Archive of ‘Gluten free’ category

Yummy Side Dish: Roasted Cauliflower + Leeks

Let me start off by saying this recipe is so ridiculously easy and delicious. Even if you don’t love cauliflower you’ll like this because it doesn’t taste like cauli. It’s a must try.

I didn’t have any intention of making this dish today but when I finished my client sessions this morning it was raining (yet again) and I decided to run into Whole Foods to pick up some food for today thru the weekend. Going to the grocery store without a list usually turns into a long-ish trip for me, I tend to roam around the store. So I wandered past the cauliflower and threw it into my cart along with 1 large leek. By the time I got home I was really craving this dish and have already eaten quite a bit of it! It can be eaten alone or used as a side dish with dinner. I’ve also put it into my salads for lunch. 

Print Recipe
Yummy Side Dish: Roasted Cauliflower + Leeks
Cuisine Side Dish, Veggie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine Side Dish, Veggie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Remove leaves and cut cauliflower stem off
  3. Cut into quarters. I then cut again so the florets begin to break apart
  4. Soak in water to clean and drain
  5. Slice leek and clean, then dry on paper towel
  6. Toss cauliflower with olive oil so it's evenly coated
  7. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano and mix
  8. Place cauliflower on greased baking sheet (I put foil down with some olive oil greased over so it doesn't stick) and put into oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
  9. Put leeks in same bowl cauliflower was prepared in and add a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper
  10. Once the timer goes off, move/flip the cauliflower around so it cooks evenly. Add the leeks to the baking sheet and put back in oven for another 20 minutes
  11. Note: This recipe makes the veggies a bit charred and very yummy!
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Two Healthy Breakfast Ideas That’ll Make You a Rockstar

Lately I’ve been calling myself the Breakfast Queen and feel like I’m holding out on you if I don’t share some of these ideas. A lot of us don’t eat much, if anything, for breakfast. We don’t have time (aka we don’t *make* time), we aren’t hungry in the morning, breakfast is boring etc. Well guess what? I’m gonna change that nonsense for you. 

Is it the most important meal of the day? I don’t really know, that is dependent upon the individual. But what I do know is our days start in the morning (unless you work a night shift I suppose) and fueling properly sets us up for success. 

What happens when we eat well first thing? Our neurotransmitters fire better so we think well and more clearly. That makes us more efficient, we have more energy and get more shit done. Who doesn’t want that?

What do we need in order to make this happen? A balanced meal. Carbs, proteins and fats. 

BUT WHO HAS TIME FOR ALL OF THOSE CRAZY NUTRIENTS IN THE MORNING?

Oh puh-lease. Don’t get me started on that question. YOU have time if you wake up 20 minutes earlier, so there. Don’t like that answer? These breakfast ideas can mostly be prepared in the evening and then heated up when you’re ready to eat. Not hungry before you leave for work? Take it with you and eat at your desk. 

I’m sure there are more “I can’t eat breakfast” excuses out there and if you really don’t want to try these then whatevs. But note if you’re quickly shoving down a granola bar or bagel in the morning you’re doing yourself a disservice.

For those of you who do want to get an awesome and healthy start to your day, here you go!

Meal #1 is what I call a Breakfast Bowl and it’s SO delish. 

– Prepare a batch of quinoa or rice ahead of time and keep in fridge for easy use.
-Prepare a steamed veggie ahead of time and also keep in fridge.
**Veggie ideas: Steamed swiss chard, kale, broccoli , spinach, asparagus
– Add quinoa/rice to a bowl with steamed veggie and eggs. Make the eggs however you like. I usually do 2 fried and leave em’ a little runny. Add avocado, salt, pepper and even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

With this breakfast bowl, you only have to make the eggs in the AM. Everything else can be done ahead of time. Don’t like eggs or have a food sensitivity? I hear you, I used to also. In that case you can get pre-cooked sausage. I like Applegate chicken sausage or Niman Ranch bratwurst. Add this to the bowl in place of the eggs. OR you can grill some chicken breast and use that. The possibilities are endless. 

