Pretty Purple Smoothie à la Laura

 

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“drink me”

I love filling my various stomach chambers with freshly made smoothies. This delightful concoction is called the “Pretty Purple Smoothie à la Laura” because it’s pretty, it’s purple, and it was submitted to us by our friend Laura. Thanks betch.

Here’s the recipe:

  1. One cup liquid (almond milk, soy milk, water)
  2. One cup frozen blueberries
  3. 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  4. 1 cup kale
  5. Vanilla low fat greek yogurt
  6. A couple drops vanilla extract

Laura recommends freezing the berries yourself, but I suspect that Laura is a filthy liar who has never frozen a berry in her life.

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…more lies

I’ve never tried vanilla extract in my smoothies, but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be amazing.

Thank you Laura!!

Enjoy 😀

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Emotional eating and peanut butter banana sammies

This topic hits really close to home. I crave food the most when I am sad, stressed, nervous, made, or anxious. Basically it hits when I “just can’t deal”. For many years, emotional eating derailed me from succeeding on whatever diet plan I was on at the moment (we need to discuss the word diet at some point. I really hate that word. It’s a lifestyle change… once I realized the difference between diet and lifestyle change, my world changed).

Cortisol is a stress hormone that triggers cravings for foods that give immediate pleasure like high fat foods, foods that are salty and sweet. My go to foods were always pasta and breads and if I wasn’t home, man oh man, the most comforting food to me was Wendy’s #6- spicy chicken sandwich. Eating that food gave me such a temporary high. It reduced all my stress and made me feel like everything was ok in the world. But then I would get so mad at myself for eating those bad foods. What a vicious cycle from sadness and stress to anger and around and around we’d go.

Emotions are sometimes hard to control, BUT, we can control how we consume foods. I have my moments of weakness but not as bad as before and I definitely don’t beat myself up over it anymore because guilt is just another negative emotion.

Here are ways I’ve been able to help myself and I hope my experiences can help you too.

 Know yourself. Know what sets you off and be prepared.

Example: Work stressors. Keep healthy, satisfying snacks around. I always make sure to have something laying around like nuts (I love Emerald’s 100 cal packs of Cocoa Roast Almonds), apples, bananas, protein bars, or my recent favorite, banana peanut butter sandwiches (see recipe below).

 Find ways to cope.

Examples:

-Take your lunch break and go for a walk. Get the blood flowing, get some fresh air and relax. Enjoy the world around you.

-Keep a journal; sort out your thoughts, word vomit all over those pages!

-Take a breath! Breathing is a powerful tool that can prompt relaxation. Check this link out for some useful breathing techniques: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

Get a hobby!

– I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Cycling. It’s back on and we are strong as ever and determined to make it work.

-How about art? Coloring? Check out these adult coloring books: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122

-Watch animal videos on you-tube. I promise, this helps.

Talk to someone

There are a few people in life that can make me feel better- my husband, my parents, and my besties. Thanks guys, I love you!

If you have a moment, let us know what coping techniques you’ve used.

Banana and peanut butter sandwiches to the rescue:

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What you will need:

1 Banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Freezer safe Tupperware

Directions:

Cut banana into dime size pieces, you should be able to make 8-10 “sandwiches”

Spread thin layer of PB on a slice and top with another slice of banana

Put your sandwiches inside a freezer safe dish and freeze at least an hour before eating

Enjoy!

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When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons, squeeze em into your morning water!

Let’s explore the benefits of lemon water, shall we?

  • Lemon water helps the process of eliminating waste products from the body easier. Isn’t being backed up in morning traffic bad enough? Don’t back dem bowels up also.
  • Your liver is asking to be saved after last night. I know what Thirsty Thursday is… Lemon aids your liver in releasing toxins.
  • It benefits the skin: helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Where my ladies at?
  • Lemons help reduce inflammation. If you are planning to shovel your car out today, try preventing a sore throat by drinking a glass of warm water with lemon. #winterstormjonas
  • If you are a workout enthusiast, lemon water helps restore body salt and helps reduce joint inflammation.
  • Lemons are a good source of Vit C which is vital for a strong, functioning immune system.
  • Lemon contains potassium, potassium aids in brain function. Feed-your-brain!
  • Helps lower blood pressure, fight diabetes, and helps fight against eye problems.

I know some of you are just getting up…put down that cup of coffee and grab yourself some lemon water.

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Have a beautiful day,

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Caribbean Jerk Shrimp and Sweet Potato Avocado Mash

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No offense to Paula Deen or my Russian ancestors, but we do not need to use butter in everything! “What do you mash with your potatoes to make them moist and flavorful?”
::insert heavy Russian accent::

 

Say hello to my little friend, Avocado.

