Tag: nutrition

Quick & Dirty Meal Prep Ideas – Part 2 Cont.

Quick & Dirty Meal Prep Ideas – Part 2 Cont.

Hi Guys! Happy Thursday! Woooo almost headed into the weekend. I swear time has literally FLOWN by since Christmas…does anyone else feel this way?! This weekend were off to Newport, RI for some (eek) wedding vendor meetings and then next weekend we’re off to a much sunnier & tropical location in the British Virgin Islands. I can hardly wait.

Anyway, on my last post, I shared with you what my typical grocery list would look like. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here! For part 2, I wanted to share with you some simple quick & dirty meal prep tips. Believe it or not, I’ve been able to cut it down to under an hour and a half if you’re speedy in the kitchen! I used to DREAD meal prep because it meant cooking in the kitchen for basically half of my Sunday. This can take a toll on you believe it or not. So, I decided to make things more simple. Yes, I love extravagant meals here and there, but right now, time is precious. I’d rather spend my Sunday’s outside, doing yoga, netflix & chilling, meeting up with a friend for coffee…ya know…not in my kitchen for a million hours.

So take it or leave it, but I’ve shared with you a few examples of what my typical meal prep for the week looks like. Would love to hear your suggestions as well – comment below and tell me how you keep your meal prep effective and efficient!

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First and foremost: Set you oven to 425 degrees. I find this temperature works great for what I’m meal prepping. Option to go a few degrees cooler if you’d like to cook your foods on the slower side! 400 degrees would be a great option.

Sweet Potatoes:

Dice sweet potatoes. Lie on baking sheet coated in coconut oil. Mix the potatoes with coconut oil or avocado oil, Himalayan salt & the Primal Palate ‘new bae’ seasoning (similar to old bay – SO good!) Cook for about 25 mins or until soft & starting to brown. I like to throw it on broil for about 2 mins to get them extra crispy.

  • Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.
  • Other ways to season, I love a simple garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, and himalayan salt. Another yummy option is cinnamon, paprika, himalayan salt.

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower:

Coat in avocado oil and lay on greased baking sheet. Toss in Himalayan salt, turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper, and maybe add some nutritional yeast for some extra flavor! Cook at same temp as sweet potatoes. Only need about 15 mins or until soft/lightly crispy! Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.

Brussel Sprouts:

I sometimes buy a bag of the shaved brussl sprouts to save time. Sauté in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, minced garlic. Cook until crispy, light brown around the edges. Let cool to room temp then store in fridge.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice

I buy it pre-riced because it saves time! But you can also buy the head and throw into a food processor. This can be great to mix with rice and grains for some added nutritional benefit & to “buff” it up more. Sautee in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, turmeric, minced garlic, nutritional yeast, sprinkle of paprika

Steamed Rainbow/Heirloom Carrots:

Fill up small pot with water. I used baby rainbow carrots so didn’t need to peel them! But if you bought the full carrot sticks, you should peel them before boiling. Add your carrots to the water and cook on high to bring to a boil. I let them sit in there until I can easily poke a fork through. Drain the water. Toss in ghee, Himalayan salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, & a sprinkle of cinnamon or ginger powder

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Homemade Cashew Oat Milk:

  • Soak ¾ cup raw cashews in water for 2 hours.
  • Add to blender + 5 cups filtered water. Blend for about 2 minutes. I love making cashew milk because there’s never any leftover “pulp”, therefor making it EXTREMELY easy to make!
  • Add 1 cup gluten-free oats, pinch of Himalayan salt, cinnamon, and sweetener of choice (choose from my grocery list options!)
  • Blend for 1 minute! Any longer, make cause the oats to actually get slimy.
  • Enjoy!! This half & half blend makes for a delicious creamy non-dairy milk alternative!

Additional:

  • Prep about 1-2 cups of a grain for the week (i.e. quinoa)
  • Hard boil about 6-8 eggs for the week. I had about 1.5 to salads for protein or use them to snack.
  • Spiralize the zucchini for dinner.
  • Cut lemons in half to use for lemon water in the morning.
  • Peel bananas and store in freezer for smoothies.
  • Mince garlic for the week.
  • Use banza pasta for dinner 2x’s a week to save time. I love banza because it’s so filling, takes 10 minutes, and add any vegetable (spinach, broccoli, etc.) to it and you have yourself a dinner!
  • Breakfast for dinner is a great, quick and easy option on days where you haven’t had eggs for either breakfast or lunch.

 

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Snack Ideas:

  • High Protein/High-Fat bars like RxBar, BulletProof Bar, EatIQ Bar – great for long lasting energy for the day, BRAIN FUEL.
  • GG’s scandanavian Crackers with avocado, fresh lemon, tahini drizzle, Himalayan salt, black pepper, hemp seeds or hard-boiled egg white for added protein
  • GG’s Crackers with almond butter, cinnamon, honey, banana, and Himalayan salt
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers & Carrots to dip in Hummus or Cashew Cheese
  • Quick Fab4 Smoothie (spinach, protein powder, non-dairy milk, healthy fat (almond butter or coconut butter), fiber source (flax or chia seeds), ¼ cup frozen fruit
  • Vegan Chocolate w/ Almond Butter
  • 3 cups of popcorn
  • Siete Tortilla Chips w/ homemade guacamole
  • Non-dairy (nut-based) yogurt with cacao nibs, goji berries, sprouted almonds or almond butter, & cinnamon (optional honey or granola)
  • Roasted sweet potato “fries” dipped in Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo
  • Siete grain-free tortilla topped with 1 fried egg cooked in fourth & heart ghee, avocado slices, radish, sauerkraut, and microgreens
  • Healthy Hot Chocolate – 1 cup warmed homemade cashew milk + 1 tbsp cacao powder + sprinkle of himalayan salt + vanilla stevia to sweeten + Vital Protein Collagen + 1 tbsp coconut butter // blend and enjoy!
My Grocery List + Kitchen Staples Part 1

My Grocery List + Kitchen Staples Part 1

Hi guys!

I’ve gotten a few questions on my grocery list, kitchen staples, favorite brands, etc., so figured I’d dedicate this blog to my GROCERY LIST. Keep in mind, obviously not every trip to the store looks like this…but these are all things I typically like to keep in my kitchen or rotate through on different shopping trips. I’ll be honest, I usually shop at Whole Foods out of convenience (it’s 4 min walk from me)…but, a lot of these items can be found at most grocery stores these days! I’ve gone through and added a lot of links so you can learn more about these brands, some via Amazon, some via their direct links.

For next week, I’m adding a mini meal prep guide using a lot of the ingredients found on this list! So keep an eye for part dos!


Produce:

Bananas – peel & freeze for smoothies
Organic Spinach – I buy the largest container available
Organic mixed greens, dinosaur kale, arugula, or romaine (I try to always buy a different green to mix it up with the spinach)
Avocados – I buy about 4 for me (1/2 avocado a day or more ☺)
Cauliflower and/or Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Rainbow/Heirloom Carrots
Optional Broccoli and/or cauliflower rice
Sweet Potatoes – I usually roast about 4-5 for me & Justin for the week
Raspberries – SUPER high in FIBER
Radishes – for some extra crunch!
Baby Carrots – for snacking
Microgreens
Sprouts
Beets – love the brand Love Beets
Ginger
Lemons
Garlic
Onion
Zucchini – usually always have a few to spiralize & add to Banza pasta to bulk it up

Bulk Foods:

Raw Cashews – to make homemade cashew milk!
Gluten-Free Oats
Sprouted Almonds
Quinoa, Farro, or Wheatberry are some of my favorites!
Fresh ground Almond Butter

Refrigerated:

Large Brown Eggs – love Vital Farms (buy eggs that are pasture raised, certified organic, non-GMO)
Non-Dairy Cheese – Love the brands: Treeline ( garlic-herb cashew cheese) or Kite Hill Almond-based Ricotta
Hummus – love Hope Foods Hummus (100% clean, organic ingredients & so many yummy flavors)
Coconut Casava Tortillas from Siete – grain-free & paleo tortillas
Kombucha – always buy Health-Ade (usually lemon ginger & buy 2 small bottles to sip on throughout the week)
Sauerkraut – GREAT for the gut! Love the beet kraut from Wildbrine or the dill pickle from Farmhouse Cultures

Optional:

Kite Hill (almond based yogurt) or Forager (cashew based yogurt) non-dairy yogurts
Nut-Based Milk if no-time to prep your own – check to see that there are no weird additives or gums
Kite Hill cream cheese (also almond based)

Dry Foods:

