Chef Amber’s Wholicious™ – Episode 8 Sexy, Nourishing Foods

Hi y’all! Welcome to Wholicious and welcome to my spiritual corner. I’m Amber Caudle, professional chef, holistic lifestyle advocate, and your host of the show Wholicious. I will help and coach you on how to have a healthy relationship with food and your body. And together we’ll dive deep into how to live a Wholicious lifestyle. In a while, I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite spiritual practices to awaken your inner power, the Breath of Fire, and I want to share tips on how to set up your week with healthy snacks and talk about the importance of meal prep. 


How Does This Go Together? 

The preparation of your body and mind is as important as preparing your meals daily. 


Meal Prep

Meal prepping is a big topic and can be very overwhelming. And it’s one of my favorite topics to teach. Meal prepping can be time consuming, I get it, which can be an issue for many and can lead to grabbing something unhealthy on the go. Which can then again cause anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, in our world today, there are so many sneaky healthy foods with sneaky ingredients. The label looks healthy, but when you turn it over, it’s loaded with vegetable oils, GMO foods, processed sugar, and basically ingredients you can’t pronounce. That is why I like to start with preparing some sexy, healthy snacks. 


How Can I Add More Nourishing Foods into Me and My Family’s Diet?” 

I believe that one of the fastest ways to take control of our health is by preparing our own food and being in control of what we put into our bodies. These recipes are quick and easy and you can make them at the beginning of the week. 


Not planning our food is where we get ourselves into trouble. Then we were out wandering around starving and grabbing whatever we can find. Believe me, I know because I did this for years and my body paid for it. I walked around bloated and flamed, tired because I wasn’t fueling my body with the right foods. 


“How Can I Start to Feel Better in My Body and Make Better Choices with Food?” 

Starting to feel better in our bodies is all about being prepared and putting your health first. You’re going to love the snacks. 


Breath Work

But before we start cooking, I want to show you a profound tool that also can help you free yourself from anxieties, physical and emotional discomfort and let go of stress. Sounds good? Huh? Stress has an overall negative impact on the body. And breath work can help you anytime during the day when stress or anxiety arises. For more insights on breathwork check out Wholicious Episode Four with breathwork expert Sandy Abrams. Now it’s time for Breath of Fire, which is the foundational breath technique of Kundalini yoga. It is a rapid rhythmic and continuous breath. It is practiced with the eyes closed. And I’ll show you in a minute as you breathe in and out of your nostrils. 


Breath of Fire

But let me first before I demo give you the benefits of Breath of Fire and why I like it. It releases toxins from your lungs and cells. It strengthens the nervous system to release stress and anxiety. It helps to reduce addictive impulses for unhealthy foods, alcohol or drugs and sugar and it balances your oxygen and carbon dioxide level in the body and can help with a clear mind and better focus. Sounds amazing, right? You might feel dizzy in the beginning, but with some practice, it dissolves and you boost your immune system. Okay, so let’s get into it. You can join me if you want. I’m going to explain the practice first and then we’re going to do it for about 30 seconds. 



So I’m sitting in like a small chair here. You can sit on the floor cross legged if you prefer, I like to put my hands on top of my knees. Now the way that this is practiced is as you exhale, out of your nose, you’re going to take your belly button and you’re going to pull your belly button up into your spine. Okay, so exhaling, your belly button is going up into your spine. As you inhale, you’re going to allow your upper abdominal muscles relax and let your diaphragm really extend downward. 

Okay, I want to show you what people usually do for breath the fire is usually as they’re inhaling their stomach goes in, and when they’re exhaling, their stomach goes out. That’s the opposite and that’s what makes you really dizzy. So the really mindful practice here is as you exhale, really be conscious of your stomach, navel coming up into your spine. Okay, so now that I’ve explained join me, we’re going to do it for about 20 seconds. I like to put my hands on my knees, sit up straight, close your eyes. I like to take my eyes and roll it up into the back of my head staring at my third eye. Okay, really sit up straight and tighten all the muscles in your pelvic floor because we’re going to really breathe up and pull up the energy. We’re going to take a deep breath in to start.

Ah okay, now let’s begin. That’s about 20 seconds. Hold your breath, really pull the breath in, take a deep, deep breath up, sip in the air, tighten your muscles in the pelvic floor, pull all the energy up, keep breathing in, hold it, sipping a little bit more air, hold it a little bit more ah, and then really exhale and release it, I like to do a couple breaths. Ah, and then I’d like to take the palms of my hand facing upward on my knees to really allow any sort of insight, clarity, or focus to come in, can sit here quietly for a minute, it’s a really great time to take a couple seconds to really connect and find your center. Ah, you can take another nice breath, letting out that air. 