This Applegate sausage is good too, it comes frozen:

The next breakfast option I call A Lil’ Bit of Everything, it’s also really yummy.

Again, prepare the veggie ahead of time. I always have steamed broccoli or baby broccoli in the fridge but sometimes mix it up with whatever was leftover from dinner. That’s why there are some sautéed mushrooms and swiss chard pictured in this. 

Cook up the protein (sausage, chicken breast, leftover steak from dinner, eggs) and fry half a sweet plantain in grass-fed butter. I did this in a cast iron skillet while cooking the egg and heating up the sausage. Cook the plantain just til they’re brown on each side. Throw veggies, plantain, egg, sausage on a plate and eat! You can add some sliced avocado with sea salt and cayenne pepper to this too. Also, you don’t need sausage AND an egg. I had just finished a workout before eating this and was feeling extra hungry.

What kind of eggs do you normally use? I used to buy cage-free but did some research and now use pasture-raised. The difference is huge- from the color of the yolk to the way I feel after eating them. Yes pasture-raised is more expensive but it’s well worth it to me. My favorite brand is Vital Farms:

So there you have it. Two satisfying, nutrient-packed breakfasts to get your day off to a strong start. Try making one this weekend and let me know what you think!

Happy Eating!  🙂

The Sweetest GALentine’s Day Brunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Um whaaaat! I don’t know why I’d never heard of GALentine’s Day before but I stumbled upon this idea and ran with it. I wanted to do something special for my girlfriends and decided on having them over for brunch. The cool thing about this is it can be done any time of year, it’s just an excuse to make a pretty tablescape, drink champagne and show your girls how much you love them!

Decor:

Cute heart garland and heart straws from Paper Source, “love” napkins, little tags with pink polka dots (for their take-home gifts) and pretty bouquets around the house using white hydrangeas and limonium flowers in a light purple color were all part of the decor. I arranged everything on a plain white table cloth and broke out our brass candlestick holders from Restoration Hardware (even though I realized too late that I didn’t have candles to put in..whoops.). Our dinnerware is the Textured Dinnerware Set from West Elm in white which I’m loving. It has a nice clean look but the different texture options allow you to mix it up a bit. Oh and that pineapple cheese board is from Anthropologie and I’m obsessed with it. 

Drinks:

Easy peasy for drinks. We had rosé champagne the entire time but I did have regular champagne with grapefruit and cranberry juice as an option. I also filled up a glass pitcher with lemon + lime slices for ice water and put the heart straws in those glasses. Dipping the champagne glasses in honey and then coating with pink sugar added to the decor and the girls loved it! 

Food:

 

Everything was gluten free. I cooked a frittata for the first time ever– mushroom, leek and gruyère cheese. Holy crap that was good. For side dishes I made chocolate chip banana walnut muffins from PaleOMG which were delish. We also had baked avocado fries (recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo) with a sriracha-mayo dipping sauce and these heart-shaped home fries (which are totally the cutest things ever, we kinda felt bad eating them!). The girls brought over fruit and gluten free (heart shaped of course) linzer tarts.

Take home goodies:

I got cute gold frames from Home Goods and put a picture of us from my wedding into it. These ladies were my bridesmaids only 4 months ago so I wanted them to have a picture from that day. If it weren’t for this idea though I think I would have done cute Valentine Day cards and little flower bouquets for them each to take home. Also- writing out these tags made me realize I need to take a calligraphy course. Pretty handwriting makes everything better. 

You know I had to get a picture of my gals in here <3

 

I had so much fun planning this brunch I’m actually a little sad it’s over. As we get older and begin to start our own families it is tough to get everyone together. So when it happens, spoil your gals with lots of hearts and champagne. <3

Have more decor ideas or recipes, or did you have a GALentine celebration of your own? Comment below!