Lentil/Bean Based Pasta – some of my favorite brands include Banza (chickpea) pasta, Tolerant Foods (red lentil pasta), or Ancient Harvest Green lentil pasta
Organic (no sugar added) Diced Tomatoes – I like to have a few cans on hand to sauté with mixed veggies, spices, and toss over pasta
GG’s Scandinavian Crackers (high fiber, low carb/calorie crisp) – great for snacking with avocado or almond butter
Mary’s Gone Crackers (love the cracked black pepper)
Ground Flax Seeds – I buy mine from Bob’s Red Mill
Plant-Based Protein Powder – Brands I like: Aloha! (not at WF, but can be found at CVS), Amazing Grass, Garden of Life
Vital Proteins Collagen
RxBars (paleo, only natural sugars (i.e. dates), egg whites for added protein
Bulletproof Bars (fave is the vanilla flavor)
Hu Chocolate or Eating Evolved Chocolate (uses coconut sugar to sweeten, dairy-free, PALEO)

Optional:

Shredded Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Soups to have on hand – I love Amy’s soups (check for low-sodium, no dairy, no added cane sugar) or Faween Soups (not available at Whole Foods)
Granola (I don’t always buy granola as I end up overeating it LOL. I swear granola is the one thing I could eat endless amounts of). BUT if you like granola, brands I recommend include: Gr8nola, Purely Elizabeth, Back Roads Granola, Steve’s Paleo Granola, Kitchfix Grain Free Granola
Crispy Chickpeas – adds a delicious crunch on salads (sea salt from Biena Foods is delish!)
Siete Tortilla Chips – BEST grain free tortilla chip out there
Popcorn – I buy the brand Lesser Evil (they make their popcorn with either coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee & add Himalayan salt)

Optional Superfoods: (MOST can be found in the supplement aisle at Whole Foods)

Bee Pollen
Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds (great extra source of High protein)
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs
Cacao Powder
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Maca Powder
Ashwaganda Powder

Condiments & Healthy Fats:

Tahini
Almond Butter (usually buy the ground almond butter from the Whole Foods bulk section)
Coconut Butter
Coconut AminosCoconut Secrets Garlic sauce (low-sodium, made w/ coconut aminos)
Coconut Oil (spray can and jar)
Avocado Oil
Olive Oil
Ghee – Fourth & Heart is a great brand available at WF! Or you can check out a local brand: Gather Superfoods
Spicy Brown Mustard – (love the brand: Sir. Kensington’s)
Healthy Mayo – (love the brand Primal Kitchen & their chipotle lime mayo)

Optional:

Healthy Dressings from Primal Kitchen Foods (LOVE their Caesar, Green Goddess, & Ranch Dressing)

Frozen Foods:

Frozen Riced Cauliflower (for smoothies)
Frozen wild blueberries
Frozen veggie/stir-fry mix
Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burgers and/or bites
Shrimp
Salmon Fillet
Food for Life Ezekiel Toast
Mikey’s Paleo English Muffins
Cali’Flour Foods Plant-Based Pizza *not found in grocery stores

Sweeteners:

Dates
Honey
Organic Maple Syrup
Coconut Sugar
Vanilla Stevia

Spices/condiments:

Nutritional Yeast – literally add this to everything for a vegan “cheesy” flavor
Himalayan Salt
Cinnamon
Rosemary
Black Pepper
Paprika
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
*all of Primal Palate’s spices (they’re not available at WF, but order them online – highly recommend!)

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

How to Meal Prep for the Ultimate Buddha Bowl – making lunch easy & delicious

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post a Buddha bowl or two…ha who am I kidding? More like every other day. They’ve pretty much become a staple in my diet and for good reason. Buddha Bowls are super nourishing, full of wholesome, real ingredients that are both good for you and believe it or not, taste REALLY good too.  They keep me satiated and leave me feeling energetic, not bogged down (which let’s be honest, is crucial when you’re eating lunch at 12pm and need to get through the rest of the work day without hitting that “afternoon slump”). If all of that isn’t enough reason to start introducing Buddha bowls into your diet, than how about the fact that so long as you meal prep, you can throw these together in less than 5 minutes AND keep it exciting each week with new/different creations?!

I wanted to provide you with my quick & dirty tips to building your own Buddha bowl each week and share some of my favorite recipes with you!

Pick a Base

I like to mix up my greens as much as possible or choose 1-2 to mix. My favorites are spinach, baby kale, romaine, and arugula. I use about 2-3 heaping cups of raw greens.

Choose a Protein

The key to feeling satisfied longer after lunch is to load up on protein. This can come in many ways. I choose not to eat meat, so my go-to protein sources usually come from the following (but obviously, feel free to add meat!):

  • Hard Boiled Eggs (I love making a huge batch of these on Sunday for meal prep. So easy, filling, budget-friendly, and are perfect for either a quick breakfast, snack, or to add to a salad bowl.
  • Veggie Burgers. I love Hilary’s Eat Well burgers. They’re super filling and taste delicious! They also have smaller; bite-sized veggie bites that I LOVE as well. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own!
  • Plant-Based Protein. This can come as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, white beans, black beans, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, grains* (see below).
  • Salmon Quinoa Balls. This is a recent recipe of mine that I LOVE and it’s packed with protein, easy to make a batch of, and guess what? I use canned salmon and no, it doesn’t taste bad! I feel like canned fish gets a bad rep, BUT it’s all in how you use it. It’s important to make sure first and foremost that the can fish you’re buying is non-GMO, sustainably wild caught, and tests for mercury. Whole Foods usually has a few trustworthy brands in stock.
    • In a small bowl mix the following ingredients: 1 can of salmon + 1 full egg + about 1/3 cup pre-cooked quinoa (or more if you choose) + ¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder + Himalayan salt & black pepper to flavor + 1 heaping TBSP of Sir Kensington’s mustard + 1 heaping TBSP of Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo.
  • Mix evenly throughout and store in fridge for 30 minutes (this helps to harden them before forming small balls to cook on the stove top). Heat a sauté pan with 1 TBSP of ghee (I find this works best for frying). Form small balls (~ 2 tbsp each) and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, checking periodically. Remove once golden brown.

 

 

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Pick a Healthy Fat

Following the Fab 4 mindset from Kelly Lovaque’s book “Body Love” has really helped me to understand how to breakdown my meals and ensure I’m properly fueling myself. FATS are KEY for feeling full, longer. I find I’m soo much more satisfied with my meals when it’s backed with healthy fats.

  • Avocados (usually use about 1/3 of an avocado)
  • About 2 TBSP of Nuts or Seeds, or a combo of both (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. – pick one you love and stick with it!)
  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil – make a yummy dressing with any of these!)
  • Tahini (sooo yummy in Buddha bowls – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic)
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Salmon
  • Cook your veggies in Oils and/or Ghee.
  • Hummus
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)

Load up on the Veggies!

 

This is my FAVORITE part! I love seeing how my Buddha bowls change with the season. I love choosing veggies that are in season – they’re usually more affordable, they’re usually FRESH and LOCAL, and they’re really what your body needs. *hint* think about how our bodies crave starchy root vegetables in the fall and winter because they’re warming, nourishing, and keep us grounded (quite literally they are pulled from the ground). Ayurveda (eastern medicine) talks alllll about this if you’re interested in learning more!

For the Fall and Winter, I typically like to include 1-2 root vegetables in my bowl and then 1-2 other vegetables (more details below on some of my favorites). Details on meal prep tutorial at bottom of page.

Root Veggies:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Delicata Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash

Additional Veggies:

  • Broccoli or Broccolini
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower (white, purple, yellow – they’re all great!)
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Mushrooms
  • Heirloom Carrots

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Pick a source of Fiber

  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Chia seeds (although I’d recommend soaking them typically, rather than adding them raw)
  • Flax seeds
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Chickpeas (I love adding crispy chickpeas for a nice crunch on a salad!)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Broccoli sprouts

Probiotic Rich Foods (optional, but recommended!)

 

  • Sauerkraut is ABSOLTUELY my go-to. Farmhouse Cultures or Wildbrine are both great brands.
  • Tempeh

 

Grains (optional)

 

I don’t always add grains to my Buddha bowls  – it usually depends on what my protein looks like. If I’m only adding 1 egg, I typically like to pair that with a grain that’s high in protein. Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, wheat berries, barley, wild rice, etc. are all fairly high in protein.

 

Choose a Dressing!

Though a minor step, your dressing can really pull your Buddha bowl together! A lot of what I choose to dress my Buddha bowls in, I’ve mentioned under “healthy fats”.

  • Oils (olive oil, flax oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)
  • Tahini – mixes well with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic
  • Healthy salad dressings to have on hand (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. I always have a few of their dressings on hand. My favorites are the honey mustard, green goddess, and ceasar. They also have healthy mayos using avocado oil that I love as well.)
  • Hummus (sometimes a HUGE dollop of hummus w/ a squeeze of lemon juice is all you need!)
  • Nut-Based “Cheese” (favorites include Kite Hill and TreeLine)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon Juice + Olive Oil
  • Make your own Honey Mustard (1 tsp honey + 1 tbsp Dijon mustard + 1 tbsp olive oil + a squeeze of fresh lemon juice + Himalayan salt + black pepper)
  • Vegan Pumpkin Seed Pesto (fresh basil, olive oil, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, fresh minced garlic, handful of spinach, Himalayan salt, black pepper)

 

 

 


 

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Now, I know that was A LOT of information, but I wanted to show you just how easy it is to diversify your buddha bowls and mix it up each week! My recommendation to you is to choose 1 or 2 from each bucket that you’ll use for the week and meal prep it all on Sunday. Each week, choose something new and different from each bucket that way you’re always keeping things exciting!

