Look who made the LA Times?! Congrats Beautycounter!

Look who made the LA Times!? What a fantastic article and preview of exciting things to come. I’m so pleased with the Beautycounter results and opportunity to share them with my clients and blog readers!

http://www.latimes.com/features/image/la-ig-beauty-counter-20130512,0,6584769.story

Shop for Beautycounter here at my personal store:
www.emilie.beautycounter.com and read all about our Never List, Philosophy, Mission, Team, other Press and more!

Is your fro-yo causing your breakouts?!

So nowadays frozen yogurt is all the rage…with the plethora of self-serve yogurt sundae bars on every corner, this can be one snack that is hard to resist. However, could your favorite frozen treat be causing your cystic, rather uncomfortable pimples on your chin or jawline?

I have long believed and taught my clients that cystic acne around the jawline could be linked to dairy consumption. For whatever reason, even Organic dairy products seem to exacerbate oiliness and acne in those with problem skin types. This can be frustrating. In order to find out, I highly recommend passing on the dairy–all of it, from milk to cheese to yogurt, for at least 2-3 weeks. See if you don’t get by with no new blemishes or pimples.

Slowly incorporate 1,2, 3 servings a day if you must after those 2-3 weeks and pay attention to any increase in oiliness or blemishes. You can start to determine your tolerance. You may find that you can eat very little dairy or you may find that your body is more zero tolerance.

The great news is that there are a variety of alternatives to dairy. Personally, I love unsweetened almond milk for cooking, baking and occasionally for drinking and if I’m really the mood for ice cream, I may splurge on the overpriced Coconut milk-based variety. Dairy creates excess mucous in our bodies and without going into the gross details, suffice it to say that it doesn’t do your body very much good as the slogan implies.

Major bonus: cutting out the yogurt, pizza and queso will do wonders for your body come swimsuit season as well, so it’s really a win-win situation! Healthy skin is happy skin!

Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa & Veggies

Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa and Roasted Veggies

By Emilie Spruill

Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis

Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis

My husband recently read the book, Wheat Belly, written by a Cardiologist, Dr William Davis. The book uses the example of the stay-at-home mom who never drinks beer—where does her “beer belly” or “pooch” come from? He suggests that it’s actually a bagel belly or English muffin belly, and he goes on to discuss various medical issues that can be linked to Gluten, and as a result, we have cut back significantly on the wheat in our diet. Keep in mind that we are two bread-loving individuals, so this took some sacrifice, but I have learned that we can still have fantastic and flavorful meals without the gluten. Here is one of our absolute favorites: Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa and Roasted Veggies.

Protein-rich and Flavorful Almond Crusted Tilapia

Protein-rich and Flavorful Almond Crusted Tilapia

This meal is super easy to prepare and very delicious to eat! Start to finish, you can whip this up in less than 30 minutes if you follow these simple steps!

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare two glass baking dishes by lining them with Parchment paper for ultra easy cleanup. Boil water for quinoa. For 2-3 people, I tend to make 1.5 cups of quinoa and I typically have leftover, which I add to my salads! The simple rule of thumb is to double the water or veggie broth, so to make 1.5 cups of quinoa, boil 3 cups of water or veggie broth. When it reaches a boil, add the quinoa, plus a little minced garlic and your choice of seasonings from dried basil to diced celery, reduce to a simmer over low heat and cover for 15-18 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

While the water is coming to a boil, slice your zucchini and squash, or perhaps you prefer asparagus. I like to pre-slice my veggies on Sunday so it’s even faster during the week. Lightly brush with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, and dust with Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper. Pop those in the oven and let them roast for 30 minutes. Set the timer.

Take about a half a cup of raw, unsalted almonds and pulse in your food processor—I use my ever-so-handy Kitchen Ninja Pro!

Now, on a clean surface, carefully unwrap your fresh tilapia and prepare 1 filet per person. Lightly brush the tilapia with EVOO, dust with Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper and coat with ground almonds. Only grind them to small pieces instead of a powder if you like a crunchy texture—it is really good this way! Think of the almond pieces as your “breading” and the baking as your “frying”. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or so in your parchment-paper lined Baking Dish. For a lovely touch, finish by broiling the fish for just a minute or so, but stand by because this will brown the surface quickly if you aren’t paying attention! The result is moist but well-cooked fish with the perfect texture.