Mushroom, Leek + Gruyère Frittata

This was my first ever attempt at a frittata and it was really good, if I do say so myself 😉

You can change out the mix-ins but remember to cook (or sauté) them first so they don’t water it down (such as onions, tomatoes, zucchini etc).

Print Recipe
Mushroom, leek + gruyère frittata
Cuisine Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18-25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18-25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat butter or oil in 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Sauté mushroom and leek slices until soft and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Beat eggs and milk together in a mixing bowl. Pour over mushrooms and leeks and sprinkle cheese on top. Let cook for 8 or so minutes until the edges are set and can separate easily from the side of the pan.
  5. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes. It's done when the eggs are no longer runny and the center is firm. Do not overcook-- check 5 minutes before it's supposed to be done to play it safe.
  6. Slice into wedges and serve.
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Heart-Shaped Home Fries

These home fries are the CUTEST idea for Valentine’s Day, or better yet..a GALentine’s celebration. I had a few of my girlfriends over for brunch the weekend before Valentine’s Day and we ate every last bit of these. I wanted to make something special and have some cute decor around the house to show them how much I love and appreciate them. So the heart-shaped home fries were a BIG hit and easy to make. You can make these for any occassion, just use a different shaped cookie cutter!

Cute GALentine decor 🙂

I got the idea from Jillian Harris’s blog and put my own little spin on the recipe.

Print Recipe
Heart-Shaped Home Fries
Cuisine Side Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Side Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel potatoes and boil until cooked but still firm. For medium potatoes this is about 15 minutes. I stuck a knife through to make sure they were done. You don't want them overcooked! Then put in fridge to cool.
  2. Once cooled slice each potato (about 1/2 inch thickness). Then use cookie cutter to make heart shapes. I used 2 different sizes, one very small and the other a bit larger. Make sure you use as much of each potato slice as possible so it doesn't go to waste.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F. Add olive oil, garlic and onion to cast iron or frying pan. Let sauté until lightly browned then add heart-shaped potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, thyme leaves, paprika and cayenne pepper (just a bit makes these quite spicy!). Sauté potatoes until lightly brown.
  5. Put in oven (make sure pan is oven-safe!) for 30-40 minutes. Check occasionally. You want to cook them until they're browned and a bit crispy on the outside.
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Simple Pulled Chicken Recipe + 3 Easy Meal Ideas

The necessities for my dinner recipes: they must be easy, quick to prepare and gluten free. Cooking is not something I enjoy spending time on so if I see a recipe I like I’m usually tweaking it to cut the preparation time down. I also almost always double a recipe so there are leftovers for the following day or two.

The other day I had an “oh shit” moment. It was 5:00pm and I forgot to think about dinner! Well, we ended up ordering sushi but it prompted me to think about the following day and I decided I’d make pulled chicken in the slow cooker. We’ve now had it for dinner and lunch twice, all in different variations. 

Easiest. Recipe. Ever. = A very happy Cait.

What You Need:

  • 2-3lbs of chicken breast, depending on how much you want to make. I buy organic and free range almost always
  • 2 cups of chicken broth. I use Pacific’s Organic Bone Broth for the extra protein and nutrients. *Note: Can also use water. The amount of liquid you use should vary based upon how much broth you want left once it’s finished cooking. I like it with a good amount of broth so it keeps moist when stored. If the broth evaporates a lot I’ll add more in while cooking.
  • 1 yellow or white onion, sliced into small pieces
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley and oregano 
  • *Note: I used 2.5lbs of chicken which made enough for 2 people, 2 dinners and 2 lunches each

What To Do: 

  • Place chicken breast in the slow cooker
  • Pour broth over the chicken
  • Add in onion
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley and oregano
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours
  • *Add in additional broth if needed so chicken breasts are mostly covered
  • 30 minutes before finished, put the chicken on a cutting board and shred apart with 2 forks, then put back in slow cooker for the remaining time