Here’s an example of what I’ll prep on Sunday:

  • Roast vegetables. Set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut my sweet potatoes into wedges, coat in avocado oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, & rosemary. Cook for ~ 20-25 minutes & once soft, throw on broil for about 2 mins or until slightly charred.
  • I’ll also roast 2 heads of broccoli & one head of cauliflower at the same time. Coat them in coconut oil & add adobo seasoning from Primal Palate. I’ll cook them for a shorter amount of time (usually about 15-20 mins).
  • Let both of these sit & cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
  • While the above is cooking, I’ll boil a large pot of quinoa & hard boil about 6 eggs for the week.
  • The above should only take you about an hour in total! This alone makes prepping lunch each day SO much easier!
  • If I have extra time in my day, I may make my quinoa salmon burgers & whip together a vegan pesto that I can use in my Buddha bowls each week.

That’s it! Each day you make your bowl it should easily take less than 5 minutes to throw together and build your gorgeous, nourishing Buddha bowl!

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Hi friends!

Hope your week is off to a great start! Before I dive into today’s blog post, I wanted to share a few life-updates with you! PS – I feel like I’m always sharing drastic updates LOL. It’s NEVER DULL around here. Soo a few things – I just wrapped up my first FULL farmers market season for BerryGood Bliss – I can’t believe how quickly the time flew by. It’s been such a whirlwind and I’m SO pleased that people even LIKE my product! My goal this summer was to get my brand out there, test my products and see if people even enjoyed it (which luckily is a success!), make meaningful connections, and of course strategize next steps in the business plan to continue to grow BerryGood. As I’ve mentioned previously, starting a business like this adds up financially (BIG TIME). I’m so glad I took the time that I did to go all-in and build the brand. I know had I been working full-time during this period, I would have continued to put it off and not give it a 110%.

That being said, I’m being realistic in knowing that I can’t continue to support my current lifestyle (personal/housing, social, and business expenses) in the way that I am at the moment. Part of having a passion project like BerryGood is knowing that at times, you’ll need to HUSTLE big time and likely be working twice as hard to make ends meet. I’m fortunate enough to have found a part-time HR position (HR is the field I worked in prior to leaving my corporate job) that will allow me to work flexible hours (20-25 hrs a week) in order to balance both work and BerryGood. This new lifestyle will definitely be a challenge for me at first – learning how to find some kind of balance between work, my social life, my blog, fitness, and so on. However, I’m trying to look at this as an exciting time in my life and ready to take on new challenges with a SMILE. So that’s pretty much the BIGGEST change in my life right now. Oh and ps I’ve also decided to pursue my CorePower Sculpt teacher training (because I can just never be satisfied not having free time HAHA). But in all seriousness, this is something I’ve always wanted to do and timing worked out well on my end/the commitment for this training is very doable. So will keep you guys posted there!


Moving on to some of my favorite products that I always have on hand whether I’m traveling on vacation, going away for a quick weekend getaway, spending the night at my moms or dads house, or just out of the apartment for the day! I tend to have a “firey” metabolism and if I’m hungry, but without anything to hold me over, things can get ugly (aka HANGER strikes at its best and you can ask Justin, it’s certainly not a pretty sight). Lastly, none of the below is sponsored. This is simply all my own, un-biased opinion!

1) Protein Bar

As much as I love switching up my bars, I always seem to revert back to RxBar as my snack of choice. Why? Because their ingredients truly are no BS.

  • High in Protein
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • No funky protein powder ingredients (aka casein + WPC, skim milk/milk powders, soy protein, vegetable oils, gluten, dextrin/glucose, soy protein, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
  • No added sugars
  • No Soy
  • No Gluten
  • TASTES DELISH!

The main ingredients in RxBars include: egg whites (high in protein, no cholesterol, & easily absorbed into the body) + dates (which help to bind & act as a natural sweetener) + nuts (for texture, healthy fats, & sustained energy).

PS – my favorite flavors include: Peanut Butter, Maple Sea Salt, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Mint-Chocolate.


2) Collagen Peptides

Collagen has been a STAPLE in my diet for almost the past year. I’ve truly noticed differences in my skin first and foremost, as well as my hair, nails, gut-health, better sleeps, joint/muscle recovery, and not to mention, it makes my lattes EXTRA frothy!

My go-to collagen is Vital Proteins and I LOVE that they sell individual serving sizes for when you’re on-the-go. These have been essential for traveling. I simply add it right into my warm coffee or tea and it dissolves instantly and is flavorless.

3) Elixirs

I never used to be a “beverage” person, but oddly enough, in the past year, I’ve been craving warm, nurturing beverages like golden milk (turmeric & black pepper + warm coconut milk), coffee & tea of course, and hot coco. I recently have fallen in love with the products from Four Sigmatic. Their goal is to “make drinking mushrooms and superfoods delicious and easy-to-do with their Mushroom Coffees, Mushroom Superfood Blends, and Mushroom Elixirs”.

Lately, I’ve been REALLY into their Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps. I’ll heat up either almond milk or coconut milk and then pour the contents in my mug, stir, and enjoy! It makes for the perfect night-capper, especially when I’m craving something warm & chocolatey. Plus the added benefits of the superfood mushroom AND the fact that it comes in an individually sealed bag for convenience makes these products that much better.


Look out for a similar blog post in the future! I certainly have a few more products I always rely on for when I’m on-the-go, but wanted to be mindful of this post getting too lengthy! 🙂

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Happy Hump Day!

As you know, I’ve been on a MAJOR budget lately but the last thing I want, is that to stop me from living my life and doing things (or buying things) that make me happy and healthy! Being a small business owner, while working multiple part-time jobs, leaves little to no “extra” spending money. When it comes to spending money, there are a few things I’ll invest in. Food is absolutely number one. Food is medicine to me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had to pay for a pharmaceutical. Wholesome, healthy food has been my save and grace and for that reason, I’m ALWAYS willing to spend an extra dollar or two. As for fitness, that’s probably tied with food. Again, I feel my BEST when I get a good sweat in, surround myself with a positive fitness community, and treat my body well! Lastly, I threw style in here because that’s always been a fun passion of mine. I feel the clothes I wear are a representation of who I am. I consider myself a pretty creative individual and my clothes allow me to express my inner fashionista (lol, too far?)

Let’s start with FOOD. How to eat healthy on a small budget.

I’ll be honest, I don’t always follow my own advice. The convenience of having a Whole Foods within walking distance can be far too tempting most times.

  • A lot of “chain” grocery stores now carry your everyday healthy products at a much cheaper price. I’m a huge fan of shopping at Wegmans. Their organic produce selection is top-notch. They have great bulk food options (and prices). Trader Joes is another one that has really low prices for their produce and other products.


Thrive Market. This one I accidentally bought the membership a year ago, BUT I will say, it HAS been worth it. When you stock up and spend more than $49 on groceries, you get free shipping. Not to mention, they always are doing free product giveaways with your order. See this picture on the left, that rosewater came free! Last time, I got two cartons of Califia Farms products. They offer these deals while supplies last. PLUS almost all of their products are discounted (trust me, I’ve checked and compared!) I love using Thrive when I’m running low on all of the expensive oils, dry goods, nuts, superfoods, etc.
– Buy from the BULK FOOD SECTION! A huge part of our diet is nuts, grains, dried fruits, almond butter, and so on. The bulk food section at any store tends to always be cheaper than if you were to buy it pre-packaged.
– Get yourself a WholeFoods Whole Body Benefits Card at customer service. Gets you 20% off supplements!
– Always keep an eye out for Whole Foods sales. Trust me, a lot of my fave products like Health-Ade Kombucha, Simple Mills, Purely Elizabeth, Hilary’s Eat Well, etc. goes on sale!
– Scroll through your fave instagramers and you can ALWAYS find a discount code for some of your favorite products! PS – I’ve added in some of my discount codes at the bottom of this post!
– Speaking of Kombucha, did you know that anytime you buy a case (of anything) at Whole Foods, you get 10% off! Sometimes the cashiers don’t even realize this, so make sure you ask.

