Food & Fuel

Cookie Dough Paleo Protein Balls

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I love cookie dough! So anytime I can eat it and feel re-fueled, I am all in. This is a simple recipe that can take 10 minutes to bust out and then you have protein balls ready to enjoy for the next few weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic cashew butter (it is expensive, but oh so worth it)

  • 1/2 cup honey/maple syrup/monk fruit sweetened syrup (pick a sweeter of your choice)

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1 1/2 cup Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Stevia sweetened chips

  • Option to add chia seeds (I want to try this next time!)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine cashew butter, with sweetener.

  2. Add coconut flour and stir until the batter is thick enough that there is no dough sticking to the sides of the bowl.

  3. Add chocolate chips and stir evenly

  4. Make into desired size balls

  5. Place in freezer for 20 minutes and then store in an air tight container in the fridge or keep them in the freezer.

I am addicted and love to eat them as an afternoon snack or as a sweet treat with my coffee. They beat buying a gross bar or empty afternoon cookie.

Try them out and let me know how they go.

Summer Vegan Pesto Zoodle Pasta + Bonus Meal

I lovvveeee the zoodle invention and I forget how easy, nutritious and delicious it can be for a quick dinner or potluck creation. This weekend I was inspired to get into the kitchen without turning on the oven since it is so hot. Yet, I wanted to make a delicious meal. 

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Instead of wasting time setting up my spiralizer (which in reality only takes a few minutes). I took 4 medium sized zucchinis and used a vegetable peeler to create pappardelle sized zucchini noodles that were so delicious! I lightly sautéed them in olive oil for 2 minutes until they lightly softened and turned a brighter green.

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I then mixed these zoodles with a homemade vegan pumpkin pesto that was so delicious I keep using the leftover pesto as a veggie dip or I mix into salad dressings. 

In a bullet I mixed:

  • 1 cup of fresh basil (washed without the stems)
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • (optional to ad nutritional yeast for a "cheesy" flavor)

*Adjust consistency to your liking. If you want it thicker, add more pumpkin seeds. If you like it thinner, add more olive oil.

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In a big bowl, I combined the cooked zoodles with the pesto and added a bit more salt and a 1/4 of avocado, because avocado goes well with anything. 

Bonus! Since using the veggie peeler on a zucchini can be difficult to use the entire vegetable and I don't want to waste food, I use the left over zucchini scraps and saved them to roast with other vegetables for another meal. Two meals in one. Say whattt!

Let me know if you try this meal at home. Feel free to tag your creation on Instagram @OneWade

 Zucchini, sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil and salt on 400f for 30 minutes. 

Zucchini, sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil and salt on 400f for 30 minutes. 

Beet Strawberry Mint Lemonade

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Summer is here and the livin is easy. While I am soaking up the summer sun at an all day BBQ or hanging by the pool I crave something refreshing and delicious. Rose is delightful, but sometimes I am not in the mood to drink, yet I want to feel festive. I was recently inspired by this Beet Mint Lemonade I had Deru Market for brunch. So this MDW I was inspired to whip up my own version. 

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Ingredients: (enough for 2 drinks)

  • 1 can of La Croix (Pampelmousse)
  • 1 fresh beet (washed and skinned)
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • Juice from 1 whole lemon
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint 
  • handful of ice

Directions:

  1. In a blender (or juicer if you have), blend the beet, strawberries, lemon juice and mint until evenly blended
  2. Add ice and half of a La Croix to each cup, followed by the beet/strawberry/mint/lemon juice
  3. Garnish with extra mint & enjoy!

Although I didn't try it, I could see this drink being pretty tasty with a splash of vodka as well ;). The fresh beet and strawberries make this drink full of vitamin B, C & K as well as the beet and lemon bonafides that support liver detoxification. 

Let me know your thoughts when you enjoy this summer mocktail (or cocktail). 

 

Anti-Inflammation Week

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This week is one of my very favorite weeks: my ‘anti-inflammation’ week for my mind, body and soul. I try to reduce inflammation in my physical, mental and emotional system to prime myself for a cleaner and clearer slate for the new year.  Join along and let me know how you feel as you step into 2018!

These days are the last few pages of the 2017 chapter—a time to simmer in the holiday warmth, finish up any loose ends and start to dream-storm what 2018 gets to look like. I consider this week holy. Time feels slower, emails are quiet, more reading gets done and there is a natural cheer in the air, filled with Happy New Year wishes. The holidays can be a whirlwind—travel, different routines, rich and decadent food can throw you off your game. No matter how mindful you are. But practicing some intentional self-care can put you back on track and in the driver’s seat so you can head into 2018 feeling your best.

