How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Ever Worrying About Weight Gain

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  The holiday season has officially arrived. There is something special about breaking bread together and enjoying good food. Usually the food is a little too good and we tend to overindulge leading to that infamous holiday weight gain… or is that just what happens to me?!  

A few years ago, I would worry so much about gaining weight over the holidays. I would skip meals, so I could indulge at a potluck or obsessively exercise to mitigate the damage of a big, unhealthy meal. This was not only stressful, but totally inefficient. Every year I would end up gaining weight, feeling bloated, tired, and like a failure. Then in January I would join the masses in recommitting to healthy lifestyle changes.

This cycle was exhausting and no way to live.

I wanted to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way, including the FOOD– without guilt or stress. You, too, can make peace with your plate and enjoy a stress free holiday without worrying about gaining weight.

First, you must make up your mind and prioritize committing to a healthier relationship with food and your body.

Next, incorporate these simple strategies into your holiday social calendar and reap the benefits.

holiday weight gain

 

Take the focus OFF the food.

Focus on fun, family and friends. Often I’m so busy socializing that I forget to eat or end up eating less!

 

Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals to save up your calories for later on will backfire. You’ll end up eating much more than you normally would have, because you’re so hungry. This causes your body to store more of the excess calories as fat.

You don’t have to starve all day to earn your dinner. Before the big meal, eat lighter meals like smoothies, salads, fruits and veggies throughout the day instead.

 

Build a Better Plate

You’re face to face with a beautiful spread of delicious foods. What do you put on your plate?

Fill up on fruits, vegetables and salads to get your nutrients. These foods usually have fewer calories and will fill you up quicker, preventing over doing it on mom’s stuffing.

Go easy on the calorically dense options, specifically dessert. Of course you will and definitely should enjoy some pie but limit yourself to one slice. Try not to have one of every dessert on the table, but if you must, then at least share with someone.

 

If you don’t LOVE it, don’t eat it.

Sometimes a few bites is all you need, then move on to the next thing on your plate.

 

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Alcoholic drinks, sodas or juices are big culprits for weight gain.That wine or cocktail you’re sipping on can easily and quickly add up to the same amount of calories in a full meal.  

Sip slowly. Hydrate with water between drinks. Limit the number of drinks you consume.

I don’t know about you, but I much rather eat my calories than drink them.

 

Eat Before You Eat

Never go to a food gathering hungry. Having a satisfying snack before going out will help you have more control over your food choices and portions.  

 

Stay Consistent with Exercise

The holidays bring about a lot of stress and hustling & bustling. This is a time of year you need to workout more than ever because exercise helps you combat stress. You’ll instantly be in a better mood and equipped to handle whatever curveballs come your way. It’s also a great way to balance out some of the extra calories you’ll likely be consuming.  However, it’s super important to remember that you don’t, and should never, feel like you must exercise to eat. Exercise to maintain your weight and to feel energized, focused, strong and healthy.

 

Potlucks

If you’re going to a potluck style gathering, be that person that to bring a healthier dish. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I usually bring some fruit, a green salad, or just simple roasted veggies.

 

Eat intuitively

Listen to your body’s cues. Does it feel full? Bloated? How will you feel tomorrow?  Are you eating in a way that nourishes and honors your body, or the opposite? Be sure to chew your food and enjoy how it tastes. Eating mindfully will help you stop eating when you’re full.

 

And if you accidentally go overboard... Be kind to your body, forgive yourself, let it go, and do better tomorrow.

 

Now go enjoy that pumpkin pie, girl! Feel confident that you are going to make better choices this holiday season and maintain a healthy weight.

When you’re eating right, you feel energized and vibrant. People around you pick up on that, and without even realizing it you’re inspiring them to live better, too.

Living a healthy lifestyle is about eating well, feeling good and celebrating life, so go do that!

 

 

Happy Holidays,

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Are Superfoods Necessary or Overrated?

Can you supercharge your diet without Superfoods? Are they really that important, or just overrated? I’m talking about all of that in today’s blog post and including a little goodie for you at the end. 

Sign Up here for a free guide of my 15+ favorite superfood staples, how to integrate them into your daily routine, and a few recipes too! 

