Monday, August 4, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I've Moved! .Com Style!

Hey all - I've moved my blog over to it's own domain and I'm pretty excited about it! Go check it out and follow me over at by clicking here. Thanks!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Small Goals, Big Dreams.

I started this blog because I thought it'd be the perfect outlet for me to get my thoughts, recipes, inspirations and passions in order and a way to hold myself accountable for all of the above.

As much fun as I'm having, I feel like I can go a little bit bigger. Posting recipes and a few motivational essays is just the beginning.

Giving myself smaller goals has definitely put things into perspective. Through some exploration, I've found out what subjects are exciting for me and which ones are more personal and/or probably not ideal to share just yet.

So what am I rambling on about?

My blog will be moving very soon!

That's right - I'm going to up my game a little bit, build a snazzier site and hopefully make it a place people will want to participate in a little bit more than I'm getting over here.

This has been a great starting point, but I'm ready for the big leagues....ok that's a little cheesy, but you get the drift.

I hope you'll join me and stay tuned for more information!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Quickie Eats: What I Make In A Pinch

Even though I love cooking and creating a whole lot, sometimes a girl just can't be bothered. On those days, I definitely have my go-to foods that leave me feeling nourished and full without much hassle.

And let's face it, sometimes I just throw a bunch of random stuff together until it tastes good. Case in point: #4

Here's a quick peek into some of my favorite easy meals. I added some instructions for each below, but feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions. They're super easy to improvise though, so don't be afraid to mix things up and make them your own.

1. Veggie quesadillas. It doesn't get any easier than throwing veggies into a tortilla and calling it a meal. My favorite quesadilla looks a little like this: 

Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, lightly sauteed vegetables (spinach, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper), black beans, cilantro, my favorite salsa and hummus. Spread the hummus on first and then pile all of the goodies on top. Fold tortilla in half (or use two if you'd like). Heat up in a large pan until both sides are golden brown. 

2. Smoothies! Who doesn't love a good smoothie? While I usually save these for a post-workout treat, I will also blend one up when I have no clue what else to eat. Obviously you can throw just about anything into a smoothie, but I have a formula I like best:

One scoop protein powder (I use pea protein or Vega), 1 cup almond milk or coconut water, 1 cup spinach or kale, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 tablespoon maca powder, 1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds.

3. Pancakes. My pancakes are super basic. I'll switch up the flour I use, but the majority of the flavor comes from my toppings.

1/3 to 1/2 cup flour (buckwheat, oat, or spelt), 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon ground flax, and a pinch of salt. My toppings usually include sliced banana, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, nut butter, sliced almonds and some berries or chopped apple.

4. Carbs, Protein, Good Fats, Whole Grains. Now this was a random meal I made on a whim and then continued to eat every single day for about a week. Yeah, it turned out pretty well.

 One sweet potato, hummus, spinach, black beans, quinoa or brown rice, sprouted pumpkin seeds and avocado. Poke sweet potato a whole bunch with a fork and then bake at 425 for 50 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the potato cools a bit, I heat everything else up in a skillet and then spoon everything on top. That's it. Simple and so very tasty.

5. Oatmeal! Oh man, do I love me some oatmeal. My breakfasts are oatmeal-based about 95% of the time. You can do just about anything with oatmeal, but the photo above is pumpkin pie recipe topped with buckwheat granola, coconut, blackberries,almond butter and sliced almonds.

For the pumpkin pie base, I cooked 1/2 cup rolled oats in about 1/2 cup coconut milk and added two tablespoons canned pumpkin, thinly sliced banana for natural sweetener, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 tablespoon ground flax. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the consistency you like. 

6. My favorite sandwich. Sometimes convenience foods aren't so bad, am I right? I absolutely love Tofurky's Tempeh Maple Bacon. My favorite way to dress it up is on a classic BLT and avocado sandwich. The Happy Campers bread is a local company and I highly recommend them if you're in the Portland area! Their bread is hearty, filling and made of only the best ingredients.

Heat the tempeh bacon in a skillet until lightly brown and then just top with spinach or mixed greens, sliced tomato and avocado. Sometimes I use Vegenaise but we didn't have any in the house so I skipped it this time around. You could also use hummus or another spread if you'd like extra flavor.

So there you have it! Hopefully this gave you some ideas for super quick and easy meals in a pinch. Nothing fancy but still full of flavor and variety - just the way I like most things in life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why Calorie Counting Sucks & Listening To Your Body Instead

I'm going to keep this intro short and sweet: calorie counting sucks. It can leave you feeling out of control, obsessed and exhausted. Even though many big-named nutritionists and trainers will tell you otherwise, here are my personal reasons for throwing in the calorie-counting towel and tips on how to listen to your body instead. So, here we go.

1. It can become daunting and turn into an obsessive and unhealthy behavior. 

Want to go out to eat with your friends on a Saturday night? Unless you become a complete control freak, chances are you can't always pick the place and it's also likely the restaurant won't be listing calorie information on their menu (unless they're a nationwide chain, but what's the fun in that?)