Plate the Tilapia, Quinoa and Veggies and prepare to indulge in one of the healthiest, most nourishing meals that you’ve had in some time. This meal at a fine restaurant would cost you many times the cost and it would likely pack on many times the fat and calories, so you are saving money and you’re eating healthy all at the same time. This is a sure-to-please recipe, especially for someone who doesn’t think that they like fish—the flavor is mild but delicious and will earn you applause without a doubt.

Baby Bella Salad!

I have perfected the art of making salads at home–almost to the degree that I am often disappointed when I order a salad at a restaurant! Since moving to TX six years ago, I met plenty of guys who were just plain offended when they learned that I am a nearly life-long vegetarian (technically pescetarian). It reminds me of a quote that I once saw Texas-born Dan Rather make on a late night talk show interview, “Salad is what food eats!” One of the things that is most pleasing to me about my sweet husband is that he is a born and raised Texan and has the sexy drawl to prove it, but he actually respects, embraces and drives my healthy eating lifestyle. This is one of our favorite salads and since the addition last week of baby bella slices, he has repeatedly requested it for dinner! His ten-year old mini even ate it up this evening!

Your new favorite salad!

Your new favorite salad!

Side note: making salads at home rather than eating out is such a great idea because it’s the perfect way to portion control so that your healthy meal doesn’t turn into a diet sabotage before you can say “dressing on the side”. You can add on fun and delicious accoutrements like feta, walnuts or dried cranberries in moderation so that your salad actually benefits your swimsuit goals instead of destroying them like some restaurant salads can! Don’t be fooled into thinking that restaurant salads are always healthy choices–one of my formerly favorite salads was from T.G.I. Fridays and packed on 1360 calories–more than are in a Whopper!!!

Here’s your simple instructions and I encourage you to be creative with your add-ons!

~First, I thoroughly wash and slice Baby Portabella Mushrooms. I saute them on medium in a non-stick skillet with some EVOO or EV Coconut Oil (just a bit), light Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper. Use a wooden spoon to toss periodically.
~While the shrooms are sauteing, I add Organic Spring Greens (I alternate between the Organic Red Leaf Lettuce and the pre-washed containers of Organic Spring Greens or Baby Spinach if I’m feeling a bit lazy).
~Chop your veggies and add them to the greens: Ideas include Yellow Bell Pepper (or Orange if you prefer), Cucumber, and four Cherry or Grape tomatoes (no chopping required).
~Add the fun stuff! Tonight I used just a few crumbles of Organic Feta, a few Dried Cranberries, a dusting of Organic Sunflower Seeds, a dozen or so Pecans (walnuts also work great) and a few slices of Avocado for some healthy fats and Skin-loving Omegas!
~Finally, the mushrooms are done when they begin to look cooked rather than raw–pretty simple!
~My favorite finishing touch is a few pieces of fruit–choose from Strawberry Slices, Blueberries or Mandarin slices!

Now for the dressing–I suggest a Balsamic Vinagrette, but be sure that whatever you are choosing contains NO MSG (most commercial ranch dressings do unless you choose Organic), and is not too high in sugar. I lightly drizzle but to be honest, this salad is so delicious, you just might find yourself skipping the dressing and using those calories on some dark chocolate later! It really is that good!

Enjoy your new favorite salad! Buon appetite!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Body & Skin for Summer

In addition to writing for my own website, I have signed on to write a series of fun and often-beauty or wellness-related articles for my friends at www.yourdailyscoop.com ~ Thanks for sharing my articles when you enjoy them, especially when you think someone else in particular could benefit! Without further delay…you’d better start now as summer will be here before you can say Spray Tan.

http://www.yourdailyscoop.com/5-ways-to-prepare-your-body-skin-for-summer/

Spray Tanning Does Your Body & Skin Good

Spray Tanning Does Your Body & Skin Good

Beautycounter Launch Houston, TX

wouldn't you like to know everything that's in your product?

wouldn’t you like to know everything that’s in your product?

What a fantastic, refreshing and inspiring event last night in Houston, TX! The feedback has been incredible about what a classy job the entire Beautycounter team did putting together the event, and it’s refreshing to see so many women and men becoming passionate about making a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Beautycounter’s mission is simple: personal care products–from skincare to bodycare to a forthcoming cosmetic line–that is free of toxic chemicals that are linked to health issues like autism and cancer. Their criteria is impressive: all products must be SAFE / EFFECTIVE / CHIC / AFFORDABLE.