Pulled chicken

Now that we’ve got this yummy chicken, what can we do with it? I have no problem throwing it on a plate with some veggies and maybe some chips or fries for a little crunch, but that can get a little boring. Here’s what we had this week:

  • Chicken Tacos: Sautéed peppers and onions, shredded cheese (I used goats gouda..YUM), pulled chicken, finely chopped cilantro and avocado thrown on a tortilla (I like Udi’s gluten free, I also really like corn tortillas but am staying away from corn for the time being).
  • Chicken + Quinoa Bowl: Quinoa, pulled chicken, black beans and diced avocado mixed together in a dish. Add melted cheese on top and some extra broth to make this more of a soup consistency.
  • Chicken Salad: Put the pulled chicken over greens such as spinach, lettuce or baby kale. Add in chopped celery, walnuts and sliced grapes with an extra sprinkle of pepper on top.

Enjoy these and if you come up with a recipe of your own using the pulled chicken, tell me about it in the comments section or tag me with a pic on Instagram @CoachCait  🙂 

Super Simple Beef Bone Broth Recipe

“Have you tried making your own bone broth?” My Naturopath asked. Oh crap. No I hadn’t, but it has been on my to-do list for over a year now, if that counts. Yes, I’ve heard of the countless benefits:

  • Easily digestible and can help heal the lining of the gut due to the gelatin
  • Has a ton of minerals and nutrients that we just don’t get from the store bought version
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation due to the glucosamine and other compounds from the cartilage
  • The collagen and gelatin keeps our hair and nails strong and beautiful
  • Homemade bone broth is healthier and cheaper than store bought
  • Easy to make

Ok, that last one is what got me. It’s easy to make? For some reason I’ve always envisioned it being a royal pain in the ass and taking up way too much time. However, after doing some research and reading “The Bone Broth Miracle” by Ariane Resnick, I realized there’s no down side to trying this out.

My gut sucks, to put it lightly. Having celiac disease which was undiagnosed for quite some time means I haven’t been absorbing nutrients properly for who knows how long which has lead to a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Apparently bone broth can start to heal not only my gut but add nutrients I’ve been missing back into my diet in a healthy and simple manner. Let’s give it a whirl..

(I started off with beef bone broth because I made short ribs in the slow cooker and had those bones readily available.)

What you need:

  • Bones. Grass-fed and organic, please. I wasn’t sure which to buy so I asked my local butcher and he gave me a lovely assortment of knuckle and neck bones which I added to my pound of short rib bones. (I just threw those in there because I had them). The butcher sawed them in half so they’d fit in the slow cooker easily. I had about 5.5lbs of bones in total. IMG_5240
  • 5 quarts of filtered water. If you are making a different amount, use the ratio 1 pound of bones to 1 quart of water. *Note: Every once in a while I’d add more water into the slow cooker once it evaporated, so that the bones were always covered.
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic *optional

What to do:

  • Roast the bones in the oven at 400 degrees for roughly 30-45 minutes (until they are browned) IMG_5245
  • Place them in slow cooker and add water, apple cider vinegar, water and bay leaves
  • Cook for 36-48 hours on low, adding water when needed so bones are covered and skimming the fat and film from the top as it cooks
  • *Optional: Add garlic during last hour of cook time
  • When finished cooking, let cool a bit and strain out the bones
  • Pour into glass tupperware
  • Once it cools a layer of fat will develop on top, this is good! Use this fat for cooking. IMG_5262

Storage: When pouring into glass jars leave an inch or so from the top. Always keep the layer of fat on top if you’re going to refrigerate for longer than 5 days as this helps keep from spoiling. Now I just finished making my first batch so I haven’t stored it yet, but I’ve read that with a layer of fat on top it can be in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to keep for longer then put it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

After having mine in the fridge over night, I was super excited when I cut through the layer of fat and saw the this jelly-like substance in the dish– that means it was done properly! IMG_5263

There are many uses for bone broth. I’m going to start out simple by drinking a cup each day, maybe adding rice and veggies to a bowl and putting some into recipes for some extra flavor. I’m quite pleased with the finished product and how easy it was to make.IMG_5265

Try this and let me know how yours turned out and what recipes you’re using it in!