 

superfoods

When I started my health journey about 4 years ago, the superfood label was very attractive. I was under the impression that these so called “superfoods” were the magic answer to improved health and weight loss. As I learned more and more about plant-based nutrition and functional medicine, I realized that this wasn’t so true.

But first let’s break it down for a minute and define a superfood. According to the dictionary, there is no definition for it. It doesn’t exist. That’s because we made it up as a health buzzword.

Now let’s check a less reliable source– urban dictionary.  Here the definition of a superfood is  “A common marketing buzzword that refers to any foodstuff that isn’t an artificial amalgamation of corn syrup and hydrogenated oil.”

In conclusion, the non-official and non-scientific definition is that they’re foods with some of the highest levels of vitamins and minerals. I don’t know about you, but going by this definition all fruits and vegetables are essentially superfoods!

 

Are Superfoods worth it?

Popular superfood items like goji berries, acai, reishi powder, and others, are pricey and you may be wondering if they’re worth your hard earned dollars. The short answer is probably not.

While these “super” foods have the highest concentration of certain nutrients…. Eating the right foods, the kind that are nutritionally dense, provides a balanced intake of all vitamins and nutrients needed. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about supplementing with overpriced, often overrated superfoods.

There are some affordable swaps you can make instead. Here are just a few…

  1. Goji berries:  Raspberries and blueberries have just as much antioxidants and fiber as goji berries. They actually have a lot less sugar, too.
  2. Cacao powder: While this is one of my favorite superfoods, it can be expensive so I often opt to just grab chocolate with 80% cacao content.
  3. Maca powder: This adaptogen root is great for hormone balance, energy and stress management but you can try chia seeds instead! They contain omega 3 fats, fiber and are a complete protein which will provide similar benefits to maca.

Superfoods will never counteract an unbalanced lifestyle lacking in fruits, vegetables and regular exercise. They’re a fantastic supplement to a healthy lifestyle but cannot make up for consistently unhealthy habits.  

Before you invest in superfoods, be sure to invest in mastering good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle.

superfoods

 

You can’t add one great thing into your diet ( i.e., a specific superfoods) while continuing to have lifestyle habits that are harming your health long term.

To a person who eats a balanced plant based diet abundant in fruits and vegetables, there actually aren’t any specific superfoods; And for the person who does not eat this way, no superfood can heal them.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts about superfoods.. 

What are your favorite superfoods and how do you incorporate them into your diet? 

 

Don’t forget to download the free guide of my 15+ favorite superfood staples, how to integrate them into your daily routine, and a few recipes too!

Best,

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Eggplant Chickpea Stew Recipe

I like trying out new recipes in the kitchen, but I don’t especially enjoy cooking all day. And I definitely don’t like the clean up that follows! So here is a great Meatless Monday recipe that packs in veggies, fiber, and plenty of nutrients. It’s a quick one pot meal that packs big flavors. 

eggplant

 

I came up with this meal idea when I was visiting my parents in Florida this summer. My dad had eggplant growing in the garden and we were trying to figure out what to make with them. It turned out to be quite yummy and filling, too.

 

eggplant recipe

Eggplant picked straight from the garden.

 

I like to do a little bit of prep to my eggplant before cooking it. Chop it into rounds or cubes and sprinkle with a bit of salt. This will help remove moisture from the eggplant, allowing it to absorb more flavor when cooked. Let your salted eggplant sweat it out for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can even leave it over night if you have the time.

 

eggplant

 

You’ll notice water at the bottom of the container your eggplant is sitting in and on top of the eggplant itself. Drain the water and dry the eggplant off.

One more item to prepare are your carrots. Be sure to wash them well, then chop ’em up!

 

carrots

 

 

Got everything prepared? Great! Now it’s time to start cooking. Follow the simple instructions below.

 

eggplant chickpea stew

 

You can serve this stew a few different ways…

  • over a bed of spinach or other leafy greens
  • with quinoa or brown rice.
  • with a side of steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable

eggplant chickpea stew1

 

Let me know how you enjoyed this yummy dish!