 

For my mind:

Being consistent with my daily meditation practice is a game changer, even if I can only fit 10 minutes in my morning routine. Not only do I feel calmer and clear-headed, but I also notice I am less emotionally reactive and manage stress more effectively. My meditation practice doesn’t just make me feel good, I know it is also doing good for my brain. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon demonstrated that participating in a 3-day mindfulness meditation retreat generated more functional connectivity between areas of the brain and showed lower levels of inflammation in blood work than a similar demographic of people who completed a 3-day, relaxing mindfulness retreat. This research proves the importance of a meditation practice. It can have a positive impact on one’s physiology and actually reduce inflammation in the mind and body. I’m especially amazed that in just 3 days the scientists could detect a difference in the participants’ biochemistry.

Meditating not only feels pleasant, but I consider it a routine, just like brushing my teeth. Meditating reduces brain inflammation, just like brushing my teeth reduces gum inflammation, and my practice leaves my mind feeling minty fresh and clean, just like after a good tooth-brushing session. Staying consistent with my morning meditation routine re-grounds me so I can feel more mentally refreshed and open to the possibilities of the New Year.

 

For my body:

I don’t believe in diets or restricting myself (because life is too short to not enjoy!). However, I do believe in mindful eating and making more intentional food choices based on the wisdom and cravings of my body. For instance, post holiday ho-down, I typically notice I feel sugar-overloaded, dehydrated, and bloated. Sound familiar? Usually this combination is the result of eating more decadent food than I am used to and not being as physically active. That’s why in anti-inflammation week, I make sure to focus on what I am fueling myself with and how I move my body.

The magical three fueling tips, I practice this week are WSC—hot water, soup and cruciferous vegetables to restore my body’s equilibrium.

1.     Water — especially hot water! with lemon, ginger and a cinnamon stick. This 3-some aids in digestion and reducing inflammation. I drink this first thing in the morning and continue to re-fill this concoction with additional hot water throughout my day.

2.     Soup — I love how comforting, nutrient-dense and filling soup can be, especially when it is non-dairy.  I prefer to make a bunch of homemade soups so that at least one of my daily meals can be soup-based, to support my digestive track getting a bit of a break. Some of my go-tos are homemade chicken vegetable, lentil sweet potato or broccoli.

3.     Cruciferous veggies — at every meal. These vegetables are typically what you think of when you imagine fibrous vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. Research suggests that a phytochemical, sulforaphane, found in these veggies have endless health benefits that helps detoxify the body’s system. I make sure to have a medley of different vegetables throughout my week.

And of course I sweat!  This week I tend to be less in the yoga and Pilates mindset and crave more cardio classes such as spin, speed-walking or a run. Sweating is key to flushing out the lymphatic system and getting my blood flowing to help cleanse and neutralize my internal bio-dome as much as my emotional and mental.

 

For my soul:

Slower, colder and quieter days call for space to be introspective and creative. Typically I love to be creative in the kitchen, but post the holidays, I try to keep it simple so my creative outlet gets to come alive in the form of writing or collage-making. I spend time letting my mind wander and connect to my voice. This sometimes comes out in the form of free-writing, poetry or a personal story. This week, building my 2018 vision board called my name. I rummaged through old magazines and selected what images stand out for my 2018 mindset and inspiration.

Due to all of the holiday parties and festivities, I crave to be a bit more introverted this week. I minimize the desire to numb or mask my true emotions with social media or Netflix-binging and instead, go inwards to connect and have my soul goals listened to and honored. I cut through the inflammation of the loud external world and work on dialing it in to what truly matters.

Intentionally making space to take care of myself in this holistic fashion honors my 2017 and is the best investment I can make for my year to come. How are you honoring your 2017 while gearing up for 2018? Share with me in the comments below. 

Protein Balls

The best balls you will ever eat.

 

No matter the time of day, I crave something sweet and delicious. In order to keep my sweet-treat fat-attacks under control, I try to have protein intertwined with a sweet craving.  This way, my body can feel full and have energy verses run on empty carbohydrates or pure sugar highs. This version of a no-bake ball tastes like healthy raw cookie dough, made with all gluten-free and unrefined ingredients. The best part, you get to use your hands to make these suckers and there is no baking time required! I love to take one or two for a grab-and-go snack or afternoon protein pick me up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 9 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp seal salt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower butter (sugar free)
  • 1/3 cup + 2Tbsp raw honey

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Use your hands to combine ingredients evenly. It should turn into a slightly drier cookie-dough like sensation. 
  2. Add chocolate chips and mix evenly.
  3. Use your hands to make TBSP sized balls
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 min to settle. Keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer and eat at your leisure. 

Let me know what your think and how you stay fueled!

Recipes to Comfort the Soul

In times of instability, I pay attention to what fuel I'm putting in my body because I know it effects my mood, emotions and overall energy.  For the past few weeks, I have noticed my body craves more soups and fats and is less hungry for a full, balanced meal (ie meat, veggies, carb).  I have lost my appetite for salads and instead yearn for something warm and smoothing.  I think some of these cravings are natural due to the winter weather; however, the instability of our government has me also searching for comfort and stability within myself. Instead of overeating on heavy carbs or overly-processed sugars to numb my emotions and feel even worse, I am flexing my mindfulness muscles and serving myself nutrients and comfort my body craves.  I want to help heal, hug and support myself compassionately through this trying time rather than fill myself with fuel that makes me feel worse.