Now moving on to fitness…

If you know me, I’ve joked that I’m a serial fitness dater (not sure if that even makes sense…) But what I’m trying to get at is that I…

1) LOVE switching up my workouts (which is actually really good for your body) and…
2) I’m always on the hunt for “free trials”, “membership deal sign-ups”, “student discounts” (sry I know this is bad but I still use my student ID everywhere…it doesn’t have an expiration date!), 30 days for $30 unlimited, and so on. The deals go on. ESPECIALLY if you’re living in a college city. SO keep an eye out for those.
* For example, did you know you get a 1-week free trial with CorePower Yoga?
– Create your own work-out space at home! I did this for almost a year after I quit my “luxury” gym (spending far too much money on a monthly basis). I had a yoga mat, simple weights, and did a lot of HIIT. Kayla Itsines (like every other girl haha) was one of the programs I followed. Youtube and even the fitness instagram world can both be great resources.
– I also switched up my workouts with runs and yoga. I will admit, I recently found an AWESOME gym deal ($25 a month) and I felt now was a good time to jump on that since we’re entering into the brutal seasons of Boston (i.e. the dreaded Winter months). The snow and cold makes running outside not fun and certainly doesn’t help with any of my fitness motivation.
– ALWAYS search groupon or gilt city before paying for any studio. Guarantee there will be some deal out there.
– You can also join ClassPass and pay a CRAZY cheap price ($19 if you’re a new member) for your first month. I’ll be honest, I cancelled after 🙂 Though I love the idea of it…I couldn’t get myself to pay the regular monthly price after your trial ends.
– Search on your cities event page for free fitness classes!
– Go to community/donation-based yoga classes.

And finally…STYLE!

I will admit, I was a HUGE spender when it came to clothes. Especially when I had a pretty nice income. I never dropped money on super pricey designers but I definitely regularly shopped at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Obviously times have changed and I can’t afford to do that anymore. LUCKILY, I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I no longer where and I’ve found a FAB way to cheat the system. Whenever I’m getting an itch to shop or update my fall wardrobe for example, I’ll search through my closet and drawers for pieces that are in season (this is key because most trendy thrift stores won’t accept out of season clothing). I’ll then search through any hats, shoes, jewelry, purses, jackets, etc. to see if there’s been anything I haven’t touched in the past year (or sometimes even 6 months if I’m feeling frisky).

Oversized jackets never go out of style in my book // found @ Buffalo Exchange
Loving these pieces from Buffalo Exchange. Pair a slingy dress w/ a sparkly see-through long sleeve (and pearls!) – Perfect for the Holidays!

I then march my giant bag of clothing to my FAVE thrift store, Buffalo Exchange , vintage and used clothing. (located in Allston on Harvard St. for my local friends). PS there are Buffulo Exchange stores all over the US. I found one in Queens, NY and spotted one while in Denver, CO. They are extremely picky with the clothes they accept, so make sure it’s in style, trendy, in pretty good condition, and hipster(y) is always a plus. Though it can be annoying as the seller when they send back nearly half of what you brought in, it’s also great because you know that you’re going to find the racks are all stocked with clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in style and SUPER cheap (I’m talking almost everything under $20)! They’ll offer you either a store credit or cash (though the cash ends up being like half of what you’d get with store credit), so I always keep the store credit! I then go shop, pick up a few staple fall items, and then end up having a $0 balance thanks to the clothes that I brought in and were accepted! Also, always check the quality of the clothing, if you find any small tears or stains, they’ll discount it even more, usually like 30-50% off.

Get yourself a pair of fun loafers for Fall // found brand new (Zara) @ Buffalo Exchange
…and a pair of funky wedges to go with pants & an oversized sweater // again found @ B.E.

This is my NUMBER 1 tip to always keeping fresh new items in your closet without spending a dime! Happy shopping ladies (and men)!!

So there ya have it friends, my personal tips to BALLLLLLIN’ on a budget 😉



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3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

Wow, can’t believe we’re already into October! I swear this summer flew by faster than most. Though it technically is the Fall, it still feels like Summer here in Boston…and I definitely don’t hate it! That being said, I can certainly feel my body craving the warmer, seasonal foods. It’s so important to listen to your body and give it what it needs with the change of season. Our bodies are smart and are VERY much aligned to nature and the universe. Sadly, that means I won’t be drinking my smoothies everyday (though I certainly will treat myself every now and then). Rather, I’ll be substituting it with warmer foods like oatmeal, warm chia pudding, eggs, toast, squashes, etc.! This philosophy comes from the Ayurveda practice which I’ve talked about in the past.

“Ayurvedic philosophy holds that eating warming foods in the fall and winter is vital in order to keep the body healthy and balanced. It suggests that the metabolism works harder to keep us warm in the winter, and therefore the “digestive fire” must be adequately fueled with heavier foods. Ayurveda says that cold, damp foods like salads and smoothies, which might seem delicious and perfect in the summertime, can sap the body of energy and even leave it vulnerable to illness during the fall and winter.”

This article shares with you some warm fall & winter foods to incorporate into your diet! Anyway, shifting gears slightly towards the topic of today’s blog post! This was actually inspired by my mom who has made some major shifts in her diet and adapting some of my health tips. This is not to say she was eating poorly by any means. She’s super lean, healthy, and eats a very balanced diet! However, she’s made simple swaps like using coconut oil to cook instead of olive oil because of it’s higher cook point. Below are some simple swaps you can make in your pantry and fridge. Though these swaps may seem minor, they go such a long way in your diet!


1.) Oil and Butter.

First, let’s talk about why VEGETABLE Oils are a big, fat NO…

This includes all processed oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others out there. These oils “contain very large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful in excess.” The way in which these oils are processed “involve pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents.” This article from Healthline goes into even more depth on this topic.

So, what oils/butters SHOULD you cook with? See below:

  • Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (butter with all traces of dairy proteins and sugars cooked out)
  • Coconut Oil (virgin or expeller pressed)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin olive oil should stay unheated, but normal olive oil that isn’t extra virgin is a good cooking oil as long as you aren’t cooking at high heat. Extra virgin olive oil is still great for you; just add it after you plate your food.) – BulletProof Article (more details on smoke points and oils)

2.) Sweeteners.

Let’s chat about the difference between Refined Sugars and UnRefined Sugars. “Refined sugar is sugar that has gone through a refining process, or chemical process to remove the molasses that’s naturally found in it.” – Ambitious Kitchen

Here are some staples I always have on hand:

  • Dates
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Organic Honey
  • Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Organic Coconut Nectar
  • Organic Vanilla Bean

3.) White Flour.

Let’s start REAL basic here. Ditch anything with white flour. White flour has been stripped of literally all the important vitamins and nutrients (i.e. the parts of the wheat kernel that slow its digestion), making it extremely easy for the body to turn white flour into blood sugar.

So, that being said here are some of my favorite options I usually have on hand:

  • ANY lentil or bean based pasta. My favorites include Eat Banza Chickpea Pasta (literally can’t tasted a difference between this and the real thing). Tolerant Foods is another one of my favorites.
  • Lentils
  • Wheat Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Black Rice
  • Farro
  • Amaranth
  • Oats
  • Bulgur

Some of my favorite Flours Include:

  • almond flour
  • oat flower
  • cassava flour
  • coconut flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Rice Flour

One thing I will say is that I certainly treat myself to a really nice Italian meal every now and then where I can trust I’m getting REAL, HOMEMADE pasta, with no preservatives or chemicals. It’s about balance. Just when you’re at home and cooking, try to have the above alternatives on hand!

Start with those three tips above and keep an eye out NEXT week for 3 more healthy swaps! 🙂

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate 😉

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

I’ll be honest with you, one of the first thoughts I had after booking our wedding venue for NEXT year was “alright, so I have more than a year to kick my butt into gear for the wedding day”. Was this REALLY one of the first things that came to my mind after booking the venue? Am I wrong for thinking this? Or is this a result of diet culture and the wedding industry? Sadly, I feel it’s a mix of all of the above. It’s no surprise that I’ve battled body insecurities, as most women do growing up in their teens, early 20’s…and let’s be honest, is there any age were women feel 100% beautiful? Sadly…I’m not sure?? As I’ve blogged about in the past, my own insecurities have developed over the years, beginning in high school where I was heavily influenced by social media, TV, magazines, and more, running competitively in cross-country and track & field, and of course, the continuous diet culture that we can never seem to get away from. So of course, it’s only natural that when we as woman finally have a wedding date set, it’s an immediate reaction that we must now start the countdown to getting that perfect wedding “bod”.

Ironically, I was in the middle of writing this blog post right before heading to my engagement photo session yesterday and of course, I couldn’t escape those negative thoughts developing in my head. The ones that tell you you’re not ready for a photo shoot. Your skin looks like shit. Your hair looks dry. You feel bloated in the face and belly. You don’t have the right outfit. You can’t afford to get your nails or hair done. Oh the list just goes on! Like, Calli, do you think this is a progress photo or something? Am I expecting to drop weight between todays engagement photo and my day-of wedding photos?? Personally, I think the most difficult thing for me is falling in that comparison trap. Being a blogger, I see fitness photos posted ALL the time as I scroll through instagram. On top of that, I’m now constantly scrolling through pinterest looking at wedding dresses and of course, every woman looks nearly perfect in the wedding dress.