 

xo,

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eggplant
Eggplant Chickpea Stew
Print Recipe
This one pot meal offers great flavor and a quick dinner option on Meatless Monday (or any day!). It's packed with fiber and nutrients that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Servings
2 servings
Servings
2 servings
eggplant
Eggplant Chickpea Stew
Print Recipe
This one pot meal offers great flavor and a quick dinner option on Meatless Monday (or any day!). It's packed with fiber and nutrients that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Servings
2 servings
Servings
2 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Sautee the onions and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil
  2. Add in chopped carrots, all the spices, and stir (you can add more spices again later as you taste it).
  3. Once carrots and onions have softened, add the cubed eggplant and tomato sauce. Let this simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
  4. Add garbanzo beans last and let everything simmer for another 5 to 10minutes.
  5. You'll know it’s ready when the eggplant has softened and the stew has thickened up a bit.
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Is Fiber Good for Weight Loss?

Always feeling hungry? Can’t control your appetite some days? Increasing fiber in your diet might be just the solution you need.

With so many recommendations on what to do, how to eat and when, it quickly becomes difficult to make the right food choices when trying to manage your weight or chronic illnesses.

 

fiber

 

Did you know boosting your fiber intake provides these benefits and more: 

  • Keeps you fuller longer
  • Helps with weight loss/maintenance
  • Reduces cravings
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Improves heart health

 

Closing the Fiber Gap

How much fiber should you be eating?

Ladies, aim for a minimum of 25 grams a day.

Gentlemen, aim for a minimum of 38 grams a day.

However, studies have found that Americans only average about 15 grams of fiber a day, about half of the recommended total dietary fiber intake.

Increase your dietary fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Filling your plate with these whole, unprocessed foods is the first step to take toward increasing your fiber consumption. Consistently eating well-balanced meals that include these foods will ensure that your getting the right amount of this nutrient.

 

Carbohydrate:Fiber Ratio

Overconsumption of carbohydrates is a common concern for many of us, mainly because this macronutrient turns to sugar in the blood stream which then gets stored as fat, making it easy to gain weight.

It is the quality of carbohydrates that should be of greater concern, rather than the quantity. Consuming carbohydrates with high fiber content can reduce the glucose levels after a meal.  

Because fiber is not broken down by the body, it has no effect on blood glucose. Therefore, the grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carbs you are eating.

When making food choices seek out food options with a good fiber to carbohydrate ratio to reduce the foods impact on blood glucose levels.

 

Make it a habit to include fruits and vegetables with each meal.  

Vegetables high in fiber include leafy greens, squashes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. They can be enjoyed in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and salads and steamed as a side dish.

 

Many fruits are also high in fiber, like apples, pears, oranges, peaches and more. Berries are an especially great choice because while they are high in fiber, they are also low in calorie.  Incorporate fruits into your diet as a convenient snack or as toppings for breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.  

 

fiber up

 

Whole grains are a popular and simple way to increase dietary fiber. The downfall with this is that many whole grain foods are overly processed and the labeling can be misleading.  

Beware of processed cereals and bars as they often have high sugar content and less fiber compared to other dietary fiber options. Swap the usual white bread for whole wheat bread and exchange white rice for brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, barley or other ancient grains. Consider different types of pasta options like whole wheat pasta, edamame pasta, or  lentil pasta.

 

Nuts and seeds also provide a great source of fiber. A handful of these packs a powerful fiber punch. They make for a nutritious snack, or extra addition to yogurts, salads and desserts.

 

Don’t forget about beans and legumes. These are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber. If you experience gas and discomfort with high bean intake, consider starting off slowly when introducing these into your diet.

fiber beans

 

Try incorporating more of the recommended foods discussed here and notice the impact this powerful nutrient has on curbing your appetite and controlling blood sugar control.  This, in turn, helps with weight loss/maintenance and prevents/ manages diseases. 

 

Tips to Consider When Increasing Your Fiber:  

  • Increase consumption gradually (add 5g of fiber per day, spread throughout the day, until you reach your goal)
  • Keep edible skin on fruits and veggies
  • Limit starchy foods
  • Choose whole wheat over white
  • Reduce foods high in sugar (especially added sugars)
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to avoid constipation

 

I Challenge You…

to take a look at how much fiber is in your diet today. Does it measure up to the recommended minimum of 25g/day for women or 38g/day for men? 