Here are a few recipes I have whipped up in the kitchen that I want to share with you—with the hope they inspire you to be mindfully taking care of yourself form the inside out.  Try them out and let me know how they make you feel!

Do you have any other, comforting healthy recipes you want to share?  Feel free to pass them along in the comments below!

 

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

 

So delicious, nutritious and satisfying! I could have this soup every week and never get sick of its taste and texture.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small/medium sweet potatoes chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 2 large carrots chopped into 1/4 inch chunks 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1.5 cups dried lentils (any variety will do); make sure to rinse first
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced into small pieces
  • 1-2 inches of raw ginger, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp. curry powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil

Directions:

Prepare all of your ingredients by washing and cutting all vegetables, garlic, and ginger.

1.     In a big pot, place on medium heat and add olive oil, then chopped onions. Cook the onions until soft and translucent (~3min)

2.     Add the garlic, wait a couple of minutes

3.     Next, add carrots for a few minutes

4.     Then add sweet potatoes

5.     Season with salt and pepper

6.     Add the vegetable stock and turn the stovetop to medium/high until the soup boils

7.     Throw in the raw ginger and, if you like garlic, you can add extra, whole garlic cloves

8.     Once the soup boils, add washed lentils and curry powder and place a lid on the pot to let the soup simmer on medium for 20-30min

9.     The soup will be ready when the lentils completely cook. They should feel soft to touch.

Keep leftovers stored in a glass container in the fridge for future lunches and dinners for the week.  

 

Magical Toast

 

Remember eating cinnamon sugar toast when you where a kid?  It was one of my favorite weekend treats growing up.  Since I can’t stomach adding raw sugar onto any of my foods, I love to create a slightly healthier twist on one of my favorite childhood snacks.

Ingredients:

Directions:

1.     Toast bread in a toaster until desired crunchiness

2.     Slab 1 tbsp. (or more) of butter evenly on the toast

3.     Let the butter melt and then enjoy every sweet and savory bite!

The sweet bread with the rich, fresh and salty taste of the butter is the best combination and super comforting for breakfast.  The fat helps keep me full longer and the sweet taste tickles my taste buds.

 

Leek & Carrot soup

This broth helps open my lungs, my nasal passageways and feels like I am fueling my body with liquid love.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks chopped from the white tips to the bottom of the darker green
  • 2 large carrots cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

1.     Wash and chop all vegetables

2.     In a pot, heat olive oil on medium then add leeks and cook until they are translucent.

3.     Add the garlic and cook until soft

4.     Add carrots into the mixture

5.   Add salt & pepper and let these flavors cook for 5 minutes

6.     Add the vegetables stock followed by turmeric and more salt & pepper if needed

7.     Cover the pot and let the soup reach a boil. Once the soup boils, keep it on a simmer until carrots are tender (~15min). The longer the soup simmers the more flavorful it will become, but it is ready to enjoy at any moment!

 

Steel Cut Banana Bread Oatmeal

I am not usually a huge fan of oatmeal, but this oatmeal makes me feel like I am giving myself a hug from the inside out.

Ingredients:

  • Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, soak in warm water until they soften)
  • 1 tsp. hemp seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp. maple syrup
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped banana

Directions:

1.     Cook oatmeal following directions on the package.

2.    When oatmeal is almost ready, add banana into the mixture until is softens and starts to melt

3.     When the oatmeal is at a desired consistency, transfer to a bowl and top with blueberries, hemp seeds, walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup

 

Vegan Cauliflower Soup

Check out the full recipe here.

Vegan Comforting Cauliflower Soup

This has become one of my favorite recipes to make because it is delicious, nutritious and so easy! 

Ingredients:

  • Head of Cauliflower
  • 32oz vegetable stock
  • Garlic powder
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger powder 
  • Salt/pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash, trim and cut cauliflower into smaller pieces 
  2. Place cauliflower, vegetable stock in a big pot and boil until cauliflower is tender and cuts easily with a knife. 
  3. Season soup with garlic, turmeric, ginger, salt and pepper to your liking. 
  4. Add to your Viatmix, blender or use a immersion blender until creamy and smooth
  5. Serve right away or let it cool and store in glass containers in the freezer for future meals! 

Rainbow Salad

I love cooking with color! The idea of fueling my body with a variety of vegetables that have a variety of nutrients gets me so excited! Not only do I love hydrating my cells with vegetables, but I love the concept of keeping my body strong from the inside out. One of my favorite ways to make a salad (or any dish for that matter) is to tap into my inner artist and use color for inspiration! There are no real rules or directions with a Rainbow Salad, but all you get to do is make a rainbow by using as many colored vegetables that you have in your fridge.