I don’t believe this wedding diet mindset is coming from a negative place at all. I think it’s entirely innocent and we shouldn’t be ashamed in ourselves for thinking like this. Unfortunately, it’s become a somewhat major part of the wedding and fitness industry. Both industries obviously financially benefit from this, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking advantage of marketing and advertisements targeting women looking to lose weight for the big day. Again, not trying to point fingers, we’re all guilty of playing a part and creating this wedding/diet culture. For example, just look at how many articles are shared on Knot.com regarding wedding diet tips, meal plans, celebrity workouts, etc. How many fitness studios around you offer wedding packages? How about the fact that when you go to your first fitting, it’s almost 100% likely you’ll request to schedule several more in hopes of being a smaller size? How about the thousands of posts you’ll find on pinterest about wedding diet and workouts? It’s even become normalized and totally OK in conversation between friends and family. If you look around, it’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid? Even those who likely never struggled with weight or body issues before, are now feeling pressured to get into wedding shape.

But, for what? To look a certain way on just one day? I’ll be honest, I was totally deep in the wedding diet mindset (and still am struggling with it) until recently when I listened to an older podcast on the Healthy Maven (episode #22 with Robyn Nohling (the Real Life RD)) where they discuss this topic. It was such an “aw-ha” moment for me because I didn’t even realize I was THAT girl obsessing over how I would look on my wedding day. The sad part is, most times, we’re not doing this for ourselves. We’re doing it so we can look good in front of the 250 attendees at the wedding. Yep, you heard that right. Potentially expecting 250 people at the wedding next year. Talk about added pressure, right? Honestly, I wish I could say that my motivation behind looking good for the big day was for me. But the truth is, I want to look good for all of the 250 people attending. I’m typically not that type of person at all, but for some reason, on this particular day, I’m already concerned with what people will say about my appearance. Again, I realize this is all crazy delusional, but this is how my mind works and I’m sure I’m not alone here. We shouldn’t be concerned about looking good. We SHOULD care about FEELING good. The other point that I found really interesting that was made on this podcast, is do you really want to look back at pictures and say “wow, I wish I could get back to my wedding body some day”? Like, do I really want to kill myself all to look good on ONE day?? Is that really how I want to remember my wedding? Do I want to spend my life trying to get back to that point of likely eating minimal calories and obsessively working out? Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone wants that. I want to look back at the moment and know that it was the happiest moment of my life!

Realizing all of this was half the battle. The most challenging part is doing my best to just observe and ignore those negative thoughts that creep in. Being able to admit and just be aware that these thoughts are REAL will make being able to push them aside that much easier. Though I don’t have any major, life-changing tips here, it certainly helped listening to that podcast and reading this blog from Robyn Nohling (aka the Real Life RD). Definitely worth a read! At the end of the day, Robyn said it best, “thinness does not equal beauty. Marriage is not about the wedding. And a wedding is not about the size of your body.”

XOXO,
Cal

14-Day GUT Challenge via WildBrine Probiotic Kimchi Live Shots

14-Day GUT Challenge via WildBrine Probiotic Kimchi Live Shots

For today’s post I want to chat about GUT health. If you know me, you know I LOVE my fermented foods – whether it’s kombucha or sauerkraut – you can 100% bet I’m including these items daily into my routine. So you can probably guess how ecstatic I was when Wildbrine (my favorite sauerkraut brand) reached out to send me their new kimchi live shots. Any chance I get to try out new gut-friendly items gets me excited. Anyone else? Or am I the only nerd that’s into this?! Side note: if you’re not into fermented foods just yet, you MUST watch the netflix series ‘COOKED’ – there’s a whole episode (episode #4, titled “earth”) dedicated to fermentation – prepare to get REAL geeky. Anyway, back to the live shots. Wildbrine presented a 14-day challenge to take on their shots daily and take note on how things felt in my body – whether I experienced any changes or noticed anything drastically different.

Before I go into the 14-day challenge and how I felt at the end, let me share a few quick tidbits on health benefits of incorporating fermented foods into your diet and why these are so essential to good gut-health. To start, let’s answer the question of what fermented foods are.

“Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.”

You learn a lot about how fermentation has been used for years in that Cooked series. Fermenting vegetables and other foods were how people used to survive over the cold winter months. Though in theory, the food is technically rotting, nutrients and taste change and improve. Unfortunately, these days food is so overly processed that we lost site of the benefits of fermentation, which is an older technique. The BIGGEST reason to consume fermented foods is where the probiotics come in. Bringing beneficial bacteria into your body & digestive system helps to improve regularity and digestion. Also, the balance of healthy gut bacteria and digestive enzymes help to absorb the foods nutrients better. Lastly, the fermentation process also creates B12’s and healthy acids which can support liver detoxification.

How did I feel after the gut shots?

Honestly, I didn’t notice a HUGE difference drinking the live shots vs. a few swigs of Kombucha for example. I would take one shot in the morning alongside a warm glass of lemon water. I definitely felt happy & healthy starting each morning with this routine. Perhaps it could be a mental thing, because I tend to feel a bit bubbly after a few swigs of kombucha as well. Or perhaps digesting the probiotics first thing in the morning had a more positive affect on me than drinking it in the afternoon. I do like the fact that I’m drinking REAL food that is equivalent to taking a supplement. I much prefer to eat or drink these health supplements vs. taking a pill. Not to mention, I really enjoyed the tastes of the Kimchi live shots – they were zesty, tangy, a bit savory, and surprisingly really tasty! They didn’t have any weird after taste. I could even see myself using these in salad dressings, etc. Lastly, my digestive system continuously felt strong and no uncomfortable bloating or pain.

All in all, I would definitely purchase these live shots going forward. Speaking of! Here’s a link to a downloadable $1 off coupon! They make for a great alternative to drinking Kombucha (which believe it or not, my body doesn’t always crave kombucha every day). It’s nice to have a few alternative fermented foods I can trust and go to when I’m in need of some super gut-health!

Source:

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

We all feel it. Spring is finally here. You can smell it in the air. You can see it in the small tulips beginning to bloom. You can hear it as the birds chirp away in the early morning. Lastly, your mind, body, and soul can sense it more than anything. Our bodies are incredibly smart and they can sense when there is a change in season. This is why it’s so important to align with mother nature and not resist it. Ever wonder why you’re craving warm soups or hearty desserts in the winter? Or why you may crave juicy, citrus fruits like oranges in the spring and summer? Though it may seem too obvious, this has to do with how our bodies adapt to the changes in temperature and seasons. In order to successfully keep our bodies running at 100%, they need the proper fuel. Our digestive system is especially impacted by these changes. If we feed our bodies the wrong type of fuel when it needs soup, not ice cream for example, it initiates a more challenging process in breaking down and digesting the food. I’ll share with you throughout the blog post how you can successfully detox your way into Spring through all aspects – fuel for the body, exercise, self-care, mental stability, etc.

Before I go into detail on tips to help detox your way into Spring, I want to briefly introduce a quick background on Ayurveda and what it is/how it works. At a high level, the “traditional science of Ayurvedic medicine is designed to bring the body back into balance so it can heal itself” naturally. Like Chinese medicine, this holistic approach has been practiced for at least 5,000 years. A “holistic” approach means discovering the root cause of what may be causing stomach or digestive issues for you as an example & looking at the whole person, not just a specific organ or system involved. This essentially ties back with why our mind, bodies, and souls are SO connected.

One more interesting thing to note is that if you understand your own body type (or “dosha” as it’s used in the traditional form) you can better adjust appropriately. This is important because as you know, everyone’s body is different. What my body may need, could very well be completely opposite from what your body needs. This Ayurvedic Spring approach is a general guidance, however, if you’d like to learn more about your own body type, take this quiz and then feel free to read more on that specific body type via this link. There are complete lists of foods and drinks to eat, as well as appropriate exercise, etc. to help balance out your specific dosha (i.e. body type). If you’re interested in learning more on Ayurveda and how you can implement parts of it to help bring your body back into balance, I’ve added a few source links at the bottom of the blog.

Alright, now back to spring cleaning! In Ayurveda, Spring is a crucial part of the season routine since in the winter, our digestive system is high and people tend to eat more sweet & heavy food. Interestingly enough, our digestive systems are quite adept at adapting to these hard-to-digest foods, so “ama (the sticky, toxic product of incomplete digestion) starts accumulating.” As Spring rolls in, “the ama melts and the volume of ama becomes so great that the shrotas, the microcirculatory channels of the body, become clogged.”

Below are some tips on how to detox & cleanse your way into Spring:

1) Avoid eating heavy, cold, hard-to-digest foods. A general tip is to just eat WHAT IS IN SEASON! As long as you’re shopping at your local farmer’s market, you should avoid any “hard-to-digest” foods. Ex. Root vegetables (potatoes, squash, taro root, zucchini) as these are no longer in season. It also helps to steam any vegetables prior to digesting. Carrots, broccoli, and kale are all great options.