How do you plan to increase your dietary fiber this week? –>  Here’s a great resource that might help you with that! 

 

Best,

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*** You might also enjoy my past posts on: Eating more Veggies and Fruits  AND Balsamic Roasted Carrots Recipe ***

 


 

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Healthy Travel Snacks to Pack on Your Next Trip

In my last post I shared some practical ways to stay healthy while traveling. A large part of that involves being prepared with healthy snacks. Here are a few of my favorites…

healthy travel snacks

I like healthy travel snacks that are as minimally, processed as possible, will fill me up, satisfy my sweet tooth, and still be nutritious. These are snacks I typically bring along for plane rides, road trips, or weekends away. I tend to make poor food choices when I’m not prepared, so I am always careful to carry healthy travel snacks with me.  

FiggyPops-

These balls of goodness satisfy my sweet tooth without the chemicals and additives of similar products. They are sweetened with fruit juice instead of high fructose corn syrup. I especially love that they are made with whole, plant-based ingredients like:  organic figs, organic cashews, organic dates, organic coconut, organic walnuts, organic dried tart cherries (organic dried tart cherries, organic apple juice, organic sunflower oil), organic gluten-free oats, organic coconut oil, organic cacao nibs, organic maple syrup, organic cinnamon, sea salt.

 

Dried Dates-

Dried fruits can get a bad rep for being high in sugar and because of the way they are sometimes processed. These particular dates are unsulfured and taste like caramel. They are not quite as sweet as the common medjool dates, but I would say they are just as good.

To balance out the glycemic load (insulin spike) of the dates, I pair them with healthy fats like a handful of nuts or better yet a little almond butter inside the date. So good!

 

 

Roasted Chickpeas-

You can totally make these yourself at home by roasting salted chickpeas at 400 degrees until crunchy. If you want something a bit more convenient though, these Good Bean chickpeas make for great healthy travel snacks (one of my favorites actually); and they satisfy that craving for something salty. They come in several flavors, but I prefer the plain, salted one.

Suggestion: Mix them in with chopped dates, roasted edamame and nuts to make a satisfying trail mix.

 

 

Roasted Edamame –

Another great snack! This one is filling and also goes great in a DIY trail mix.

Each serving has 13g of protein per serving and 8g of fiber.

They’re also Non-GMO which is a rare find considering more than 90% of soy is genetically modified. A bit of caution with this product: if you have issues with excess water retention, high blood pressure or heart disease beware of the sodium content (150mg per serving). Always read those nutrition labels my friends.

 

 

Vegan nutrition powders –

I tend to use these travel sized nutrition powders as a quick breakfast option. They hold me over until lunch and ensure that at least one of my meals is packed with the essential vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrition my body needs to thrive.

It can also make for a great latte when mixed into coffee.

 

 

BarkThins-

I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the healthiest snack BUT a girl needs her chocolate fix ya’ know! I love the dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds because I can get my sweets AND some antioxidants, healthy fats, + a little protein. These are really good people!

 

 

 

Kind Bars-

Recently Kind Bars were ridiculed a bit for their high fat content, but looking at research I have found evidence that fat doesn’t make us fat. Sugar does!

These bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are low in sugar. Regardless, you should still read the nutrition labels because there are several different types of Kind bars with varying nutritional content. These particular ones come in several flavors and I have yet to have a flavor I did not enjoy.  I eat them for breakfast or between meals.  These are my go-to healthy travel snacks.

 

 

Chia Warrior bars-   

I recently discovered these little bars and have become quite fond of them. I usually buy a box of 5. Each bar is 100 calories. They have plenty of fiber along with healthy omega 3 fats. There are different flavor options, but I have only tried chocolate peanut butter and the superfood protein peanut butter cacao. (I have a thing for peanut butter, in case you didn’t know). Anyway, both of those flavors are yummy and I would recommend them over Kind bars if your searching for a small between meal snack.

 

 

Lenny & Larry Cookies – 

These “complete” cookies are vegan, soy free, and dairy free. They have tons of fiber and protein. I usually only eat half the cookie if I just want a filling snack. Eat the entire cookie for a meal replacement. 

