DIY Superfood Smoothie

Smoothies are a summer staple.  

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Give your body a nutritional boost by adding one (or more) of the following to your smoothie:

  • Flax meal – it’s already ground so just add a tablespoon.
  • Hemp protein – excellent for frozen coffee smoothies (check out this delicious vegan recipe).  Buy at your local health food store – usually in the supplement section.
  • Coconut oil 
  • Chia seeds – it really expands so just use a little!  Purchase at your local health food store or online.
  • Cacao nibs – these give you smoothie a wonderful texture and flavor – but be sure to blend well
  • Raw cashew nuts – great for creamy smoothies, use instead of milk and be sure to soak overnight.  I put mine in a glass container in the fridge to soften up.  Easy!

TIPS: 

  • Buy an awesome blender if you don’t already have one.  It’ll perfect the consistency and make the ingredients easier for your body to digest.  Less digestion time = more energy throughout the day.
  • Everyone swears by Vitamix for a reason.. they’re the best brand, in my opinion and they last a really long time.  Can’t afford one?  Try a refurbished model for a fraction of the cost.

Be well,

Nicole

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Hate to Cook? Wrap it Up!

Wraps are so easy and versatile, in minutes you can prepare a complete meal with protein, fiber and veggies.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner wraps are ideal for those that need a healthy meal ready ASAP.   I prefer to eat them fresh because I don’t like soggy wraps but you could certainly prepare in advance and eat later in the day.

To get started, you’ll want to have the following ingredients on hand: 

  • olive oil or ripe avocados
  • fresh tomatoes (I prefer roma)
  • sea salt/black pepper
  • salad greens (e.g. baby romaine, spinach or spring mix- chopped and pre-washed)
  • protein source (e.g. organic eggs, turkey or chicken breast deli slices, tempeh bacon, scrambled tofu, etc.)
  • optional:  black olives, onions, feta cheese, fresh garlic, cilantro or other additions of your choice
  • Sprouted or multigrain wraps – try to avoid the white ones and make sure they don’t have lots of added sugar.
  • Sharp knife and large cutting board

Preparation

Preparation shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes – tops.  If you’re using eggs, tofu or tempeh bacon you can cook these while preparing the vegetables.  This is when having a large cutting board comes in handy.  Have everything on the counter and prepare all your veggies, seasonings and then layer in the wrap.  Add your protein source last, wrap up with foil (to keep from falling apart) and eat on the spot or save for later.  Pairs wonderfully with chilled herbal tea and hummus & rice crackers.

Recipes/Inspiration

There are lots of books which will inspire you to try different variations.  I prefer Pinterest when I need inspiration; check it out!

Be well,

Nicole

A Fall Favorite: Flavorful Pumpkin Seeds

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Pepitas, or pumpkins seeds are a great snack when you’re craving something salty & crunchy.  I’ve found that most health food stores carry raw, unseasoned pumpkin seeds.

Why Eat Pumpkin Seeds? 

Guys, these are especially good for you as they’re loaded with magnesium which may help you live longer; I’ve also heard they help maintain prostate health. They’re also a great source of healthy fats (not the artery clogging kind), fiber and protein.  Much healthier than chips and other processed snacks.

Recipes to Try

You only need a few ingredients and an oven.  I craved a chili/lime concoction so I used this recipe, which is amazing and I just added some fresh lime juice which made the other ingredients “pop.”  If you want to try other recipe variations, turn to the Food Network for some inspiration.

Easy to Make

It’s really this easy…..just add the seeds, a little healthy oil and your favorite spices to a large bowl.  Stir well, spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake.  After they cool completely, store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Enjoy!

-Nicole

A Light Healthy Lunch To Keep You Going

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Happy New Year!  Hope your year’s been off to a wonderful (and healthy) start. Life’s been hectic this month but OF COURSE I’ve managed to squeeze in time to try new recipes. 😉

This turkey and avocado sandwich is so simple and good for you.  Making this vegan is easy – add tempeh bacon instead of turkey.  I can’t wait to make it again soon. Loaded with Nutrients This power lunch is packed with healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains and veggies.  It’s truly a winner!  Make in the morning before work and keep chilled.  Of course it tastes best right after you make it, but for those of us eating on the go, it isn’t always possible.  Pair it with tea and a piece of fruit or tamari rice crackers.

Here’s the recipe and instructions:  Continue reading

Think Cupcakes Aren’t Healthy? Think Again!

IMG_6034Who knew black beans would be a key ingredient in a cupcake recipe?  If you love coffee and chocolate, try this super easy cupcake recipe.  It is almost too good to be true 🙂  And, you can easily make this recipe vegan.

Aside from the ingredients below, you’ll need a food processor or blender to puree the black beans.  This step is critical to keep the consistency super smooth.  I promise, you won’t be able to taste the beans, but you’ll still get all the nutritional benefits including the fiber & protein.  I’ve made these many times and they’re one of my all-time favorite healthy desserts.

10 Ingredients = Deliciousness in 30 minutes 

  1. Black beans
  2. Baking soda
  3. Baking powder
  4. Eggs = optional
  5. Flax (can be used in place of eggs)
  6. Agave or honey (healthier than white sugar)
  7. Vanilla extract
  8. Ground coffee (use less than the recipe below calls for, otherwise they’ll taste bitter)
  9. Baking cocoa
  10. Optional (Frosting – see recipe for details, it’s easy to make!)

The recipe has been adapted from NPR.  I eat these without frosting but you can certainly make your own, or purchase store-bought frosting if you’re really pressed for time.  Keep in mind these varieties are often loaded with sugar so omit or make your own to keep these on the healthy side.  :0)  These are excellent with hot chocolate or coffee and kids won’t know they’re healthy which makes these so fabulous.

Enjoy!

Nicole