their packaging claims! Instead, they use unpronounceable chemicals to simulate the flavor of vanilla, strawberry, pumpkin or any of your other favored flavors. As an athletic pole dancer, I am very conscientious of the food I eat, since it can effect my performance tremendously.
I follow a popular food blog called Food Babe which was introduced to me two years ago. And it really opened my eyes to the popular foods we enjoy and the so-called health food industry. Even health food products that claim to be “all-natural” and “low-fat,” will substitute real whole food ingredients with chemicals. Don’t be fooled by the lure of low-carb, low-fat and low-sugar. The real truth lies in the ingredients list. And since most flavored foods are tainted with disease-causing toxins and animal secretions, I’ve learned that it’s best to just flavor my own food and drinks. So I buy everything plain!
Here is a small list of my favorite recipes to add some zing to plain foods.
Spice up your plain coffee by adding a pinch of ground ginger, two dashes of cinnamon, one dash of nutmeg and a few drops of pure vanilla extract in the coffee grinds before brewing to give your coffee that pumpkin-spiced taste! I don’t wait for Fall to make this recipe. I enjoy it year-round.
Pumpkin Banana Pancakes
Homemade pancakes are easier to make than you think. (If I can easily make them, so can you!) And of course I like to experiment with different flavors. Start with a basic pancake recipe. I use buckwheat flour. Mash up 1-2 bananas, 1 tablespoon of butter (no substitutes!) and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30-45 seconds. Add mixture to pancake batter. Mix in one cup of 100% canned-pumpkin OR Pumpkin Butter (I scored a batch locally made on a farm). Use coconut oil in pan to add a crispy edge to pancakes.
Most Pumpkin-flavored foods don’t even contain pumpkin! Instead they contain caramel coloring and artificial flavors.
Peach Almond Greek Yogurt
This has been my favorite go-to recipe for breakfast or a delightful snack. Mix in fresh peaches or homemade canned peaches, raw honey, sliced almonds and cinnamon to plain Greek yogurt. It’s super yummy! Cinnamon is a fantastic sugar-free sweetener that also helps to boost your metabolism. Honey is an all-around cure-all when taken in moderation. And the almonds and Greek yogurt will keep you filled with just the right amount of protein!
Homemade Salad Dressing
Forget the store-bought, low fat salad dressing. It contains GMO soybean oil and emulsifier ingredients. Instead, dress your salad with some balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), extra-virgin olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, flax seed, rosemary, salt and pepper. Vinegar-based dressings are always a better option than creamy dressings.