Okay, now you can open up your eyes. Ah, what I really love about Breath of Fire, and that it grounds me, it helps me find my center, helps me feel really present and embodied but at the same time gives me so much energy. Sometimes I’ll do this in the car, I’ll step into the bathroom at my restaurant, you can do this anywhere. And like I said, at the beginning, you can start with 20-30 seconds until you get comfortable with the practice and then work yourself up to 1-2-3 even 5 minutes. 


Today’s Episode

I think we’re well prepared to jump into my Wholicous kitchen and get cooking. Today we’re cooking three snacks. Oat blueberry balls, a paleo chocolate chip granola bar, and then a purple smoothie bowl. Okay, join me in the kitchen. So I always get asked from my clients and customers. 


What’s the Best Way that I can Add More Nourishment into my Family’s Diet? 

By meal prepping. I believe that the fastest way to take control of your health is to prepare your own food. 


Inspiring Your Meal Prep

So meal prepping is a big big topic. I love talking about it. I love teaching it. I love inspiring to really start to get confident in the kitchen preparing your own food. It can be very overwhelming and I know time can be an issue. So I like to start with snacks. Snacks are not as intimidating. And I find with snacking, for me snacking, I can always get into trouble because if I’m not prepared, and I don’t have a snack with me, I will be wandering around my kitchens at all three of my restaurants, just putting whatever in my mouth and that hasn’t worked for me. So it’s all about being prepared. 


3 Snacks

So today we’re going to make three snacks. And also they’re really easy. Okay, so we’re going to start really simple. We’re going to make oat blueberry balls. Okay, we love our balls at The Source Cafe, my restaurant in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan. And then we’re going to do a paleo granola bar and I’m going to give you two options and then we’re going to end with a smoothie bowl packed with veggies. 


Blueberry Oat Bar Recipe

Okay. So I’ve got gluten free oats. Okay, got two cups of gluten free oats we’re going to use today and then I’m going to use some hemp seeds. So the hemp seeds here is going to pack this with a ton of protein, give it some creaminess and texture and loaded with some healthy omegas also really high in fiber. So I don’t have kids, so I like to use my nephew’s as an example because they’re so impossible to get nourishing healthy food into their bodies. And so the best way is by sneaking healthy ingredients into their snacks and so I love these balls because I can hide these hemp seeds right in the oats with the almond butter. 

So I’ve got hemp seeds, oats, then we’re going to add some organic raw almond butter. You can sub here. Definitely can sub tahini, you can sub any nut butter of choice if you actually are a peanut butter family instead of an almond butter family. Go ahead. These are delicious with peanut butter. You know if you’ve been following me on past episodes of Wholicious, I love giving substitutions. I find that giving substitutions really helps build your confidence in the kitchen and helps you be creative with your own cooking. I always say you have to have fun in the kitchen. Don’t take cooking too seriously. 

Alright, so we’ve got our almond butter of course packed with so much protein. I’m using dried blueberries today. Now here’s another thing if you you know if you don’t want to put any dried fruit in here you can leave these out, but this is going to add more fiber and a ton of antioxidants. You also can sub chopped up dried apricot, dried mangoes. I love dried strawberries in here so you can do any dried fruit of choice. If you want to make this decadent and more of like a treat, you can take out the dried fruit and you can add some healthy chocolate chips. I’ve done that before. That’s actully a really easy sell. 

Okay, So I just added our protein powder, and I always talk about the protein powder. I’ll talk about it a little bit more when we’re making the smoothie bowl, but this is loaded with protein from peas, it’s sustainable, really clean. Alright, then I’m going to add our chia seeds. The chia seeds, adding more plant protein, and more omegas and fiber. 


Maca Root

Now I’m adding maca root today. And I love maca, because for me, it’s one of my favorite adaptogens that really gives me energy and helps with hormone balancing. You can definitely leave this out if you’re breastfeeding or if you’re pregnant. It is safe for kids. In Peru, the Peruvians, the whole family, they eat maca root all the time. So it’s not just for adults. Then I’m going to add our cinnamon and sea salt. And then I’m going to add about two thirds cups of maple. Let me just kind of eye that. I’m not a big measurer, if you’ve been following me. It constricts me too much. Okay, now I’m just gonna give this a nice stir here. 