The Perfect Pot Roast

IMG_4969

It’s no secret that I don’t love to cook. That being said, during the week I do make lunch and dinner (most days) because I like knowing what’s in my food and how it’s prepared. Also, when you’re saving for a wedding/house/life going out to dinner every night isn’t practical (although having nothing to cook and clean up sounds amazing). 

A lot of times I rotate through meals such as a big salad with grilled chicken, steak with veggies and quinoa, chicken and broccoli in gluten free pitas etc. The same meals over and over again get boring, which is why I pulled out my slow cooker from the closet and ran to Whole Foods to get some new ingredients. 

Over Thanksgiving I had bought a few boxes of gluten free stuffing so I knew I wanted to make something to go along with this, but instead of getting a big turkey breast I decided on a pot roast. It sounded yummy at the time and if it didn’t turn out delish, we usually have our favorite sushi place ready to dial 🙂

Luckily, there was no need for my salmon avocado rolls because this dish I made was really friggin good. Along with the gluten free stuffing (and gluten free gravy of course) we had broccoli too.

What you need:

3lbs grass-fed beef chuck roast
1 tbsp oil for sautéing (I usually use coconut or olive oil, or ghee)
1 cup red wine (make it a good one)
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp thyme
5 garlic cloves
1 small onion cut into chunks
4 stalks of celery cut into chunks
Salt and pepper for seasoning 

What to do:

  1. Turn slow cooker onto low setting.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add beef to pan and sear it until it’s brown on all sides. Place beef in slow cooker.
  4. Pour red wine into the very hot pan. There should be some bits stuck to the pan from the beef, mix this into the wine with a wooden spoon and let it come to a super quick boil. Then pour the wine mixture over the beef.
  5. Add the bay leaves, thyme and garlic to the slow cooker, make sure it’s surrounding the meat and in the liquid.
  6. Add the celery and onions and season with a little salt and pepper. Again, make sure the veggies are pushed to the side and in the liquid rather than sitting on top of the meat, this will create an awesome flavor!
  7. IMG_4954Place the lid on and allow to cook on low for 7-8 hours. If you don’t have that much time try cooking on high for 4-5 hours. I haven’t tried that yet but think it’d come out ok 🙂
  8. Once the time is up the meat should be really tender. Serve it with whichever sides you desire. (If you aren’t on a stuffing kick like I am, some rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes would be good) and of course lots of veggies!

This makes roughly 5-6 servings. Mike and I each had 2 dinners and a light lunch. My favorite part of this recipe is you can get it in the slow cooker at 10-11am and not have to worry about dinner for the rest of the day (minus the sides).

Eat up and enjoy!

 

 

The Healthy Pizza Alternative ( + It’s Gluten Free!)

I’m a BIG fan of quick and easy dinner recipes, and also making extra so there’s leftovers for lunch the following day. This flatbread pizza is amazing, if I do say so myself.

What you need:

IMG_4697

-1lb. chicken breast
-2 cups steamed broccoli
-3/4 cup shredded cheese (I use monterey jack or mozzarella)
-Flatbread or pita bread (I’m obsessed with MyBread Gluten Free..it’s so good.)
*This will make roughly 3 pizzas. Double the ingredients to have more for lunch the following day!

What to do:

IMG_4698

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Cook whole chicken breasts on stovetop in a bit of olive oil on medium-high heat. Once almost cooked through, take out of pan and slice into small pieces.
3. Place chicken back into pan and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and continue cooking on medium heat.
4. Put flatbread onto baking sheet lined with foil and sprinkle cheese on top.
5. Cover flatbread with chicken and broccoli, add more cheese if desired.
6. Bake in oven just long enough to melt the cheese. 
6. Slice into quarters to easily eat and enjoy!
*TIP: Make an extra veggie to have on the side to get some extra nutrients in. 