In this salad, I used mixed greens, red cabbage, red peppers, a shredded golden beet  and shredded carrots. Shredding the beets and carrots helps to bring out the sweetness in the vegetables and also adds a softer texture to the salad when there is already some crunch thanks to the cabbage and red peppers.  

Garden Dressing (my measurements are not exact since I use my intuition to create). 

In a blender I combined:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed (seedy mustard would also work!)
  • 2 pinches of dried thyme
  • 2 pinches of dried basil
  • few celery seeds
  • salt
  • pepper

 

What are your favorite recipes that use a lot of color? Share below! 

Green Smoothie Time

Here is a simple recipe for those mornings you want a quick veggie fueled bfast to help jump start your day. 

In a Viatmix or quality blender add all of the ingredients until fully mixed. 

Ingredients: (Serves 2 people. Cut in half to make for 1)

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 big handfulls of spinach
  • hand full of frozen mango slices (~1/2 cup)
  • ~1/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 TBS chia seeds 
  • 1 TBS hemp seeds
  • 3 cups water

So smooth, creamy and delicious! Careful to not drink it too fast so your body has time to digest all of the nutrients. 

Bomb.com Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who has time to read a big long food blog story? No story here besides I love cookies and you must too if you are interested in this recipe! Baking is one of my favorite ways to tap into my creativity and play so I hope you can do the same. I only ask you make, eat and share these cookies with lots of love. As always I love freezing extras so I can have access to them at anytime yet they are out of plain sight. ( A little self-care tip). Enjoy and let me know how they are!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
  • 3/4 Almond meal flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of Soft grass-fed butter
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli chocolate chips 
  • 3/8 cup Coconut sugar
  • 3/8 cup Brown sugar

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda & salt in a small bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix the sugar & butter. Then add the egg and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet and continue to mix until everything is evenly combined.
  • Add chocolate chips.
  • Shape cookies into desired size (mine where probably about 1.5 TBS big and made about 20) and place in the oven for about 8 min.
  • Take cookies out when you see the edges are slightly browned.
  • Enjoy! 

Energize Those Winter Blues

Despite the bright energy of the holidays the days are shorter and the nights are longer.  The winter slumber makes it hard for me to wake up in the morning with lots of energy to jump start the day.  Have you experienced that lately? My body feels sluggish and my mind feels foggy and unmotivated. Spending the past couple of winters in Seattle, a naturally gray and wet place in the winter, I was motivated to find a solution to managing my energy levels.  After some research and self-discovery, I created three staples I practice in my morning routine that give me the boost of energy I crave. Each staple taps into my physical, mental and emotional state—supporting me as a holistic being so I can give more love and energy into the world.

Mind:

 
 

I never was a strong believer in UV lamps and didn’t see how I could fit sitting in front of a lamp as part of my busy daily routine, until, last winter.  My energy was painfully low I was willing to try anything to give myself a boost of energy. I purchased a Vitamin D lamp on Amazon and realized sitting in front of the lamp while I meditate is the perfect combination!  I sit on my meditation pillow for 10-25 minutes situated right in front of my lamp. The glow of the light as well as the glow of meditation helps warm my body from the inside out. I leave my pillow with a greater sense of awakening.  If you are into chakras, I feel like my 6th and 7th chakra are tickled. My eyes are wider, brighter and I can see colors and objects in more clarity than I would if I just sleepwalked into my day. If you are not yet a meditator, try practicing your morning stretches or fitness routine in front of the lamp. It will give you that extra boost of energy to get you moving.

Body:

 
 

For breakfast, even when I am not super hungry, I jump-start my day with a couple of spoonful’s of homemade chia seed pudding.  Fueling my body with nutritious and delicious chi seeds fills me up with omega 3, antioxidants, fiber, protein and potassium–giving my body energy, nutrients and the gasoline it needs to function smoothly throughout the day. I am obsessed with this chia seed pudding recipe because it is so quick, easy and delicious! I know some people love having chia seeds in their smoothies or in a simple glass of water.  However, for me, I don’t like the slimy texture of drinking my chia water and to be honest I am not always craving a green smoothie. Having chia seed pudding is like having better-tasting non-dairy yogurt. I sometimes will add granola, seeds, fresh or dried fruit to mix up the texture, taste and depth of the meal.  Try it. It’s delicious!

Chia Pudding Recipe

Mix together:

  • 4 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 cup non dairy milk of choice
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla
  • Let pudding congeal in the fridge for 10 hours before enjoy it’s deliciousness!

Soul:

Some mornings it is as though my body has arrived but my “beingness” hasn’t shown up yet. That sensation you might feel if you haven’t had your morning cup of joe–where your eyes are slightly closed, and life feels like its on autopilot. Do you know the slumber I am referring to?  In those sluggish instances, instead of getting sucked into the vortex rhythm of the day, I bust on the radio (yes I still have a radio and use it) and dance to whatever song KEXP is playing.  I get my body moving in all sorts of directions (even “un-attractive” moves) to stimulate myself physically and mentally. The music helps to evoke my soulful creative energy that anchors me in the freedom of dance.  I get to feel alive, present and think on my feet. The best part of having a mini dance party, even if its for 20 seconds, is that it gets to spark more energy and joy that I can carry into my day and help spread to others.

