What’s on the Menu

This week’s peak into my daily nutrition features my non-dairy version of bulletproof coffee. For those that aren’t familiar with bulletproof coffee, it’s essentially a mixture of coffee, MCT oil and grass fed butter that was made popular by Dave Asprey. The idea behind this concoction is that it keeps you satiated longer unlike many common breakfast foods (i.e. cereal, doughnuts, bagels). Also, some people say that the MCT oil, which is a source of energy itself, can prolong the caffeine effect of coffee. Either way, as someone that makes a conscious effort to get the majority of his calories from fat, this seems like a good idea, but I can’t handle that much dairy right when I get up. Which is why I was ecstatic when I learned about a non-dairy version of the upgraded coffee during our interview with Anna Vocino on the Addicted to Fitness podcast. I’ve been using this recipe almost every morning for the last 3 months and I’ve had no problems, and unlike bulletproof coffee, this recipe contains a significant amount of protein. Give it the once over and let me know if you prefer it over the traditional bulletproof coffee recipe. 

1/3 cup of Trader Joe’s Reduced fat canned coconut milk (90 calories, 9g of fat, 1g of sugar)

1 tbsp of Trader Joe’s Coconut oil (120 calories, 14g of fat, 0g of sugar)

2 tbsp of Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (45 calories, 11g of protein)

12 ounces of black coffee (>2 calories)

*Pour all ingredients in a blender or shaker bottle and combine till well mixed 

= 317 calories, 30 g of fat, 11 g of protein and 1g of sugar


Thanks to author Anna Vocino for providing this recipe

What’s on the Menu

I’m back with another #whatiatewednesday post for you all. If you haven’t been living under a rock the last few years, someone has probably told you that avocados are good for you because they contain “healthy” fats (monounsaturated & polyunsaturated to be exact). But you may not know that 1 avocado has more potassium than a banana and 4g of protein with all 8 essential amino acids (source). They also include other important micronutrients like vitamin A, C, iron and calcium (source). These nutritional facts make them an important component of anyone’s diet, especially non-meat eaters. As you can see I like to dress mine up with a little red pepper & olive oil. I’m pretty fancy.

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What’s on the Menu

This week’s menu item is not one particular food, but an entire meal I prepared for my wife and I. The salad is made of arugula, watermelon, grated cheddar and a balsamic reduction. Even though watermelon has a high glycemic index (72) it has a low glycemic load (5) due to the water and fiber it contains. Enjoying it with a protein, like the shrimp pictured below, will reduce the watermelon’s insulin response even further. While we’re on the topic of reducing insulin response, substituting zucchini noodles for any refined grain based pasta will do just that. Reducing your refined grain intake could lead to you avoiding troublesome health conditions like bloating and irritable bowel syndrome just to name a few. The real beauty of this meal is that it took about 15 minutes to make. Quick, healthy and delicious. Just the way I like it!


What’s on the Menu

This week’s look into my food choices is ultimately a result of listening to individuals like Tim Ferris and Dom D’Agostino. All I kept hearing from these intelligent folks is how good sardines were for you. Once I finally got up the nerve to buy a couple cans, I realized how right they were. One container, like the one pictured, contains 13g of protein and several important vitamins & minerals like vitamin D and selenium. As good as they may be for me, I knew I would need a little something extra to make them more palatable, which is why I purchased Primal Kitchen mayo. Not only is this a wholesome food with only 5 ingredients, 1 tbsp contains almost 20% of my daily value for total fats. This meal really packs a nutritional punch 👊


What’s on the Menu

Let’s face it, proper nutrition is one of the key components to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. People frequently ask me what I eat and what better way to share that with people then participating in the weekly trending topic #whatieatwednesday. One of my menu items that I recently highlighted were collared greens. Shannon let me know that this dark leafy green was one of her go-to’s when she was a vegan. Not surprising since 1 cup of boiled collared greens has 5 g of protein, not to mention a ton of vitamins & minerals like vitamin A and calcium. FYI – the collared pictured below are definitely not vegan friendly. I cooked them in butter, garlic and diced ham 😊. You can stay up to date with my weekly #whatieatwednesday posts by following me on Instagram under the handle @ettampa.


Liquid Diet

Over the past few weeks I’ve been posting pics of the food I eat on a regular basis. This week I decided to mix things up and share a post about my go-to beverages. I’ve done a good job over the past 5 years of limiting my liquid calories to coffee, tea, water, and the occasional adult beverage. I stay away from other beverages because they often deliver a large amount of calories (usually in the form of sugar) without a tremendous amount of beneficial nutrients. Soda, energy drinks, beer, and fruit juice can deliver glucose or fructose in large amounts that can result in a wide array of health problems over time. I know what you’re saying “But fruit juice has beneficial nutrients?” Yes, that’s true, but most fruit juice you purchase can have as much sugar as a can of coke. In fact, I recently heard a podcast that read off the label of a popular all fruit juice, no sugar added, pre-made smoothie that had 58g of sugar and NO fiber in a 16oz bottle. According to the podcast you would have to eat 10 cups of raw carrots or 4 medium bananas to ingest the same amount of sugar contained in that one bottle. The point I’m trying to make is that fruit juice, along with the other beverages on my naughty list, should be enjoyed on a limited basis to prevent the overconsumption of sugar. If you’ve recently cut down on the amount of sugary drinks in your diet let me know. I’d love to hear about the effect its had on your health.


Product Review: Countertop Spiralizer

One food item that I feel a lot of people have a hard time giving up when trying to eat a more low-carb diet is pasta, specifically the dry variety. It’s cheap, easy to prepare, and can be used in a multitude of different dishes. However, the glycemic response to most pasta, especially those not cooked al dente, can be higher than non-starchy vegetables not to mention possible inflammation due to gluten sensitivity. What’s the solution to keeping your weekly pasta dish while sticking to your low-carb diet? THE SPIRALIZER! This fantastic kitchen gadget can turn any vegetable into noodles. You got a zucchini? BOOM, ZOODLES! You got a carrot? BOOM, COODLES! You got a, ok I think you get the idea. This product is easy to use and usually comes with several different blades and can spiralize pretty much anything. You can see below it has no problem turning a whole sweet potato into shoe string sweet potatoes (FYI – sweet potatoes and pasta have a similar glycemic load). There is a handheld version, but I would recommend the countertop version because it’s much easier to use and is only about $10 more on Amazon. I think this is a great investment for anyone trying to reduce the amount of processed carbs in their diet. If you have a veggie spiralizer, let me know what your go-to recipes are.




Rise & Shine

It seems to me that breakfast is surrounded by controversy nowadays. Is it the most important meal of the day? Should I eat breakfast? What should I eat for breakfast? Regardless of the answers to those questions, I know for sure that it is my favorite meal. Pictured below is the breakfast I enjoy several times a week. Three eggs, scrambled, in a cast iron pan with butter and a variety of veggies. The macronutrient breakdown for this meal is as follows:

  • 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter: 0g of carbs, 12g of fat, 0g of protein
  • 3 eggs: 0g of carbs, 15g of fat, 18g of protein
  • 1 cup of kale: 3g of carbs, 0g of fat, 1g of protein
  • 1/2 cup of tomatoes: 4 g of carbs, 0g of fat, 1g of protein
  • 1/2 cup of bell peppers: 6g of carbs, 0g of fat, 0g of protein
  • Macronutrient totals: 13g of carbs, 27g of fat, 20g of protein

As a individual who in interested in becoming more fat-adapted, this meal provides the macronutrient balance I need to start my day off right. What’s your go-to breakfast? Do you sacrifice your morning meal for a little extra sleep? Let me know!