IMG_4700

If you try this or make with your own toppings, take a pic and tag me on Instagram (@coachcait) or post to my Facebook page so I can see your awesome creations! 

 

The Disease That Saved My Life

As I finished my last bite of grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers with balsamic dressing on a roll, my phone rang with news that was going to change my life forever. I have Celiac Disease. The last few words of the conversation with my doctor were what I can no longer eat and that I should start implementing this as soon as possible. My response, while smiling, “Well, I guess that’s the last roll I’m ever going to have.” I threw away the brown paper bag from the deli and haven’t looked back.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten damages the small intestine. We’ve got these little fingerlike projections that line the small intestine and promote nutrient absorption. So when someone with celiac eats gluten (a protein found in rye, wheat and barley) our immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and damaging the villi, making it really hard for our bodies to absorb nutrients properly. Thus leading to abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, arthritis, osteoporosis, migraines, depression, infertility and so on.

So why was I smiling when told I should say goodbye to pizza, bread, stuffing, cookies, granola, pancakes, bagels, croutons, pies, sauces and everything else we’re supposed to eat on a Friday night, for our birthday or on Thanksgiving?

Because from that moment on, I knew I could start to feel better.

No more leaving a restaurant mid-meal because I was sick, waking up at 2am extremely bloated or canceling dinner plans with friends due to nausea. I’m still in the process of having tests done to see exactly how depleted my body is of certain nutrients (I’ve most likely had this for a minimum of 2 years which can lead to lots of vitamins and minerals not being absorbed). I know that soon I will start to have enough energy for a kick-ass workout, I can get rid of the anemia and not have these bruises on my legs and work for more than a few hours without that brain fog.

I am lucky. How I feel going forward is up to me, my health lies in my very own hands (or shall I say, fork).

Sure, going out to eat is a pain in the ass. I have to check menus when choosing a restaurant and know every ingredient a meal consists of. But that will get easier. I’ve been cooking more and made a dish that somewhat resembled chicken parmesan which I’m confident will be better than the real thing once I have more practice. I may or may not have tried a few products that proudly display “gluten free” on the box. (I haven’t had macaroni and cheese in years but you know when you’re told you can’t do or have something and you suddenly want it even more?) Well, that happened. Annie’s gluten-free mac and cheese isn’t so bad!

What I’m loving most is I get to totally geek out. “The Gluten-Free Bible” by Jax Peters Lowell, “Gluten is my Bitch” by April Peveteaux and “Simply Gluten-Free Magazine” just to name a few books scattered across my coffee table right now. Food shopping has become quite educational, reading every ingredient on labels and realizing how much crap we are all actually eating. As a fitness and nutrition coach I’ve always suggested clients purchase foods that are minimally processed. I now believe that more than ever.

I was diagnosed two weeks ago. I remember my symptoms becoming quite bad almost two years ago. Yep, you did the math right. It took me about two years to get my butt to the doctor. What the eff? Aren’t I a health and wellness advocate? “Listen to your body and give it the love and respect it deserves” are favorite words of mine. So why not follow my own advice?

I was busy, life got in the way, I’ll give myself another month and maybe it’ll go away, it’s probably nothing. Also known as, I’m an idiot. Not feeling well day after day and making up excuses. What example was I setting for my clients? And for those of you who aren’t taking care of yourselves as best you should, what example are you setting for your loved ones?

Celiac or not, we’ve all got goals. Whether you just want to feel better, have more energy, lose fat, get stronger, run a half marathon, you’ve got to show yourself some love. Be kind to your body. Exercise it, nourish it, love it. And if something doesn’t feel right or if you’re working your ass off in the gym and still not seeing results, get it checked out. Who knows, it could be something as small as a bread crumb keeping you from being and feeling your very best.

 

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