Going Further Into Collagen

Drinks, Products I Love

Lately I have seen so many up and coming trends of people using Collagen protein supplements to add to their daily routines. I have been super interested in trying it and experiencing its benefits.


What is “collagen”?

From Further Food, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, making up 90% of connective tissue, 90% organic bone mass, and 70% of our skin. In our early 20s, collagen production decreases, with 50% of our supply depleted by our 60s. Decreased collagen means more wrinkles, saggy skin, joint stiffness, weaker bones and thinner hair. Luckily, supplementation has been proven to prevent and reverse the effects of this loss.”


Some of the benefits of taking collagen supplements include: promoting weight loss, builds stronger bones, alleviates inflammation, improves flexibility, speeds up muscle recovery time, prevents heartburn, repairs intestinal lining, contains 18 amino acids and 8 essential amnio acids (imperative to post workout recovery), smoothes cellulite/ stretch marks/ acne scars, reduces wrinkles, hydrates skin, and builds strong hair/ teeth/ nails.

I have finally had the chance to get my own collagen supplements and put it to the test! I got my first collagen tub from Further Collagen . The first thing I thought was, “What can I mix this with?” It is a powder form, just like any other protein powder. I always wondered “Does it taste weird? What does collagen powder mix well with?” With these first few questions, I did a little research and looked up what I could mix it with! I found some amazing recipes and information about it from the Further Food’s website about their product. To my surprise, you can seriously just mix it into anything, just like you would with other protein powders. I immediately started to play around with it in the kitchen to try my first collagen experience. Of course my go-to protein mix in is a smoothie. So I whipped it up in a delicious Pumpkin Spice flavored smoothie.

Blender Recipe:

  • Ice
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk
  • A scoop of Further Collagen
  • Half of a persimmon
  • Tablespoon of Salba Chia Seeds
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A pinch of Pumpkin Pie Spice

And topped it off with:

It turns out that I don’t even taste it! The best part about it is that it is flavorless, does not have an odor, and does not have a weird gelatin texture. It dissolves well in anything. As I look through Further Food’s recipes with collagen, it makes me realize how versatile it really is! You can mix it and make it into smoothies, soups, puddings, frosting/spreads, cakes, breads, omelets, literally EVERYTHING. Pretty cool!



I also love that this Further Collegan is super clean. I like how it is simply just the collagen with nothing else added. It is made with 100% South American Pasture Raised Bovine Hide Collagen Peptides that is grass-fed, pasture-raised, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and paleo. There are only 29 calories, 7g of protein, with 0g sugar, and 0g carbs in one scoop. Seeing that as a Type 1 Diabetic is a plus for me. So it does not affect my blood sugars spiking it with the powder alone. One of the most frustrating things is finding a protein powder (or some kind of supplement) that doesn’t have a whole bunch of added sugar and carbs to make is taste better. When supplements add those sneaky added sugars to just make the supplement taste good, it ends up spiking my blood sugars.


So over all, I am quite impressed with my first collagen experience! I can’t wait to make more things with it and incorporate it into more of my recipes!

If you are interested in trying it out too, here is where you can grab your first tub like me from: Further Collegan

AND receive 10% off your order with this coupon code too: GRETCHEN10

cauliflower

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Main Dishes

Roasted Cauliflower makes for the perfect warm and flavorful side dish to any meal. Add it to top off your favorite salad or rice dish. You can mix it up by adding different spices to it each time for something new! Cauliflower is beneficial to fighting cancer stem cells, improving blood pressure, and brain development.

cauliflower

For more nutritional values of this dish, check out the nutritional commentary on Further Food, where I found this recipe! Here is their recipe:

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower (chopped into florets)
  • 1.5 tablespoon coconut oil (melted), or I have also used olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper (to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F
  2. Place florets on a large baking pan, cover with coconut oil and salt and toss to coat evenly. (Make sure the florets are spread with space between them on the pan.
  3. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Take out, sprinkle the thyme and pepper evenly over the pan, and roast for another 3-5 minutes. Cauliflower should be able to be easily pierced with a fork and slightly crispy around the edges when it is done!
  5. Let cool 5-10 minutes and enjoy as a side dish or on top of your favorite salad or quinoa dish!

Servings: 3, Carbs 8g, Fiber 3g, Protein 3g

veggie wraps

Rainbow Veggie Wraps

Main Dishes

Not only are these Rainbow Veggie Wraps beautiful to look at, but they smell and taste amazing with the fresh vegetables used! Making these with fresh raw vegetables makes you immediately feel its many healthy benefits and has your body thanking you. With this dish, you truly taste all of the rainbow! It’s the perfect healthy twist for your weekly Taco Tuesday Mexican food nights!