Let me know how these energizing winter tips support you. I would love to hear any of your own morning routines to help beat the slumber of winter! Feel free to write them below or send me an email.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Snack Attack - Energize-me Granola

 
 

This is a great recipe to make for yourself or as a gift! You can store the granola in mini mason jars and wrap them with a bow as a thoughtful present made with lots of love. Or if you are making this for yourself (no shame in that), you now have a new breakfast option or a healthier snack that you can grab on-the-go.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (can use gluten-free oats as well)
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (ie, from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed (same from TJ)
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1tbs coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 5 tbs coconut oil
  • 4 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • While cooling add:
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbs raw honey (helps make clusters of goodness)
  • 4 tbs hemp seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't, but this trick makes cleanup easier!).

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, sliced almonds, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in the microwave. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Then whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are well-coated.

3. Pour the granola mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread granola into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. While granola cools add the hemp seeds, cranberries, currents and honey.

*Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.


BOMB BLONDIEs

The best part of this recipe is that the dough is so delicious and pliable that you can make them into mini muffins or cookies if blondies aren't your thang.  You can also tap into your creativity and add any type of toppings you want (dried cranberries, coconut flakes, raises, nuts, white chocolate... etc). This is a great recipe to make if you are heading to a potluck, hosting or just want to send someone a gift. They are my fav!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten (make it vegan by adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Add any other toppings that you love: coconut, walnuts, white chocolate chips etc...

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8X8 pan with oil of choice.

2. In a bowl add: almond flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Melt coconut oil in microwave-safe container and add oil to the bowl. Afterwards, use the same microwave container to measure 1/4 cup honey and then add to the big bowl (placing the honey in the same container as coconut oil helps prevent the honey from sticking). Add egg and stir until the batter is completely mixed.

4. Combine chocolate chips to the bowl (and any other toppings) before placing the batter in a greased pan. Note, when you spread the batter, try to evenly coat the pan with a thin layer. It may look like there isn't enough to cover the whole pan, but I promise there is. The batter will rise a decent amount.

5. Cook for 15-20 min, until browned and no batter sticks to a fork when you check.

Let cool and then slice and serve or slice and freeze. These blondies taste great frozen :).


Paleo Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

The most moist (sorry for the choice of word), satisfying, flavorful and delicious banana bread I have ever tasted! I love how there is no added sugar besides what's in the chocolate and the naturally-sweet bananas. This usually lasts a week (or less) after enjoying for breakfast or afternoon snack. Sometimes I omit the nut butter when I don't want something with extra protein. Loafs make great gifts so don't hesitate to bake this for someone special (again that can be your self).

Get the Recipe Here: http://www.bakerita.com/paleo-chocolate-chunk-banana-bread/

How Obama and I are Different

Obama and I are very different. Not because he is black and I am white or that he is male and I am female. Not even because he is the President of the United States and I am a Life Coach. We are different because I eat something different for breakfast each morning and he doesn’t!

If you aren’t aware, Obama eats a bowl of cold cereal and banana every morning, according to the Harvard Business Review. In an effort to narrow down all of the important decisions he makes on a daily basis, he practices “routinizing the routine.”  He would rather spend less mental energy on everyday menial and monotonous tasks to conserve energy for more important decisions.  I get it. However, this is where Obama and my personal philosophy differ.  For me, those everyday tasks add up and affect my overall energy. To wake up each morning and mindlessly eat the same meal and dress the same way would feel as though I was sleep-walking.  I know humans are creatures of habit and that routines and rituals are great, but I come from the school of thought that it is important to mindfully check in with yourself in order to make decisions that best suit you in each and every moment.

When we start to live out of habit, life becomes repetitive and stagnant.  When we stay in the moment to choose what our body craves, what our mind wants and what would feed our soul, we are truly living.  You might be wondering: Wade, we are talking about breakfast here, how can you grow via a simple breakfast decisions? My response is there is growth and opportunity in every moment we breathe!  Being mindful of how you nourish yourself when you first wake up is the spark and starting point for all that you feed yourself for the rest of the day.  I don’t just mean food. I’m talking about entertainment, sights, sounds and textures.  I believe experiencing the same sensations every morning numbs you and prevents your senses and intuition from fully being alive.  I am all for simplifying life.  However, deciding your breakfast and starting your morning gets to be the perfect place to practice mindfully connecting to your inner self.