As an esthetician, and someone who truly lives and breathes skincare, and also a self-proclaimed ingredient snob, I am elated to have found a fabulous product line that meets my high standards for myself and my clients, and is so firmly committed to an even greater social movement mission of changing the horrifically low standards of the current US Cosmetics Industry. From our CEO Gregg Renfrew, who is a mom and entrepreneur, to our VP of Creative Christy Coleman, who has been on a mission to revolutionize the world of celebrity makeup artistry and make it more green, to our VP of Sales, Gina Murphy, who is a sharp and honest businesswoman, the entire team is an energizing force who collectively inspire and motivate me like I haven’t been motivated in some time!

I can’t wait to hear my clients’ feedback as we grow our line (we now offer skincare, luxury anti-aging/ lustro oils, and bodycare). Nothing brings me more joy than hearing that our products and my services/ recommendations are making a difference! It’s my life’s work and I’m grateful to be able to do it each day! If you know someone who is passionate about making safer choices when it comes to what they put into their bloodstream, either because they’ve been fighting cancer or they are simply wanting to remain healthy and happy, thank you for passing along my online store and this blog so they can follow my updates! I would love to offer them a consultation! www.emilie.beautycounter.com

I wish you happiness and healthiness!

100% class from the team to the display!

100% class from the team to the display!

Greener Pastures Green Smoothie

Author: Emilie Spruill

Since I’m expecting our first baby, London Sophia, this summer, I have been trying to respect my very qualified certified RN Midwife’s strict nutritional guidelines! Her main instructions are get enough protein (90-110 g daily) and avoid all sugar with the exception of very few servings of fruits, and this includes dried fruits, honey as well as refined sugars, of course. So if you are particularly interested in a low-glycemic Green Smoothie, note that I am not a nutritionist, but this one did not spike my Blood Glucose levels throughout the recent week of finger-pricking and glucose detecting that I endured! **The only time my blood sugar reading did elevate slightly was when I added banana, so I have since replaced banana with avocado–the consistency is similarly creamy without the extra sugar!

Greener Pastures Smoothie by Emilie Spruill

Greener Pastures Smoothie by Emilie Spruill

Ok next let me share the benefits of this green goodness, and then I’ll share the super-simple recipe. I literally make this for my sweet husband and me every morning, and even when I’m half-awake, the results are fabulous! All nutritional info below is courtesy of the Green Smoothies smart-phone app (www.rawfamily.com) Use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredient List (this recipe typically makes 40 ounces or so):
1 Small-Medium Avocado ~ Avocadoes are full of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. Also a great source of blood-pressure regulating Potassium, Avocadoes are rich in Fiber, B Vitamins (energizing), Vitamin E, C, K, folate, riboflavin, Niacin and Magnesium.

1 Small-Medium Granny Smith Apple ~ (Including Peel and Seeds; remove the stem): Besides soluble fiber, apples also contain iron, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Note that most of the Vitamin C is in the skin so do NOT peel the apple!

1 Small Pear ~ Pears contain more Fiber (see a pattern?!), B2, C, E, Copper and Potassium. Pears are actually higher in Pectin (a water-soluble fiber) than apples. This makes them both effective at lowering cholesterol and toning intestines. Pears are safe for most allergy-sufferers.

1/2 Cucumber ~ Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C and Caffeic Acid, both useful in soothing skin irritations and swelling. The hard skin of a cucumber is rich in Fiber and contains Silica, Magnesium and Potassium.

2 handfuls of Baby Spinach ~ Spinach is an antioxidant powerhouse, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Folate, Betaine, Iron, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Copper, Protein, Phosphorus, Zinc, Niacin, Selenium and Omega 3s… WOW! Spinach is known for stabilizing blood sugar in diabetics and anti-oxidants are known to defend against cancer-causing and wrinkle-causing free radical damage. Vitamin K helps to promote healthy blood clotting.

1 inch of Ginger Root ~ Peeled: Ginger is packed full of Vitamins C & E, more essential minerals and is believed to have a similar effect on thinning the blood as aspirin. Ginger reduces inflammation in the body, lowers cholesterol, reduces fevers, migraines, dizziness and nausea. Ginger is great for arthritis-sufferers and those with intestinal problems.