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I promise I will get to the recipe in a second but first lets see the difference between avocado and buttah:
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Ingredients for one serving:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs evoo or coconut oil
  • Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • Lemon juice for the avocado and shrimp
  • 3 oz shrimp (I used Target’s Market Pantry small shrimp): 60 cal/13g protein

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Pierce holes around sweet potato and bake for 45-1 hour or until soft or microwave for approx 10 min turning sides once
  • Soak shrimp in cold water for about 15 min
  • Once shrimp have defrosted place in ziploc bag and mix with jerk seasoning. Cook on pan for about 3-5 minutes or until translucent
  • Chop onion and garlic, saute for approx 3 to 4 minutes until translucent
  • Drizzle half avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Mash baked potato and avocado together and mix in onions and garlic
  • Serve with cooked shrimped and lemon wedge

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Avocado Toast On Fleek

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GET INSIDE ME.

So I tend to get a bit teary-eyed when I talk about avocado toast. And fine, it’s true – I might be a Trader Joe’s fangirl.

But I want you to experience this toast.

I swear to you I am not sponsored by Trader Joe’s (if only!). But Trader Joe’s 100% Rye Bread, in particular, is my favorite for this recipe. If you have access to it, you should definitely use it for this recipe.

This toast is so simple and SO good. It’s perfect if you’re cooking for yourself or for two people.  Like many of my other recipes, you can make it all in one pan.

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Don’t stare directly into the pit.

You’ll need:
1. small amount of onion
2. one or two eggs
3. 1/2 avocado
4. one slice Rye (Preferably Trader Joe’s 100% Rye)
5. Optional but recommended: Tomato and/or Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Do whatever you do to make your pan not stick. I use Trader Joe’s Coconut Cooking Spray
  2. Cut up onions, throw them on one corner of the pan. You’ll want to do these first, because they’ll take the longest.
  3. Once the onions have been cooking for a bit, begin toasting the Rye on another portion of the pan. At some point you should flip the Rye.
  4. Crack an egg somewhere on an unused portion of the pan. I cook it sunny side up or scramble it, but wtvr works.
  5. Dump everything from pan onto a plate. Spread avocado on toast, add onions and egg on top.  Nom nom
  6. Optional: cut up the tomatoes and cook them lightly in the span. Add them to your toast. SO good!
  7. Double Optional: Drizzle a little olive oil on the whole concoction. MMMmmmMMMMmm.
  8. Mandatory: ENJOY!!!

Let us know how you modify this recipe to fit your own tastes 🙂

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The Infamous Egg Thing

What is “Egg Thing” you ask?

Egg Thing is elusive… like a dove.
Egg Thing is a feeling more than a recipe. It’s like homespun wool, perfect precisely because of its imperfections.

Egg Thing reminds me of babushka’s cooking – it comes out a little bit different every time. Cooking Egg Thing is like replicating DNA over and over again. The mutations add up. Sometimes they are disastrous, sometimes miraculous – but they always code for Egg Thing.

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Egg thing. Pictured here with besties Butternut Squash Puree and Beet Juice

The Two Foundational Premises of Egg Thing: 
1] The presence of three main ingredients
– mixed veggies
– a cut up veggie burger (but specifically, Morning Star Chik Patties are the most delicious)
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2] The eggs are always added last, and left slightly wet and yolky. DEAR GOD I WANT EGG THING RIGHT NOW!!

Egg Thing changed my life because:
– It can be made in a single large pan
– It’s easy, bc it can be made with microwave steamable veggies
– It’s crazy filling, and you can make many portions at once
– It’s a great intro for someone who is new to healthy eating

Here is How I Generally Make My Egg Thing

Ingredients:
1. Bag of Steamed Vegetables (I usually Bird’s Eye Mixed Vegetables)
2. 1 or 2 veggie burgers (I usually use either Morning Star Original Chik Patties OR Buffalo Chik Patties. I highly recommend trying with these)
3. 2-3 eggs (I try to stick with Organic, Cage Free…yada yada)
Optional: Soy or teriyaki sauce. Or any sauce for that matter.

Directions:
1. Steam veggies according to directions on bag.  I steam them in the microwave for slightly less than the recommended time.
2. Do whatever you do to your pan to make it not stick. WARNING: Egg thing WILL get sticky. I use a ceramic pan and Organic Coconut Oil Cooking Spray from my beloved Trader Joe’s.
3. If you keep your veggie patties in the freezer, defrost them slightly – just until you can cut through them easily. Cut each patty up into 8 or more pieces.
4. Throw patty pieces on pan on a LOW FLAME! Flip them regularly and wait for them to brown slightly.
5. Add steamed veggies to same pan, turn it up a little bit. Wait a bit for everything to cook.
6. Crack eggs directly into the pan. Scramble things around a bit. My egg thing is finished when the egg is still slightly wet and yolky. This makes things so delicious!!

OPTIONAL: Add salt, spices, whatever you want. Almost anything will taste great. I especially love adding a bit of teriyaki sauce. It tastes AMAZING. I usually use Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki.

Egg Thing tastes great hot or cold.
I usually make enough to last me a few meals.

Let us know how you personalize your egg thing!!