2) Eat bitter foods such as, endives, radicchio, bitter melon, daikon radish, and dandelion greens.

3) Avoid or reduce the sweet, sour, and salty tastes — your digestive system will be more efficient in burning away the accumulated ama. Use pink salt to season your food for it’s high mineral content.

4) Sweet, juicy fruits can help detox your body (ex. Papaya, pineapple, watermelon) – just try to eat these earlier in the day or before sunset.

5) Adding high anti-inflammatory spices & other beneficial herbs to your food or tea such as – coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, mint and fennel — to help stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin.

6) Begin your morning with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon or lime. This will cleanse your digestive tract and initiate your metabolism first thing in the morning. You can also add fresh ginger juice as well (this is a great anti-inflammatory). Honey is another option to add in if you’d like. Also, drinking a few sips of Kombucha (fermented tea) first thing in the morning, can also help to balance out your PH. *Lastly, drinking room-temperature water throughout the day is much easier on your digestive system than ice cold water!

7) Dry brushing your skin. This should be done close to first thing in the morning, right before you shower. You should brush in an upwards motion. “Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. It also helps to increase blood circulation. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin’s outer layer and stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin.” You can find dry brushes in the health section of Whole Foods.

8) Keep to a consistent routine – simply try to wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the moon. Also try and keep a regular routine with when you eat your meals.

9) Spring cleaning is also a great time to start fresh & give things like meditation a try. Meditation can be so valuable, even if you can only find 5 minutes in your day. A great guided meditation app to help people that are new to meditating is called: Headspace.

10) If you’re a seasoned yogi or completely new to yoga, it’s beneficial to incorporate plenty of twisting poses throughout your practice or to kick-start your morning. Twists are really great for detoxing the body & creating space in the abdominal region. Here are a few simple poses to follow.

11) Get outside and walk throughout the day as much as possible. The endorphins from walking outside & exercising will be at an all-time high.

12) Try incorporating mood-enhancing and stress & anxiety reducing superfoods like Maca Powder, Cacao Powder, and Ashwagandha powder to your coffee, lattes, or smoothies.

13) Literally spring clean – a clean, organized home creates a clear mine. Get rid of and donate the winter clothes you didn’t touch all year. Clear out your pantry. If you work at home or in an office, try and keep that space clear but also add a few personal touches that will help keep you creative and inspired.

14) Amplify your space with fresh plants and flowers. I tend to be drawn towards plenty of succulents since they need little attention, but they look pretty! 🙂

15) Lastly, don’t forget how important SELF-CARE is. Everyone needs to look out for themselves. So among trying to incorporate some things from above, go get a massage or a facial, take a bath, read a book, take a “day-cation”, DIY your own face mask, etc.

I hope you found this information useful! Please note, the purpose of this is to simply share what I’ve learned about the tradition of Ayurveda. I’m no expert or professional in this field, I’m simply just interested in learning and expanding my knowledge. Take it or leave it! These are some things I’ve found useful in the past and am exploring with this season. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

Happy spring cleaning!

Sources:

http://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurveda/what-is-ayurveda/#
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/ayurveda-body-types.html
http://www.fusionaryformulas.com/learn-live-according-dosha/
http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/assessment/Dosha?gclid=CI7am4OvnNMCFdWIswodK_UN4A
http://www.chopra.com/articles/garshana-detoxify-at-home-with-ayurvedic-skin-brushing#sm.0000m771scytberbu271tfp7oa8gf
http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/twists/

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began and how I’VE evolved.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. It’s definitely long overdue. However, I also knew that writing this post would be a big undertaking. Why? Because I started this blog almost 5 years ago, at the beginning of my senior year in college. To those who have been following my journey from the start (primarily college besties & fam) THANK YOU for continuously supporting me through all my crazy foodie ups & downs. To those who are newer to the community, thanks for joining along! This post is to highlight the ups, the downs, and of course, everything in between of my health journey. This is certainly a more personal post of mine & is something I really don’t talk about often, even though my whole journey has truly shaped me to become the person I am proud of today! One last thing – I know this is long, but just stick through it, I promise there’s a purpose for sharing ALL of my past.

Though I began my blog nearing the end of my college career, my journey with food & health truly began around my sophomore year of high school. I had just completed my sophomore field hockey season and was starting up indoor track & field. I originally signed up for track as a means to stay in shape for field hockey and improve my speed. However, little did I know, this would turn into more than just that, running became a HUGE part of my life, very quickly. By the end of my spring track season, my coach and I began to realize that I had some talent here. I wouldn’t compare myself to the crazy fast girls on my team that went on to run at various Ivy leagues and such, but there was definitely something there worth exploring through A LOT of hard work, grueling track workouts, and serious dedication. At the end of my sophomore year, I decided I was going to pursue running all three seasons and drop field hockey. This was an extremely hard decision for me because I REALLY loved field hockey & it brought me so much joy. However, I knew that if I didn’t commit to training all year round, I wouldn’t make any of the championship meets I had longed to race at and would not be training with the fastest runners on the team.

That summer I trained my ass off, past the point of being “healthy/okay”. I look back at it now and it’s crazy to think I put my body through all of that! I would wake up early in the morning and go for a 5-miler. I’d come home, change, bike a few miles to the yacht club and then teach sailing all morning, have about a 1-hour break for lunch, then I had sailing lessons for another few hours out in the hot sun. I’d bike home and top off my mileage for the day anywhere from 3-5 more miles. I’d repeat this everyday that entire summer. On top of the increased running & additional exercise, I definitely was not feeding my body adequately. The added pressure I put on myself led to this idea that I had to have minimal fat on my body. The smaller I was, the faster a runner I would be. Of course now I know this is not true, but at the time, I really believed it. Also, I meant to mention that while all of this was going on, my parents were also in the process of getting a divorce. I think that is why I used running & food as an outlet. It was really the only thing at that time I could control and excel at. I also didn’t process it at the time, but running was 100% a form of meditation for me whether I realized it or not. PS – that fall, I ended up getting injured (stress fracture in my shin) early on in the XC season that put me out of commission for the rest of XC and into my winter track season. This was living proof that I put my body through too much and it had enough. It literally broke down.

That summer going into my junior year of high-school and prepping myself for cross-country was also the point in my life where my relationship with food changed. Before that point, I never thought to much on what I was putting into my body. There was no stress or anxiety that used to come around eating. Since then, I’ve had so many up’s and down’s with food – what’s healthy and what’s not? What’s the right diet and what’s not? The list goes on. Anyway, fast forward to the summer before entering my freshman year of college. I came into college pretty fit after following the XC training guide all summer. However, within just a few months, the “freshman 15” caught on for sure. I think I had this idea that because I ran everyday, I could also eat whatever I wanted to. I wasn’t used to this much freedom around food (and booze). On top of the weight gain, I also was not running fast. My body was changing, (as most most women do when hitting puberty – I was just a late bloomer!)and I wasn’t fueling myself with proper food to adapt to those changes.

Shifting to the summer going into my sophomore year of college, I decided running was the problem and quit XC. At the time, I do think this was the right decision for me. I joined the club field hockey team and still ran everyday. As a matter of fact, my running was improving and I was beginning to eat the RIGHT foods and not 3 servings of cheese pizza every night. Taking the pressure of competing on a college DI team out of the picture had a really positive affect on me. The only thing that I struggled with was that all of my best friends were still on the team. I missed them. Just as they were closing out their XC season, I reached out to the new track coach & before I knew it, I had rejoined the team and was prepared to compete that indoor track season. I’m so glad I took the time I needed to myself to realize that I really did miss my friends, the team atmosphere, and of course, competing. This had become a HUGE part of my life and would shape my college career.

That sophomore year, going into junior year I began to focus on my weight again and watch what food I was putting into my body. As you can probably tell, I become extremely passionate and determined when I put my mind to something. This tends to be why I hit a lot of extreme “highs” and “lows”. This type of mentality continued throughout the rest of my college years. I went abroad to Spain my junior year and definitely over-indulged. I would run long, grueling miles throughout my time there to try my best to keep some of the weight off. I came back that summer and once again, whipped myself into shape and watched what I was eating. This brings me to the beginning of my senior year of college where I wrote my first blog post.

This in itself was scary and definitely out of my comfort zone. I still remember the day I shared my first blog post on facebook. I was scared to see what people would think or say about me. At that time, blogging (especially on food, health, and wellness) was still fairly new. I wish I could have told the old me WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK??? But, hey, you live and ya learn! It literally makes me cringe looking at the photography of my food pictures now haha! I also remember when I received my first free product from a well-known brand. I had written an article about chobani and they sent me a huge box of free yogurts. I was seriously HEAD OVER HEELS excited about this. I think I was only at 400 followers at the time, but I didn’t care. I finally felt like I had a purpose. Food blogging was unique to me and it was something I became extremely passionate about.

Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned a few times here, this passion can turn into an obsession for me, which it did. Looking back at some of the food I made in college now, I can’t even imagine how those portion sizes filled me?! Blogging in college had its benefits, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think many college kids can say they got creative in the kitchen. I never realized how much I enjoyed cooking in the kitchen until I started experimenting with my meals out of my college dorm room. Somehow, it’s been 4+ years since I started this blog and here I am, still going strong. I may not have a lot of followers, but it really never was about growing quickly for me. This was and has always been a passion of mine. Sometimes blogging had its negative impacts on me. There was always (and still is) the comparison trap. “So and so is eating that and running those times, so I should do the same” or “that girl is super small so I should copy her meals”, etc. etc. However, there’s also the positive side that came out of blogging. This movement is certainly more recent, but I’m so glad that people are being more vulnerable and putting emphasis on doing what’s RIGHT and HEALTHY for your body. Realizing that I can eat REAL food and fuel my body, while eating a higher caloric intake. Realizing that healthy FATS are good. Realizing that I didn’t need to eat a 100% vegan diet to be “healthy”. Realizing that EVERYONE’S body is different and what one person needs to feel healthy, isn’t necessarily what I need to eat and do to feel healthy. And lastly, being HEALTHY doesn’t mean I need to strive for a certain weight or “look” a certain way.

So with that, this blog post has now gotten to be a short novel and therefore, I’m thinking I’ll need to write a part II very soon. I hope this helps give you an idea about the person behind EATRUNANDALLINBETWEEN. I’m human too. I’ve had my struggles and have learned my lessons. We all have and it’s OK. All of this has shaped me to be the person I am today. I’m really happy with where I am and my relationship with food and fitness. I don’t run crazy miles everyday anymore. I’ve found happiness and simplicity in yoga and wholesome foods. I try my best to indulge every now and then, while maintaining a balanced diet and not letting it get the best of me. Everyday is still a work in progress, but I truly believe I’m in a better place now, more than ever.

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

Hi all!

I’ll start by saying that I love instagram HOWEVER it definitely paints a “perfect” picture when in some cases, that’s not always accurate. The reason why I bring this up is because like most people, us “health and wellness” bloggers get caught up in a rut from time to time as well. No one is perfect. Recently, a few weeks ago, I was feeling stuck in a rut – lazy, a bit unmotivated, tired, lacking my usual “bubbliness” and of course on top of that, feelings of personal doubt and helplessness began to takeover my mind. I personally believe I do suffer from seasonal depression and when you’re stuck inside for a few days straight due to the harsh winds, snow, and below freezing temps, it can certainly take a tole on your emotions, some people (like myself) may be even more affected by this. When these types of emotions begin to pile one on top of another, I fall into a somewhat unhealthy behavior. These emotions in turn trigger my stress and anxiety therefore even worsening my sleep deprivation. I will be the first to tell you that the second I can feel my body lacking the sleep and rest it needs, it automatically goes into a fight or flight mode which leads to stress and emotional eating.

Though my usual go-to, stress eating meal sounds “healthy” in some regards (it’s certainly not a sleeve of oreos or a pint of ice cream), it’s still a form of over-eating for me as it’s not typically part of my “normal” intuitive routine. This meal may (and usually does) resemble something along the lines of a huge bowl of coconut yogurt, piled high with granola, almond butter, a crumbled up macrobar, and allllll the other goods. By the time I’ve finished this “parfait” (if you could even call it that…) I’m stuffed beyond the point of getting off the couch and I just feel my anxiety levels increase even more even though this was my form of so called, “curing that stress”. So, this unfortunately becomes a somewhat ebb and flow cycle depending on how long I’m stuck in this rut.

However, luckily, if I can find the motivation and determination within myself (which I usually do after a few days of this) I am able to slowly get out of this slump. Not going to lie, it takes a LOT of self-motivation and will-power, but MAN does it feel good when you finally wake up that morning knowing it’s going to be a GOOD day. Below are some quick tips, take it or leave it!

1.) Get Journaling!

I think I’ve listened to enough of Katie Dalebout’s podcasts to see the benefits behind jotting a few things down! I’ve taken some of her tips and now wake up every morning and ensure the FIRST thing I do within that hour of waking up is writing down THREE things that I’m grateful for. It’s seriously THAT easy. Takes less than 1 minute and overtime, you truly do feel the positive benefits of sharing your gratification.

2.) Meditating

I’d by lying if I told you I was consistent with meditating everyday. Trust me, it’s been a struggle for me. I’ve downloaded and tried a number of apps, but some mornings I just wake up with too many thoughts and can’t even bare the thought of sitting still for 10 minutes. HOWEVER, I can totally tell the difference between my days where I start with meditation verses those where I miss it completely. A good 10-minute guided meditation is a really nice way to check in with yourself and start getting out of that slump.

3.) Play Music

I’m absolutely a LOVER of music. Music is good for the mood, the soul, the bod – literally everything and can instantly bring your mood from 0 – 10 just like that. Since mornings are where you really need to take control of your day and start it on the right note, I find a few different styles help to get me back on track.

4.) Inversions, Yoga, or Just a good Sweat Sesh

Being upside down circulates the blood flow, helps to relieve anxiety, stress, etc. Or partake in some backbends and hip-openers to release those tied up emotions.

5.) As soon as the suns out, force yourself to walk for an hour & listen to a positive podcast.

Unfortunately living in Boston has it’s downfalls in the winter. There may be 5 days straight where its cold and cloudy. But, the second that sun peeps out, I force myself to get out, walk, and tune into a good podcast. Here are some of my fave ones:

6.) Feed your body with ALL the good mood superfoods.

Maca powder, raw organic Cacao Powder, coconut, spirulina, goji berries, hemp seeds, etc.

7.) Self-Care

Give yourself a face mask, treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi.

8.) Plan a trip or event to look forward to.

We just booked a trip to Colorado in the fall and I CAN NOT WAIT. Nature, Red Rocks Amphitheater, GOOD FOOD, quality time with the boyfraaan.

9.) Organize and Clean.

A lot of times when I’m in a funk, I blast music and get into a crazy cleaning mode. I can’t tell you how many times Justin has come home and I have a bag full of random things in the apartment that I’m either throwing away or donating. Sometimes purging items can be so beneficial to your own health. Plus a clean, organized space definitely plays a part in an organized life.

10.) Get rid of old clothes you don’t wear.

^ same concept as above.

11.) Help out a local charity.

Nothing helps more than giving back. It’s so fulfilling to help others out and you’d be surprised what karma you get in return.

12.) Cuddle with dogs (or bae).

I mean, does this even need an explanation?

13.) Get rid of the food (for now) that is your go-to when you’re stress/emotional eating.

Putting the emphasis on “for now” because I don’t believe these should be cut out indefinitely. I just sometimes need a week or 2 without them to set myself back to normality.

14.) GET SLEEP!!!!

I can’t stress this enough. Sleep deprivation is always the main culprit for putting me into these “ruts” in the first place. So even if this means staying in all weekend and rescheduling plans with friends – do it. You need that time to unwind and reset.

15.) Make to-do lists and get yourself back in a routine.

Hopefully a few (or all) of these tips can help you out if you’re ever feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. PS – you’re not alone. So many of us fall into this, so don’t beat yourself up over it. That will only make things worst (trust me, I’ve been there, done that)!

** LAST last bit of advice – FIND SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU **

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Hi all! For this week I wanted to chat about buddha bowls. Let’s be honest, it would be wrong of me to deny any kind of obsession with these since I make them on the REG. They’re SO delicious, yet they keep things exciting, while nourishing my body with REAL foods and nutrients.

Too often, I hear people say “I hate salads”, “salads never fill me”, “I get bored of salads”, and so on – you get the point AND maybe you’ve found yourself saying this every now and then! I know I used to. Once again, I’ll pick on my boyfriend as a perfect example of this. I’ll start by saying, HUGE credit to him for even taking a stab at making his own salad for lunch. The toughest part is making that commitment to yourself to take the next healthy step. However, his salad turned out to be a (small) handful of mixed greens, a few diced up cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of bland chicken, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic – sounds exciting, right (cue the sarcasm)!?! Maybe this works for you, and if so, that’s great! However, I know with my active lifestyle and my need for good tasting food, I would not be able to get by with a salad like this everyday for lunch. Again, this could totally be personal preference, BUT, if you’re feeling like your in a rut with this, then maybe it’s your time to try building your own buddha bowl!

I broke my steps to building a buddha bowl down into a few easy play-by-plays.

1.) Building your base & and mix with a sauce/dressing.

– This can be mixed greens, grains, or a mix of both! See suggestions below.
– Mixed dinosaur kale (rinsed, leaves peeled off of stems, chopped up) + 1-2 TBSP of a lemon tahini dressing (recommend Whole Foods 365 Lemon Tahini OR Annies Homegrown Lite Goddess dressing OR make your own!) + a sprinkle of garlic powder + black pepper + dash of himalayan sea salt + sprinkle of hemp seed shells (for an extra nutty flavor).
– Recommended grains: quinoa, barley, basmati rice, wheatberry, etc.