I recreated this recipe from Further Food‘s website, a health expert site showcasing amazing, creative, healthy recipes to and from people with specific health preferences. Check out Further Food’s website for the full nutritionalist commentary on this dish!

Here is their recipe:

veggie wraps

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small head of purple cabbage (3 leaves chopped and the rest set aside for the wraps)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (cut into match sticks)
  • 1 carrot (shaved)
  • 1 handful basil (chopped)
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 large cucumber (chopped)
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/2 batch of spicy mango chili dipping sauce (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all the above ingredients (except for dipping sauce) into a large bowl and toss well.
  2. Pour dipping sauce into a small bowl.
  3. Fill each cabbage wrap with the rainbow veggie salad and dip as desired into the spicy mango sauce. Enjoy with slow conscious bites and take in the moment of rich savory flavors!

cabbage

Servings: 10, Carbs 5g, Sugar 3g, Protein 1g, Fiber 2g

chia pudding

Mexican Hot Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfaits

Dessert, Snacks

I tried out this vegan, paleo, diabetic friendly Mexican Hot Chocolate Chia Pudding Parfait recipe from Further Food, a health expert-reviewed platform for recipes that are written for and by people with specific health conditions that help people discover food-based solutions for a better health! I love to see what new things people come up with! Looking at that site, you can see how no matter what health condition you have, food and eating can still be fun, delicious, and exciting!

I was attracted to this recipe because, first of all, I loveeee chia seeds! I love using them as much as possible because I enjoy the texture of them and they are also super high in Omega-3s, Omega-6s, fiber, antioxidants, and potassium! It is also a great snack or dessert to have when you are having that chocolate craving. This helps satisfy that never ending feeling while keeping low in sugars and carbs. When I tried this chia pudding, I loved how simple it was to make. You get an instant decadent healthy, pudding in seconds. I also love how it puts a little more of a twist to your normal chocolate pudding by adding a bit of the cayenne!

chia pudding

Here is the recipe adapted from Further Food (along with some of my personal notes added):

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Pudding:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw Cacao Powder superfood)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (use xylitol for lower carb, or any sweetener you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste, optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

For the Vanilla Pudding:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (use xylitol for lower carb, or any sweetener you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the chocolate pudding in your blender. Run it on high until the pudding is smooth. Remove the pudding into a bowl.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the vanilla pudding in your blender. Run it on high until the pudding is smooth.
  3. Layer each pudding into your serving dishes, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy cold! (The longer you wait the more the chia pudding thickens so that it is easier to layer on top of each other)

Servings: 6, Total carbs 18g, Sugar 8g, Protein 5g, Fiber 9g

Visit Further Food’s website for the full nutritional commentary.

 

 

further food

Find Your Food Journey

Healthy Eating Tips, Publications

Food itself can have an amazing journey. I have always loved food. Who doesn’t love food!? Cooking and creating recipes with my mom was always one of my favorite things to do when I was little.. and it still is to this day. Throughout all my travels around the world, I have loved experiencing each country through its food. It is the best way to fully indulge, submerge, and understand the cultures.

kitchen

Even being diagnosed, at 23, with the incurable unpreventable autoimmune disease, Type 1 Diabetes, has given me a whole new adventure and experimentation with food. I do have to say in my life before I was diagnosed, I could eat whatever I wanted. I was a health conscious and very active person, but I really never thought twice about how many grams of something there is or what kind of sweeteners are used or what I put into my body. So now in my life, after my diagnosis, I became way more focused about what I eat and how it reacts with my body. I now keep track of how many grams of sugar, carbs, and protein are in each piece of food. I study the backs of products for the Nutritional Facts labels. I research what kinds of alternatives can work to replace certain “bad” foods. I experiment with how my body performs during a workout after eating specific foods. It is quite a blessing to be able to have my eyes opened to my body’s sensitivities. Even though it took a disease to show me more in depth about food and what it can do for my body, I am glad it did.

I think every person has a food journey. I think that everyone should be able to look more closely into their food and how it affects their bodies, whether they have a disease or not. Every body is different, so finding what foods work specifically for YOU is one of the best lessons that you can learn in life. And now I have as much fun in the kitchen as I did before Type1 because I like the challenge of making my food healthy as much as I like to make my presentation beautiful!

Check out my latest publication on Further Food! It features my food journey to finding what works for my body and my condition, a list of the foods I love, and some of my fun recipes too! Read about my article on Further Food here!

I am also very honored to be chosen as Further Food’s official “Health Hero” to help others create new food masterpieces in the kitchen and inspire them to follow their own food journey.

health hero