If you are ready to break the routine and stop eating your cold cereal and banana; try tapping into yourself on a cellular level.  Take a minute to pause, breathe and check in with your body and explore what your taste buds crave.  Be curious as you explore, and just notice what arises in the body and mind.  Maybe your body is telling you it wants oatmeal, eggs, toast, fruit, yogurt or even quinoa for breakfast.  Get as creative as you want and just explore what would be the most nourishing. Heck, create your own out-of-the-box concoction.  Start your morning by creating a healthy and satisfying breakfast that will jump-start your day and awaken your senses so that you can actually make more alive and productive choices.  Turn your mental energy to renewable energy by staying engaged and awake to the world around you and inside of you. When you pay attention to what your body wants, you are energizing it in a more powerful way that can also transform your day.

Five Tips on How to Beat Hanger

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with hanger? Hanger is an infectious, mind- and body-numbing condition that combines the worst of Hunger and Anger.

Diagnosed with Hanger for as long as I can remember, my symptoms commonly include: a burning black hole in the pit of my stomach, pulsating veins, fidgety hands and uncontrolled irritability followed by shallow breathing and a foggy brain. When hanger hits, I turn into a different person. A demon possesses my body and takes control of my limbs. I stop caring about others. I say hurtful comments. My moral compass stops as my mind and body dip into survival mode. My hanger can be so vicious that it ruins special events such as date nights, adventures or celebrations. When my hanger dissipates and my demon vanishes, I am left feeling embarrassed for how immature and irrational I behaved. I recently hit a point in my life where I was tired of letting hanger control me and affect those around me. I decided to take charge of my condition and created these five tips to keep the demon dormant and my life in balance.

Even though hanger is like a virus that will always be beneath the skin, you can practice these five tips to manage symptoms and outbreaks so that you can control hanger and not let it control you.

1. Pack a Snack

Never leave home without a bag of nuts, an apple or a healthy bar. You never know when your hunger will strike, so combat hanger by having a handy snack on hand to keep your blood sugar and mood in balance. You would bring a snack for a toddler to pacify a potential temper tantrum… wouldn’t you? Think of the same self-care act for yourself!

2. Breathe

In case you don’t have an emergency bar in your bag, right before shit hits the fan and you start to notice the symptoms creeping in: connect to your breath. Your breath is the anchor to keep you in the present moment, away from desperate thoughts, sticky emotions or distracting physical sensations.

3. Smile

Fake it until you make it. Even if your irritability is at its peak… smile! Notice how your energy shifts. Smiling releases endorphins which help send positive vibes throughout your body and pull you out of survival mode. When you are not in your fight/flight stage, you are able to control your reactions. Smiling helps to soften not only your reaction, but the reaction and energy of those around you.

4. Let go

Let go of any deep or surface thought or emotion that makes you feel stuck. Let go of your fears that you will not be fed. Let go of your fears of not feeling safe. Let go of your desire to control the situation. When I start to feel a thought surface that doesn’t serve me, I just imagine popping it like a bubble in the sky. Pop!

5. Anchor Yourself

After freeing yourself from current thoughts, emotions and sensations, bring yourself back to the present moment with an anchoring thought. Shift your energy. Try repeating: I am present; I am breathing; I am alive. Any time you start to feel yourself drift to unhelpful thoughts or emotions, bring yourself back to those anchoring thoughts that help you connect to your breath. If these anchoring thoughts don’t work for you, create your own!

Once you start practicing these five tips, your hanger symptoms will soften. Your outbreaks will shorten, and soon enough you will realize that battling hanger was a thing of the past. You will now have control of the hanger virus instead of this brutal and debilitating virus controlling you. It’s time to get your life back and put you in the driver’s seat.

Tips for Staying Balanced During Summer Fun

Summer is here.  The grills are fired, the beer chilled, and the snacks are flying.  How can you keep yourself balanced during your summer parties and feel satiated without overindulging?

Summer BBQs and potlucks are a great time to be with friends, family and to enjoy the glorious outdoors.  It is also a time where people feel challenged about how to eat in balance when faced with so many tempting options.  Discover these 5 tips to create balance in your summer so that you can enjoy social gatherings without overindulging.

1.     Become the Veggie Queen/King

When attending a BBQ or potluck, always opt to bring a healthy dish. This doesn’t mean boring or plain tasting, it just means something nutritious that didn’t come pre-packaged.  For instance, a crunchy cabbage salad, fruit salad or any of these healthy recipes. This way you always have a healthy and yummy option to enjoy and share with others.  Help spread the goodness of vegetables!

2. On your plate before in your mouth

Ditch the mindless, pre-meal chip-snacking.  Wait until you can grab a plate and see exactly what you are enjoying.  Heighten your level of consciousness and notice the choices you are making.  This doesn’t mean chips and dessert can’t be on your plate, it just means you can place your food on your plate before you place it in your mouth.  Notice how you eat less and feel more satisfied because you are actually paying attention to what you consume.

3. Fill your plate once

Create a balanced plate the first time around filled with protein, veggies and healthy carbohydrates. If you go back for seconds, make it a round of veggies to fill you up with more nutrient-rich foods rather than empty, processed foods.