2-3 Drops Liquid Stevia: This ultra-sweet sugar-alternative is great and Midwife-approved in my case! I prefer the drops to the powder but don’t overdo it–it’s very concentrated! I found this at our local HEB/Central Market but you can also order a 2-pack here athttp://www.amazon.com/SweetLeaf-SteviaClear-Liquid-4-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B001E5E3JY

2 Cups Purified Water: Tweak this amount to achieve desired quantity and texture. I use about 2 cups everyday, but it’s not an exact science! (Replacing this with Coconut or Almond Milk would make a creamier smoothie, FYI).

Instructions:
Place in a high-powered blender and BLEND WELL! I like to blend in my Kitchen Ninja Pro for at least 1-2 minutes on Blend, and often I will add in a couple of ice cubes so that our smoothies are a bit colder!

If upon tasting, this smoothie is TOO green for you, you can try adding additional fruit, such as a Banana, Mango, Peach or Berries. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised though, because if you close your eyes, you would think that this was a fruit smoothie from your favorite chain smoothie establishment, only it has none of the hidden sugars, additives or powders! Before long, your body starts to naturally crave less refined sugars and more greens when you regularly indulge in this green goodness!

Nutrimetics is unavailable in the US at this time ~

As most of my loyal clients are aware, I have had a favorite skincare line–Nutrimetics– that I have exclusively recommended since 1999. Even with my professional license, I was so proud to offer those products because they were safe, effective and provided an excellent value. Unfortunately, those products are no longer available for purchase at this time. As a skincare professional, I know the challenges that my clients face when searching for the right skincare line, because most of the skincare on the market contains harmful and inefficient ingredients and they simply don’t deliver results. I am diligently working to select a new skincare line that I can proudly offer and recommend. As always, whichever line I choose will meet my extremely high standards for safety and performance–they must be safe, they must deliver results and they must offer an excellent value! My goal was to confirm my new product line after careful and prayerful consideration in March of 2013. Well, by divine intervention and after intense research, I am ecstatic to offer a new homecare line that I know my clients will adore. This line is safe, healthy, chic, affordable and effective and you can read all about my selection HERE!

Skincare does not need to be overwhelming, frustrating or outrageously expensive–schedule your free homecare skinsultation today! Personalized gift collections and gift certificates are available by request. Perfect for holidays, birthdays, Mother’s Day, showers, brides, graduations and other special occasions!

Thank you for your trust and your patience! Quality Homecare products are of the utmost importance to me!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Veggie Skewers & Zesty Sauce

I must admit…this has quickly become one of my personal favorite meals. I’ve been a vegetarian since 1996, at the ripe old age of 16, although my mom will tell you that I was a born vegetarian. Technically, now though, I am pescetarian because I do eat a limited variety of fish, including Mahi Mahi, Tilapia and Seared Ahi Tuna–although that one is on hold until my baby girl is born this summer! In the meantime, I probably have either Mahi Mahi or Tilapia once every week to two weeks and I love the idea of getting lean protein and skin, heart and brain-boosting fatty acids!

Since our grill bit the dust last year, I have been relying on baking or searing our mahi mahi, although if you prefer, this recipe would work well on the grill. There are some concerns that grilling food to the point of charring it can lead to consumption of carcinogens, so I actually prefer baking. The great news is that even without the grill, the result is perfection–moist, plump and satisfying! The zesty sauce is absolutely delicious–interesting and mild, although you can kick up the heat by adding jalapeno or your choice of hot pepper!

As far as sides, you can’t go wrong with Baked Veggie Skewers and your favorite Quinoa Dish. I will share my simple, quickie side dish idea below! The result is husband-approved, and by the way, you can easily turn this recipe into lettuce wraps or healthy fish tacos by chopping up the mahi and serving alongside Bibb lettuce or tortilla shells! Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Zesty Sauce!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Zesty Sauce!

For the main dish:
~Preheat the oven to 350 (375 can work if you want to shave a few minutes off of the cooking time).
~Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper for ultra-fast cleanup!
~Lightly brush mahi mahi (since you’re baking, ask your fish specialist to remove the skin at the store–trust me!)
with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or your choice of oil… Quickly sprinkle sea salt & black pepper to taste.
~Optionally, you can squeeze the juice of a lime or lemon if you have one on hand–but it will taste great without!
~Bake for 15 minutes at 375 or up to 20 minutes at 350 (My husband is very particular about cooking fish all the way through so this allows the fish to have NO pink but will still taste moist and delicious–use your judgement!)
~I like to broil for 1-2 minutes at the end just to ensure that indeed the fish is completely cooked!