Get the Kids Involved

Now, one thing I always like to teach to In the kitchen is getting your kids involved. So it’s really fun. I find like when kids can be more involved in making and preparing their own food that they’re more able to taste it, right. So this is really fun to actually get in here and do with your hands. So you can get your kids, my nephew’s will get in here and roll this and like it kind of is like fun, like playdough and roll different shapes of balls. And then they’re like, so proud. And they’re like, Oh my God, look at what I made. 

So let’s eat it right. And it’s awesome, right, because all those omega from the seeds are actually hidden underneath the almond butter and the oats. Okay, I’m actually gonna get in here with my hands, because it’s just easier to really incorporate all the ingredients. So snacking. So like I said before, really starting to prepare your own food. And really planning out snacks for the week can really help add that extra nutrition to you and your family’s diet. 


Tips for Easy Meal Prepping

And so I like to say okay, so let me give a couple quick tips about meal prepping, I like to make my grocery list and my prep list. So say you’re going to make these three snacks, right. So you get all your ingredients together. And you make your list. I like to go to the store on Saturday, because that works for my schedule. And then I prep on Sunday and I have my recipes printed and my veggies are washed and everything’s ready to go. It’s very overwhelming to shop and cook on the same day. That’s where people kind of give up and they’ll say chef, it’s too much work, I can’t do it. So just pick a day, go to the store, have your recipes ready. And then you can prep on the next day. 

So this is good to go. What I’m going to do is I’m actually going to roll this and a little bit of coconut and you can omit the coconut because sometimes if I’m making this for picky eaters, they don’t want the coconut. So you do not have to roll this in coconut but it’s kind of pretty and adds a little texture. So you can just make like a little medium sized ball. And then like to just roll it like this right here. And these freeze really well. They freeze really well. They’re really great for lunchboxes, and I mean they’re amazing for a pre post workout. Okay, so here are oat blueberry, almond butter balls with a little bit of coconut. Next, we’re going to make a paleo granola bar with chocolate chips.


Granola Bar Recipe

So granola bars. I love granola bars, I grew up eating the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip think they were like the Quaker brand and not clean at all but delicious. So I wanted to show a version of a really healthy granola bar and I am going to make them with chocolate chips today because why not and it shows kind of a version of a play off of a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip granola bar, but we can also leave the chocolate chips out. 

So this is going to be made in the food processor. And this is loaded with plant protein from all the nuts and seeds. So we’re going to start with some pecans. Okay, and then some sunflower seeds. And this literally is has so much protein and so much fiber because of all the seeds and the nuts. All right here I’ve got some sliced almonds and some dates that are already chopped up. It makes the blending a little bit easier. And the dates add a little bit of sweetness along with the maple. So I’m going to add those in. Okay, perfect. Okay, almond flour is our base. So I’ve got two cups of almond flour here. And then I’ve got coconut flakes. I love the coconut it adds a little bit more texture and sweetness. Okay, we’re getting a little packed in here. And I’m going to add about a fourth a cup of maple. There’s really not that much sweetness in this. The sweetness is coming from the dates combined with the maple, but also the pecans and the almonds and the coconut actually have quite a bit of sweetness. Okay, so I’m going to do like a fourth a cup. That looks good. And definitely needs a little bit of sea salt in here. 


Use Clean Ingredients

So already do you see how clean this granola bar is? And I want to talk a little bit more about really looking at the labels. I think the granola bars industry is one of the sneakiest industries in terms of they sell you a healthy granola bar. And then you turn it over and it’s like, wait, what is this? So there’s a couple granola bars, I’m not going to name bash any bar names, but they’ll sell it with egg whites or blueberries and almonds and blueberries if they’re non organic or sprayed with 12 different pesticides. Okay? Almonds are actually a highly highly sprayed crop unfortunately, in California. Dates are another one. And egg whites mean for me when I eat eggs, I want to make sure my eggs are organic, that they’re pasture raised. And they’re happy, happy, happy chickens. So you just don’t even know where the eggs are coming from. They could be you know, injected with hormones and antibiotics. So, you know, taking control of our health seriously, the best way is starting to prepare our own food. I’ll repeat that 100 times. 

Okay, what else do we have? Oh, we’re just have a little bit of water. Just a little splash of water here. Okay, we’re going to add in the chocolate chips at the end, and then a little bit of coconut oil. Okay, just to kind of bring it all together. All right, perfect. Okay, I’m gonna give this a nice little blend here until it’s thick and creamy. Okay, I’m going to scrape this down. Just kind of scrape the sides down. Okay, that looks good. That looks great. So now I’m going to add these chocolate chips. These are paleo chocolate chips. I’ve been using these and all of my desserts this, these episodes, and they’re made with coconut sugar. So there’s no sugar in these and they’re actually not very sweet. 