4. Hydrate with lemon.

Make sure you are drinking lots of water to combat any salty foods that are enticing the snack attacks. Lemon not only has Vitamin C, but it helps to balance your body’s pH while keeping your taste buds occupied and happy.

5. Skip eating dessert if you are drinking it.

Sugary alcoholic beverages can spike your blood sugar and throw you off balance.  If you choose to enjoy a mixed drink, think about passing on the ice cream.  Your body doesn’t need to overload on both fronts, yet you don’t want to feel the tension of restricting yourself. Choose which one you want to appreciate, and then savor each bite/sip.

8 Simple Steps to Master Mindful Snacking

I remember my mom asking me a very wise question when I was about 10 years old.  I had asked her for a snack before bedtime and she curiously responded: “What part of you is hungry? Are your eyes hungry? Are your hands hungry? Are your taste buds hungry? Are you thirsty? Or is your belly actually hungry?”

I remember having an Oprah, “Aha moment.”  It struck me that the sensation I was experiencing before bedtime might not be true hunger.  I took a moment to pause and replied: “My taste buds are hungry.”  My mom asked if I still wanted a snack since I wasn’t “truly hungry” and I indeed did, so she cut me up a juicy orange.

Since that evening, I pay attention to my inner dialogue because I realize I snack when I am not truly hungry.  Today, I ask myself: “Ok, am I actually hungry?  Or am I just trying to satisfy some other part of me?”  Sometimes, asking myself this question, I realize that only my eyes are hungry because something looks so good.  Other times, I realize my hands are hungry because I am feeling bored.  And sometimes I realize I am indeed hungry!  Usually, I listen to my voice of reason and snack mindfully.  Other times, I ignore my body and overindulge.   Snack or no snack, I check back in with myself to evaluate how I feel and grow more conscious of how my body reacts.

Learning to listen to yourself is a skill that takes time.  Learning to understand and obey what your body needs is a talent.  I am constantly working on both. The simple intention to understand what is going on in your mind and body is foundational.  Working this mindfulness muscle strengthens your connection to your feelings and thoughts.  This way, when you are snacking, potential feelings of guilt dissipate because you are conscious of where that urge is coming from and how to appropriately satisfy the craving.  You will eventually grow so strong that you will be fully present with each bite, chew and swallow—able to identify which part of your body you are actually feeding.  Until then, treat yourself with love and kindness while you learn to pay attention to your mind, body and how you feed it.

Follow these simple 8 steps to master mindful snacking:

1.     Pause and connect to your breath

2.     Ask yourself: “What part of me is truly hungry?”

3.     Make your snacking decision based on what your body truly desires

4.     Check back in with yourself to understand how your decision made you feel

5.     Make non-judgmental observations

6.     Breathe

7.     Let go and carry on with the rest of your day

8.     Send yourself love and kindness

Create Food, Warmth, and Smiles... All Year Long!

Another holiday season has come and gone. The time of year when people pause their work life to spend a little more time with their family and friends--cultivating a sense of community and warmth.  I know the holiday season may be daunting to some; however, for me, it is a special time for all of my favorite things: family, friends, food and fitness.  Simply because the holidays are over does not mean the party has to end. My recent trip to the Palm Beach Wine and Food Festival reminded me of just that.  It was an extraordinary, five-day festival that tickled all of my senses.  My sister, Sweet Loren, brought me to this event as her assistant.  As a foodie, a lover of people, and an avid beach walker, I was in heaven!  Every morning, I took a walk on the beach and spent some time meditating in the sun.  The days became more decadent when we ventured off to 3 course lunches and dinners--tasting delicious food created by some of the best chefs in America.  Francios Payard prepared my favorite meal of the week.  The lunch started off with a fresh crab salad, followed by a mouth watering miso-glazed Chilean sea bass, followed by a decadent stuffed quail, and finished with a mind-blowing hazelnut candy bar dessert.  Tasting these flavors and experiencing the rhythm of the meal with strangers was so inspirational for my soul.  Eating such beautiful food in a communal setting created an atmosphere of warmth, smiles and mindfulness.  I watched myself and others let down their barriers, share their stories and fill their bodies with love as we all ate, tasted and savored each bite.

I walked away from this dream-like week with a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the human spirit-- understanding we are all humans who strive to connect to one another and grow from our experiences.  I was reminded that a delicious meal can act as a vehicle for cultivating meaningful relationships.  So just because the holidays are over does not mean we should stop putting intention and love into the meals we create and the people we share them with.  Instead, it should inspire us to deepen our relationships and put more effort into what we are doing and whom we are doing them with.  Allowing ourselves to still take pleasure in celebrating each day, each other, and what we feed ourselves. Allow the nourishment and warmth of the holidays to continue throughout the year.  Create special memories and moments with strangers and loved ones.  Witness how sharing meals open up doors of generosity, laughs, support and love.