2.) Pick 3-4 (warmed) veggies / roasted / steamed / sautéed.

– Recommended veggies to roast: butternut squash, sweet potato (fries), cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, purple or fingerling potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash.

* Coat & season veggies in coconut oil, or avocado oil, or olive oil + top with optional seasonings like garlic powder, himalayan sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, basil, paprika, etc. (these are typically my go-to options)
* For root veggies or potatoes: roast at about 420 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
* For other veggies: roast at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

3.) Pick 3-4 cold or raw veggies.

– Recommended veggies to eat raw (I prefer the balance of cold & cooked): Radishes (purple & watermelon radishes not only look pretty, but they add a really nice crunch), cooked beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, microgreens, etc.

4.) Pick 1-2 protein sources and healthy FATS.

– Recommended PROTEIN options: 1/4 cup cooked edamame, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup roasted/crunchy chickpeas (I LOVE biena foods sea salt chickpeas or Saffron Road Foods chickpeas), 1/4 cup of any type of beans (black, white, kidney, etc.), 1-2 hard boiled or fried eggs, veggie burgers (I recommend Hilary’s Eat Well or Engine 2 Diet for real ingredients/good tasting veggie burgers)

– Recommended FAT options: 1/2 avocado, handful of either roasted/sprouted almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc., 1 TBSP olive oil, avocado oil, or flax oil, 1 TBSP Kite Hills cream cheese (made with almonds), salmon, tuna, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

5.) Pick a fermented food option (optional) but GREAT for good GUT-HEALTH.

– Recommended options: Sauerkraut (LOVE Wildbrine or Farmhouse Cultures), Kimchi, Tempeh, pickled veggies

6.) Optional (extra) toppings – because why not?!

– Recommended Options: Hummus (homemade or from one of my faves like Hope Foods Hummus – so many fun variations), homemade pesto (check out my vegan pepita recipe here), drizzle of tahini, dollop of salsa, drizzle of Sriracha, etc.!

Enjoy!!

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

I realize the title is quite obviously a run-on sentence but after creating this mouthwatering treat, I struggled trying to find any words to describe all of these BOMB flavors in one bite. So here you have it! I find it’s nutty chewy inside similar to a raw/vegan dessert bar, but it’s outside chocolatey moist layer to reflect the same taste you have when biting into a peanut butter chocolate cup. This dessert was one of those random experimental, “let’s throw everything in a food processor and see what happens” moments, and lo and behold – it turned out to be #1 boyfriend approved (which let’s be honest, anything that’s identified as a “vegan dessert” tends to be shut down immediately as he grabs for his box of girl scout thin mints). See below for details!

What you’ll need:

  • Tart tin (I used frieling tart pans) / but a bread tin or cupcake tin will work just fine as well!
  • Parchment Paper

For the bottom layer “raw cookie”:

  • 1/2 cup soaked & then drained cashews (soaked for ~ 1 hour)
  • 3 dates
  • 2 TBSP almond butter (I used justins vanilla almond butter)
  • 2 TBSP almond flour (via Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon & himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic maple syrup

For the the chocolate layer / recipe inspired via: The Coconut Mama

  • 1/3 cup and 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut butter
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

Directions:

Throw all “bottom layer/raw cookie” ingredients together in a food processor until well-blended. Crust should look a bit crumbly and will feel sticky enough to mold together in tin. Line each tin with a square of parchment paper. Each tin can be filled with about 2 heaping TBSP of the raw cookie layer. See below picture for visual details. Put in freezer and let sit for about an hour.

Once your crust has hardened in the freezer for about an hour, you can begin to prepare the chocolate layer. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil & coconut butter on low heat. Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients & mix well for about 30 seconds to a min. Remove from heat and spread evenly over each of the bottom cookie layers. Once your chocolate is evenly spread throughout, sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on top and place in freezer. These treats can be eaten after sitting in the freezer for about another hour or until there is a hard shell formed. Once that process is complete, you should easily be able to remove the entire dessert from the parchment paper and place into an air tight container. Store in freezer otherwise chocolate may melt. Oh and feel free to drizzle with EXTRA Peanut Butter because WHY NOT?!

Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Hey guys!

Let’s talk all things smoothies, superfoods, and …supporting your local food friends in today’s blog post! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that this word “superfood” can be a bit overwhelming. It seems as though each month brings a new superfood that is hyped up around it’s unique nutrients and benefits. With all of these new superfoods being introduced to the wellness community, how do we decide where to spend our money and understand what OUR bodies need? Let’s be honest, these superfoods aren’t exactly “cheap”. They are after all, a SUPER food for good reason! They’re usually rare to find, extremely labor intensive, and often come from indigenous locations – therefor driving up the cost for high quality products. With that, how can we make a wallet-conscious decision on which superfoods to invest in?

Honestly, I didn’t really have the answer to this until I was introduced to Organic Living Superfoods. Before I tried their product, I would usually dabble in 1-2 superfoods, depending on what items were on sale at the time. However, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear from Organic Living Superfoods, a company local to the Boston area and super passionate about providing high quality, 100% organic superfood powders to the community. I’m all about supporting local companies that are authentic and transparent in their process of sourcing real ingredients and OLS definitely sets the bar high here!

Not only are they transparent in sourcing the best of the best ingredients, but I’m quite honestly OBSESSED with their customized superfoods blend. This solves so many of my dilemmas around which superfoods to buy and invest in. Through their website, you have the opportunity to choose 10 of the 28 different superfoods they have to offer. Not only are their options endless, but they provide thorough descriptions on where it comes from, the insane amount of nutrients it obtains, what the well-known benefits are, and so forth. I found this part to be so helpful in choosing which superfoods I felt were right for me. PS – don’t be concerned with mixing different flavors – honestly, when it’s all blended together and then mixed into a smoothie for example, you would never be able to detect a funky taste! Once you’ve decided on your superfood smoothie blend of choice, it’s then packaged in a 10oz bag and sent your way!

Here’s what I ended up going with for my superfoods of choice (PS – these benefits were taken directly from the OLS site):
A S H W A G A N D A: you be familiar with this one from my latest blog post on my superfood coffee. As a reminder, Ashwaganda can aid in lowering stress & anxiety levels, improving sex drive, mood, menopausal support, fertility, and memory support.
B A O B A B: has been known to increase energy and stamina, improve sexual function in men and women (often called “herbal viagra”), reduce hormonal dysfunction during menopause, regulate hormonal imbalance, and enhance mental ability.
B E E P O L L E N: Bee pollen contains 96 known nutrients, and they’re all highly bioavailable. Bee Pollen contains 40% high quality protein, it’s packed with live enzymes, and is the highest dietary source of rutin, which helps controls blood pressure and increase the strength and integrity of cell walls and the heart. It’s also a natural antibiotic, it increases energy levels and endurance, and is an excellent free radical scavenger.
M A T C H A: known for having preventative cancer, anti-aging, and heart disease properties, as well as being a helpful weight loss aid, detoxifier, mind enhancer, and energy booster.
S P I R U L I N A: is high in chlorophyll, plant blood which has magnesium as its central atom and gives plants their dark green color. Human blood has iron as its central atom, which aside from that, they have basically the same chemistry and can readily repair tissues, strengthen immunity, boost energy, support cellular health, cardiovascular health and eye function.
M O R I N G A: contains powerful antioxidants and inflammatory compounds. It is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Moringa helps with balancing cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels (hence it protects against diabetes), boosting immunity, stimulating metabolism, aiding in digestion, promoting a feeling of well-being, and assisting in weight loss. It’s also a great energy booster, anti-bacterial, it protects the liver and kidneys, provides fast recovery after grueling workouts, and it can be used as a water purifier and due to its amino acid content.
L U C U M A: It’s been a symbol of fertility for millennia. It also helps to curb cravings and appetite. Lucuma is high antioxidants, fiber and B-vitamins like beta-carotene and niacin (B3).
G I N G E R: used as a digestive aid, helps to promote healthy sweating, a form of detoxification which is often helpful during colds and flus. Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds — these substances have been shown to provide relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – as they can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility.

…One more thing – did I mention that you can use my discount code at check out – CALLILOVESOLS for 20% off ANY of their products!

Now that you have a pretty solid idea of why superfoods can be such a great addition to your daily diet, here are some ideas for how to incorporate these friendly ingredients in day-to-day meals! Simply click on the photo and follow the link to the instagram pic for details on ingredients. I’m happy to go into detail on measurements in a later blog post if folks are interested! Unfortunately, I have a tendency to just estimate!

Green Superfood Smoothie
Warm Coconut Superfood Chia Bowl
Green Superfood Smoothie BOWL
Green Superfood Smoothie II

Enjoy!!


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