Chocolate Optional

Okay, and again, if you want to leave the chocolate chips out and have this be a plain granola bar, that’s usually how I eat it. Or I’ll add a cup of dried blueberries to it. That’s it. Okay, perfect. I’m just gonna give our pan here a little bit of a spray with some coconut oil. A nice spray here. Perfect. And then I’m going to flatten this out. Let me take this out. Okay, and what I love about these granola bars is that you can cut them up pre portion them and you can put them into little baggies and put them right in the fridge or the freezer, they actually freeze really well. And with freezing, you can just pop one out and take it on the go. 

These are great for breakfast. They’re great for snack, pre post workout, I mean these are loaded with so it has all your protein and all your omegas and fiber. And when I make the smoothie bowl, I’m going to show you how amazing it is dipped right in the smoothie bowl or crumble it up as a topping. So I’m going to use my hands because it’s easier to get a straight flat surface and I like to spray a little oil on my hands so the dough doesn’t stick. We can just do it just like this. Okay. It’s not the prettiest dough, but it’s delicious. Okay, perfect. Okay, I’m going to put this baby in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 350.


Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Okay, it’s smoothie bowl time. So this is one of the most popular demos I’ve probably done in the last 9-10 years. I love a smoothie bowl. I’ve had a long time ongoing obsession with my smoothie bowls. And the reason I love my version of smoothie bowls is because I’m using frozen vegetables combined with some blueberries and I don’t think it’s very common to have cauliflower, zucchini and purple sweet potato in your smoothie bowls. And what I love about this is again, we’re sneaking in healthy ingredients. It’s so creamy. It tastes like ice cream. I can get my nephew’s and picky adults to eat this. The colors gorgeous. It’s bright purple, and they don’t even realize that there’s zucchini and cauliflower and potato at it. So it’s very exciting. I love love teaching this. 

So first off, I want to start by showing that I’ve already steamed my cauliflower. Okay, and it’s chilled so I chop up my cauliflower, steam it, cool it. Then I roasted a purple sweet potato and chopped it into little like half ounce pieces. All right. And then for the zucchini, the zucchini is raw. 


What’s the Best Way to Freeze Your Veggies?

I just have these little baggies at my house. And I stuff the baggies with the vegetable. And then the most important part, the most important part is really make sure that when you freeze, and I know this might be a silly thing to say, but make sure they’re flat. 


Because I can’t tell you how many times you know I’ll get a email or text from a customer. Like gosh I have the hardest time blending my smoothies, well, it’s because they’ve packed the baggie and they’ve done this, right and then throw it in the freezer and then it literally is a big cauliflower ice cube and they’re right, it’s impossible. So if you open up my freezer at home, I’ve got so many baggies stacked with frozen avocado, frozen carrot, different types of yams and sweet potato, raw zucchini. When papaya is in season, I’ll do raw papaya, that actually makes it really really creamy, the smoothies. So I have a ton of recipes on and actually have like a smoothie bowl ebook that you can take a peek at, and you’ll see my love affair of smoothie bowls. It’s a great way to start your day because automatically you’ve got basically all the veggies you need. So see how nice this is. And just stack those and put those straight in the freezer. Okay, takes a little bit of effort, but this is a perfect example of what you would do on meal prep Sundays. 

Okay, I’m going to put this to the side and we’re going to start up here. So I’ve already got my veggies frozen here and kind of do our purple potato. You can also do a white potato, white sweet potato, or orange yam but the color is so pretty if you can find the purple potatoes. Roasted cauliflower, so putting the cauliflower in. Roasted, frozen, all this is frozen. 


Why do I do the Zucchini Raw and the Cauliflower is Steamed?

A lot of people can have some gastric issues from raw cauliflower. Cruciferous veggies in general can add a little bit of bloating and gas for people. So steaming kind of takes the edge off. So that’s why I steam it and freeze it. 


And then we’ve got cauliflower. This bowl, I put on the menu at my restaurant and Hermosa Beach, The Source Cafe about eight years ago and their labor of love my staff actually does not like making them that much because they take so much work, but they’ve become very famous. So it’s exciting to share this with you today. Then we’re going to add for some sweetness, we’re going to add some blueberries. 