For the Veggielicious Skewers:
~Simply chop (or if possible pre-chop on grocery shopping day to save time) your favorite veggies: choose from red bell pepper, baby mushrooms, vidalia onion, green bell pepper, zucchini or more.
~Load up wooden skewers and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
~Brush lightly with EVOO, quick dusting of sea salt and black pepper, and bake alongside the Mahi Mahi! I like to prepare these before the fish, so they get a couple of extra baking minutes while I’m preparing the Mahi Mahi.

For a very simple variation of Steamed Quinoa Side Dish:
~Boil 2 cups of water or veggie stock.
~Add 1 cup quinoa, a little minced garlic (I love the jars of minced garlic–so easy), Sea Salt and Pepper (just a touch)
~Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered with a lid for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
~For a lovely twist, add sauteed diced squash and celery, or even diced cherry tomatoes.

For the Zesty Sauce:
~In a food processor (I LOVE my handy Kitchen Ninja!), combine the following:
~3 TBSP Grainy Mustard
~2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
~1/2 tsp minced garlic
~1/2 small red onion
~The fresh juice of 1/2 lime
~About a cup of Fresh Cilantro
~After the above ingredients are mixed, add about 1/4 cup EVOO (I use my judgement so that the sauce has a slightly liquid texture but still thick enough that I can spread it atop the Mahi Mahi as the perfect compliment to complete the meal!

I prepare the sauce while the fish and veggie skewers are baking, and the quinoa is boiling… it literally only takes a few minutes with the Kitchen Ninja. Simply spread the sauce atop the Mahi Mahi and plate your sides, and you instantly have a healthy meal that is sure to impress! For kids, you can easily add the Bibb Lettuce or Soft Tortillas for Fish Taco night!

Enjoy and please graciously share if you love this recipe!

Baked Tuna Croquettes Over Spinach

Today I wanted to treat my husband to a simple but delicious meal, so I chose to prepare one of his favorites–tuna croquettes. Only problem is that they are not my favorite dish! I decided I would need to come up with a twist–to make them a bit more flavorful, a bit more healthy and a bit more appealing! This recipe definitely hit the spot–we both loved it and it was super satisfying! The result was baked tuna croquettes with a dill cucumber sauce, served over sauteed spinach with baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

Delightful!

Delightful!

For the tuna croquettes:
Preheat oven to 350
Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish to prevent sticking

Mix the following together in a medium glass bowl:
~15 oz canned tuna (we used 3 x 5 oz cans), strained
~6 TBSP panko or Gluten-Free breadcrumbs
~1 TBSP relish (use dill or sweet–I chose sweet)
~1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
~1/4 cup diced green onions
~1/4 cup diced celery
~1 tsp dill weed
~dash of tumeric
~dash of mustard powder
~dash of paprika
~dash sea salt to taste
~dash cracked black pepper to taste
~2 eggs whisked
***I typically don’t cook with eggs but I’ve had trouble binding patties in the past with just egg whites so until I find a solution, I will go with 2 cage-free, organic brown eggs! Stay tuned for a tweak!

Combine all ingredients evenly. Form patties and place in baking dish (I made 5 burger-sized patties)
Bake for 20 minutes, using a spatula to gently flip after 12-15 minutes

Dill Sauce:
~1/2 diced cucumber
~1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
~1/2 tsp dill weed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. (I used my trusty Kitchen Ninja!)

Saute spinach in a skillet with a little minced garlic until the spinach is wilted. Note: you must use a pretty good bit of raw spinach as it wilts down significantly!

Serve the croquettes over the spinach, and lightly drizzle in Cucumber Dill Sauce! OK well that was the plan, but we did both end up adding more dill sauce because it was so delicious and complimented the tuna perfectly! With the nonfat Greek yogurt, you can’t go wrong!

For skin-friendly recipes, be sure to choose Organic Yogurt and Eggs. I often recommend avoiding dairy altogether for anyone suffering from acne or extremely oily skin. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my hubby and I did and I appreciate your feedback! Buon Appetite!