Healthy and Happy Fourth of July

Happy Independence Day everyone! The day of the 3 “B's” has arrived, as most of us will celebrate our Independence Day by Barbecuing, drinking Beer and wearing Bathing suits.  This day only comes once a year where us Americans like to go big or go home.  The challenge here becomes not over doing it in the food or beer department.  The question then becomes, how can we muster up enough self-control  to have fun, but not drive ourselves over the edge?

Below are some helpful suggestions about making this holiday a healthy and happy one, that wont make YOU feel bad about yourself the next day.

Suggestions:

1.     Get the endorphins and blood flowing by doing some form of exercise in the morning.  You will probably spend most of your day sitting and chatting, so get your body moving!

2.     Start off the day eating a healthy and balanced breakfast—consisting of a protein and carb.  It also doesn’t hurt to get some veggies in!  Having a solid breakfast will keep your blood sugar stable so you will feel on track as you head to your afternoon/ evening BBQ.

3.     Arrive to your BBQ with mindfulness in mind—take your time to say hello to the hosts/other guests.  Enter into your mindfulness state where you get in touch with your breath and feel the energy of your environment.  Anchor yourself in the situation so you feel centered and in control.  This will help you make smart decisions throughout the night.  (This means no running for the food/ drink table the second you get there).  Remember to PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT and ACT as you feel good about what you decide to drink, eat and do.

4.     Food choices—make sure you are making decisions in tuned to what YOU are craving.  If you are craving that burger, GO FOR IT! However, maybe you would feel better to split it with a friend or eat it without a bun?  Don’t think about restricting yourself, but focus on eating smartly and mindfully.  Also, remember to load up on lots of veggies before reaching into the chip bowl.  Carrots, celery and other raw veggies are delicious to eat with salsa or other light dips.

5.     Focusing on the lights—once you have eaten your meal, spend your energy else where in the party.  Don't socialize by the food table as this may make you more tempted to snack.  Get yourself to play a yard game with friends, go for a walk along the beach or go mingle with someone new—fill your mind with something else than food.

6.  Hydrate!—Drink lots and lots of water! Remember to keep hydrated throughout the day.  This will not only prevent you from feeling the heat of the sun, but it will prevent you from over eating.  Studies have shown that your mind might think you are hungry, when in fact you are only just thirsty!  Add lemon or other fruit flavors to keep you quenched and hydrated throughout the day.

7.   Most importantly, HAVE FUN, BE SAFE and TREAT YOURSELF WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT!

Cooking Up Nourishment for YOUR Mind and Body

I have always been a foodie for as long as I can remember. This is due to growing up in a house where my family didn’t even finish its first meal of the day before discussing what we would eat next. We grew up trying to make each meal delicious, nutritious and of course: satisfying. I never use to take part in the cooking since I was the youngest of 3 siblings in a house where everyone was an amazing chef. I was, however, very much involved in the planning, critiquing and of course, 'dish duty'. It wasn't until I moved to Buenos Aires that my passion to eat good food expanded to learning how to cook yummy food as well. As I began to cook for myself, I realized how difficult cooking something delicious actually is. It took sometime to get my hands dirty and feel comfortable around the kitchen. I started to enjoy cooking more and more because I was not only creating more delicious meals, but it became another form of meditation. I realized sometimes I felt rushed to cook for no reason that I would chop my vegetables too fast and unevenly that my meal would end up a bit discombobulated and not as enjoyable. So instead, I learned to use my cooking time as a way to PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT and ACT. I used the action of chopping as a way to slow down my mind and breathe so I could cut with intention. I also worked on controlling my mind by being patient while boiling water or sauteing food. This waiting time works to breathe and enjoy the process of cooking--whether it be solo or with loved ones. The act of cooking something homemade means you are filling your mind and body with good intentions and love. You have thought about what ingredients and spices sound the most satisfying and nurturing to your body, allowing you to get to know yourself on a deeper level.

Suggestion: Start cooking! Whether it be after you come home from work or on the weekends. Make time to cook something delicious instead of picking up the phone and ordering in. You will be shocked at not only how much money you will save, but how much more satisfying meals will be, and you might just lose a bit of that extra weight! Plan out your meals ahead of time by thinking of fun recipes to try or just follow your instinct and through a bunch of things together. While you are cooking, pay attention to yourself and do not allow yourself to get anxious or frustrated. Remember the motto to PAUSE, BREATHE, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT, and ACT. Fill your meal with love and compassion by taking the time to make it that much more delicious and nutritious. When you focus on the task at hand and are in the moment, you always do a better job than letting your mind race in a million directions. Notice how much tastier, satisfying and visually pleasing your meals will be. Enjoy your meal by eating slowly so you can taste each bite and discover what improvements could be made to the recipe. Take note of how the food nourishes your mind and body so that you learn to fill yourself with only positive things!

Remember: You have one mind and one body, so let's learn to use them right! (and feed it right!)