Okay, about a half a cup, and then all of our powders. So I’m adding cinnamon because cinnamon really adds sweetness to it, believe it or not. Then I’m adding the protein powder newzest that I’ve been talking about through my episodes made out of peas, sustainable, clean. And since we’re talking about clean ingredients today and the importance of that, make sure when you’re sourcing your protein powder that you’re really checking the back of the label for what type of ingredients and how many are in the back. Okay, and then we’re going to use some chlorella and I love chlorella in this because you can’t taste it and you can sneak that ingredient in. 


What are Some Benefits of Chlorella?

It’s really high in B vitamins. It’s a great, great thing for removing heavy metals from the body. I eat a lot of chlorella when I’m traveling and if I’m flying because it actually helps protect from radiation so. Also really great for the liver. So so many benefits if you can get your chlorella in this is a great way to sneak it in. 


Sneaking in Protein Powder

I’m going to get all of our powders in and then I’m going to use a little bit of full fat coconut milk andI’m going to start with like that because I want my smoothie bowl thick and creamy. Some people do prefer their smoothie bowls a little bit more runny, but I want this to be almost thick like ice cream. 

Okay. Oh my gosh, I almost forgot our avocados. So the avocado because you can tell right now we don’t really have any fat and here’s we do need a fat to help absorb the minerals and the vitamins from the veggies. And also to add to the creaminess. And we got a little bit of full fat coconut milk in there for the fat but not that much. So I’m going to add a big scoop of avocado here. Almost a half. Okay, actually we’ll just do a little more because it’ll be so creamy. Now takes a little bit of some muscle and a little bit of some effort, but I’m going to blend away okay. You have to have a high speed blenders for this. I’m using a Vitamix it’s the only one I I ever use. I’ve owned hundreds of them between all my restaurants over the years and you’d have to have a tamper. You can’t just turn on the blender and blend with this okay, because we’re really going to put some muscle into this. OKAY, Ah yeah, like that. So delicious.

All right. Let’s get this all set up here. I have some cacao nibs but you know what we’re going to top it with? That granola bar. I’m going to crumble that baby up and put it right on the smoothie bowl. Sometimes when the granola bar comes out of the oven, I like to actually use it as a base, and then top it with the smoothie bowl, or my ice cream that was made out of bananas a couple episodes ago and then it’s almost like a like a brownie sundae, healthy brownie sundae. Okay, let’s get this right on in here. Look at how creamy this is. And honestly, sometimes, because of the creaminess of the avocado, and the purple sweet potato, the mouthfeel of this actually kind of feels like yogurt, creamy yogurt and I don’t really eat yogurt. So that’s actually fun too. 


Have Fun with Toppings

You can top this with granola and berries, and a little drizzle of honey, little scoop of almond butter. All right, this looks perfection. And this really when I’m having like a craving for a sweet treat or ice cream at night, hits all the spots. Sometimes I’ll do a smoothie bowl for dinner because it has so much protein and healthy fat in it. Alright, that looks great. Okay, I’m going to top this with a little bit of cacao nibs just like this. Okay, a little bit of energy, a little bit of crunch. I definitely need texture. The creaminess. So look at our smoothie bowl here. So I want to get into this granola bar. 

So I pulled the granola bar out about an hour ago because this one is a little delicate. Okay, meaning if you pull this right out of the oven and cut into it, it’s going to break all over the place. Sometimes I can’t wait and I completely mess up my bar because I get so excited. But this has been cooling for about an hour. Okay. And you can see how the chocolate kind of melted throughout. Which makes it really beautiful. Okay, so I’m gonna make a little slices here. Some bars. And again, you can pre portion this and put these into baggies right in the fridge or freezer. But look at this. Look at this nice little bar here. How good is this? Now let me make a pretty plate for us to show you. Okay, our guilt free, healthy, completely delicious paleo granola bar. Okay. And let me show you what I love to do. First of all, you can crumble this a little bit like this. It’s almost like we’re putting a little bit of granola on top. Okay, and you can take this granola bar, and you can do like a little dipper, like that. Oh god, oh my god. 

Hey, so let’s remember all of our fun snacks for today. And you know what’s exciting. All these are in my cookbook, ‘Sexy, Nourishing Food to Fuel Your Mind, Body and Soul.’ We’ve got the balls in there. There’s a couple smoothie bowls in there, and the paleo granola bars. Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care of yourself, your mind, your body, and your soul. And give this episode a thumbs up if you loved it. If you have any questions, please comment below because I love staying connected with you. Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can be an active part of my vision of a healthy world through food. I’ll see you on the next episode of Wholicious and remember healthy is the new sexy!

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