So what are your choices? Stay home and miss opportunities to eat delicious food in great company or make smart choices, eat slowly and maybe even take home leftovers? That doesn't seem like a tough decision at all, now does it?

Even more importantly, constant calorie counting can lead to obsessive behavior. What happens when you're obsessing over every single piece of food you put in your mouth? You get burnt out, which often leads to exhaustion and binging when you've had enough. Smart choices don't have to be so draining - a good balance of healthy foods and "treats" should always be the goal.

2. Most people don't know the actual amount of calories they truly need.

How active are you? Day-to-day, is your activity level exactly the same? Do you really know your resting metabolic rate? Generally speaking, very few of us know this information off the top of our heads.

When I first began my clean eating and weight loss journey this time around, I was shocked at how active I truly was. Between my job, walking my dog several times a day and my fitness routine, I was basically malnourished thanks to society's norm of suggesting a 1500 calorie intake for women who are trying to lose weight. Because of this, I was often cranky and exhausted without knowing why. After getting professional help, I'm back on track and fueling my body correctly. Oh, and I'm not so damn angry (or hangry) all the time, thank you very much.

3. All calories are NOT created equal.

While it can be really helpful to log your food intake at the beginning of a diet change, it can also give you the false impression that everything will balance out simply by doing so.

Contrary to popular belief, 500 calories of fast food french fries is not the same as 500 calories of a meal full of veggies and quinoa. Not only will your body react completely differently to the two meals, but the way that you digest them will be completely different as well.

*Click here if you love geeky nutritional articles like myself and want to learn more about how your body breaks down specific foods.

Case in point: have you ever tried to work out a hour after going through the drive-thru? It sucks. The food doesn't' even feel like it has digested and your workouts won't be as intense or efficient. In fact, your workout will leave you feeling sick and drained when it should be boosting your energy and mood! Not cool, chocolate milkshake. Not cool.

The point of the story: Listen to your body. Are you hungry? Eat. Are you full? Stop. Do you feel as though you need extra fuel for an upcoming workout? Then feed your body! Believe me, it will thank you for doing so.

If you're not used to intuitively eating, this will take practice. I am still learning to listen to my body and fuel it the way it deserves to be fueled. A few resources that have helped me a ton include One Bowl and this article over at Psychology Today.

I know it can all be overwhelming, so take this at your own pace and don't stress yourself out over something that should be enjoyable and natural. As long as you're eating a majority of whole, plant-based foods you can rest assured you're doing the right thing.

Questions or comments? Leave them below - I'd love to start a conversation.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lemon & Dill Baked Tofu & A Summer Salad

Lemon and dill. Such a summer combo, am I right? Both flavors have a lightness about them that make a great pairing as we move into the months of abundant fresh produce and clean recipes that can be whipped up with little effort. 

My first attempt at this marinade was a little too sour thanks to overdoing it on the citrus, but I decided to give it another go and I loved the outcome of the finished product. 

You can pair this tofu with a salad like I did, but it would also be great in a wrap with some hummus and veggies or on their own as an appetizer with your favorite dip. I've included all of the veggies and toppings I used if you'd like to recreate the salad I made - I highly suggest you do, because it was darn good. 

Lemon & Dill Baked Tofu

12 oz extra firm tofu

For Marinade:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
scant teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or minced dried onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and parsley mix

For Breading:
2 tablespoons panko crumbs
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

For Salad:
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup kale, chopped
1/4 cup watermelon, sliced
1/4 cup cantaloupe, sliced
1/4 cup zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup radishes, finely sliced
1/2 cup cucumber, finely sliced
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
Dressing used: tahini sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut tofu block in half, length-wise and then chop into 3-inch strips. 

Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

Place sliced tofu into a baking dish and coat with marinade, making sure to  flip and coat both sides. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. 

Mix breading ingredients in a small bowl and rub mixture onto both sides of tofu. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, flipping tofu halfway through. Tofu is done with edges are slightly golden brown. 

Serve at room temperature with chopped veggies. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Leftover Makeover Mother's Day Edition: Key Lime Tart For Two

On Wednesday, I shared a delicious Key Lime Coconut Cashew Butter recipe with you. Tart and sweet, it's makes a great fruit dip or breakfast topping.

But what about a creamy layer to a super quick and easy tart-for-two? Put this recipe in an adorable mini dish and it makes the perfect personal Mother's Day treat for the special lady in your life.

Key Lime Tart For Two

Top Layer:
1/4 cup Key Lime Coconut Cashew Butter (recipe found here)

1/3 cup pecans
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
2 dates
1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the crust, blend all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a sticky consistency.

In a 3x5 ramekin (I found mine here), smooth crust into an even layer. Let chill in freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Take prepared crust out of freezer and add 1/4 cup pre-made cashew butter on top, smoothing evenly. 

Top with chopped pecans, pistachios and/or lime zest. This recipe tastes best chilled, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Wishing all the mothers out there a lovely day filled with awesome people, delicious food and your favorite me-time activities! Happy Mother's Day!

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Food and nutrition. Wellness and balance. Creativity and style. Welfare and love. This is me and this is my blog. Welcome.