Happy Nomming 🙂

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Sweet Potato Avocado Smash

 

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Can I still call it a “recipe” if it only requires two ingredients and a microwave?

Healthy eating for one is hard. Fresh produce goes bad quickly, and buying small quantities isn’t always possible.

Avocados and Sweet Potatoes to the rescue. Here is a quick and healthy recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

You’ll need:
1 or 1/2 avocado
1 sweet potato
salt
Optional: 1 egg, any style

  1. scrub the sweet potato, especially if you intend to eat the skin.
  2. pierce sweet potato with a fork 5-10 times, then wrap sweet potato in a lightly moist paper towel
  3. microwave sweet potato 5-7 minutes, depending on strength of your microwave. Let it cool for a few minutes once its done
  4. cut sweet potato in half, scoop out insides.
  5. smash sweet potato insides together in bowl with avocado and salt to taste
  6. Optional: throw an egg on top for a filling and nutritious meal

 

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YUM!

 

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Salad For Breakfast

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People look at me strangely when I eat this at 7 AM.

Why don’t we eat salads for breakfast? I just won’t stand for it any longer.

And no, I’m not talking about a special breakfast salad. I’m talking about a plate of leaves for you to insert directly into your mouth early in the morning.

I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast to begin with. But if you’re going to eat breakfast, at least make it leafy. Here’s why:

1. Breakfast is disgusting. Salad is not.

 

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Energy for typing. Romaine mix with eggplant, avocado, roasted pepper and a number of lesser fixins.

Your classic breakfast foods are carby, oily, or gross. Eating them will make you feel like a shitty breakfast monster.

Toast and jelly? Carby and pointless. Cereal? Carby, highly processed, and pointless. Bacon? Gross. So deliciously gross. Pancakes and Waffles? More like heartburn and large pants. Eggs? Good start, but even better with mixed veggies. Berries? Now we’re getting somewhere..

2.“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

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This morning’s friend. Mixed greens topped with: homemade vegetarian chili, 1/4 avocado, bruschetta, 1 egg.

I’m skeptical. Not of anything in particular, just of everything I’ve ever been told.

Even so, I subscribe to the idea of eating lightly and mostly plants. It’s not that I think it’s the best way, or the only way, but it works for me.

Eating this way has helped me lose a lot of weight. It’s transformed me from an angel of humility into an arrogant wretch who likes my own selfies. You are now met with the possibility of undergoing a similar transformation.

What we do know objectively is that many plants are good for us. They are often filled with good stuff, including more phytonutrients than current science even understands. Some of these phytonutrients help plants fight UV damage and disease. They might help us do the same. On this subject, check out the book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. It is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read.

If you want to be sexy, and  if you believe you should be getting the majority of your nutrition from plants, then it makes sense to start with your first meal. Breakfast is a great time to eat plants, because every time is a great time to eat plants.

3. Plants might make your gut happy.

We are also beginning to understand that a diet filled with plants might make your gut microbiome happy. Could it be the fiber? The phytonutrients? The fact that veggies tend to take the place of less healthful choices?

It could be that some veggies are ‘prebiotic’ (meaning they encourage growth of bacteria we like). Or it could be that they discourage growth of bacteria we don’t like. I tend to think the effect depends on which vegetables we eat. We have a tendency to group all veggies together, but I don’t completely buy it.

Anyway, the sad truth is we don’t know much of anything for sure. But on this subject, I really enjoyed the book “Brain Maker” by Dr. David Perlmutter.

4. Salad is filling.

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One for the bland palate. Romaine, grilled chicken, shaved parmesan, and croutons.

Maybe you think you have a problem with appetite control. But really, it’s more likely that you’re eating a diet that you were never adapted to eat.

If you eat things that come out of a box for breakfast, it’s likely that those foods are making you hungry all day.

I could never get full when I used to eat processed foods. They are too refined, and digest too easily. Processed foods often lack volume per calorie. They are too calorie dense, and you need too little of them to meet your caloric needs. Hence, you continually over-eat.

Salad, on the other hand, is filled with veggies. Fruits and veggies fill your tummy, signaling that you’re full. Veggies, in general, are not calorie dense. And even those that are are often filled with so much good stuff that it doesn’t even matter.

Add a protein to your salad, and you have a hearty breakfast. You’ll be full for hours. You can even add two proteins.  Later in the day, you’ll feel more inclined to eat healthier because you’ll feel so good. You just need to get used to it.

5. Salad gives you options.

There is no reason to not eat leaves for breakfast. And when it comes to which leaves, or how you dress them – that is up to you. Your salad can be sweet or savory, mild or intense. If you close your eyes and pinch your nose, you might even mistake your salad for a cronut.

I eat salad for breakfast almost every day. My salads are my best friends. Mostly because I talk about salad so much that none of my human friends like me anymore. I love my edible friends.

Great (refreshing!) ingredients for an early morning salad include:
-eggs
-cucumbers
-cherry tomato
-avocado
-seeds

Moral of the story? Salad. Don’t leaf home without it.

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