 

One final tip – 

No matter where you are, access to fresh produce and water are usually easily available.

Stock up on fruits and raw veggies to complement these other snacks. My favorites are baby carrots and raw broccoli. For fruits, I usually go for berries, peaches, bananas, or apples (depending on what is in season/ available). Nothing can truly replace the nutrients and benefits from fruits and vegetables, so don’t forget to include these on your list of healthy travel snacks. 

It’s very easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re busy sightseeing, but drinking plenty of water will not only curb your appetite but keep you energized and strengthen the immune system.

healthy travel snacks

Yes this does take a little planning, but not much! Feeling your best during and after your vacation is worth the small amount of time you’ll spend packing these snacks. Of course you don’t have to bring them all! These are just suggestions of my favorites. Try out the ones that appeal to you and take them along on your next trip 🙂

What’s your favorite healthy snack? 

 

Happy snacking,

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*** You might also like this post: ‘ How to Stay Healthy on Vacation ‘ and ‘ Eating Healthy While Eating Out ‘

 


 

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How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

While we all love a nice getaway, many of us find ourselves struggling to stay healthy on vacation. It’s challenging to keep up with our weight, healthy eating habits, and exercise routines when you’re away.

You spend the last few weeks before a trip trying to get “bikini ready” by dieting and exercising like a maniac. Then, when you’re finally on vacation, all thoughts of calorie restrictions and workouts go out the window. After the getaway, you come back home to find you’ve regained all the weight you worked so hard to shed. You either stay in a funk for a while or go back to the excessive dieting and exercising in yet another attempt to lose those pounds. Up and down go the numbers on the scale, the cycle never ends, and thus is life. This is a completely unsustainable way to maintain your health.

 

Surely there must be a better way to stay healthy on vacation and maintain it even afterward.. right? Right!!

 

healthyonvacation

 

It’s been an exciting, travel-filled summer for me, with both domestic and international trips. I was sure I would be gaining plenty of weight because I was eating some delicious, rich foods. But hooray I maintained my weight and habits (actually even lost 2lbs!) without having to restrict myself.

I admit that I’ve faced these challenges time and time again when I am away from my home and my typical routine.  Through trial and error, I’ve figured out a simple, realistic approach to keeping my wellness level up before, during, and after a getaway. I hope this helps you stay on track and understand how to stay healthy on your next vacation.

Let’s dig into this, shall we?

 

MAKING CHOICES THAT ALIGN WITH YOUR WELLNESS PRIORITIES

Without structure and a routine when on vacation, it’s easy to lose sight of your wellness priorities.  For me, these priorities include honoring my body and maintaining a spiritual practice, among other things. I disregard these priorities by not resting enough (I get too excited and try to see and do as much as possible), throwing caution to the wind with food and beverage choices, and not making time for exercise, prayer, my thoughts. But there just isn’t enough time for everything, am I right?

So we’ve got to be intentional and creative to make the best choices for optimal results.

First, you have to release the mindset of feeling like you must to stick to a specific diet/exercise regimen while you’re on vacation.  Stop worrying about gaining weight. It’s times like these that the whole “have balance” philosophy comes into play. While you might be great at staying disciplined in your usual day-to-day schedule, when you’re on vacation it’s OKAY to indulge a LITTLE and relax. Now, on the other hand, you shouldn’t throw caution to the window and completely overindulge.

Well of course treating yourself is okay, but sometimes we overdo it and cross that fine line where treating yourself TOO much actually ends of hurting you.

Try your best to uphold your wellness priorities and healthy lifestyle without making it feel like a duty. Be intentional with your actions and choices.

 

EXERCISE WITHOUT EXERCISING?

I must applaud those of you that get up early and workout on vacation.  If you’re like me, working out just isn’t too appealing when you’re away. Some challenges that occur are lack of facilities, not enough space, or you’re too tired from staying out late the night before.  Not all is lost, however, because there are still plenty of ways to stay active, and in turn stay healthy on vacation!

Prevent yourself from gaining weight and getting out of shape by staying active as much as possible.

Some easy ways to get a little exercise without actually exercising can include: Walking, swimming, jogging, hiking, bike tours, stretching, local/ free yoga 

healthyonvacation

A kayaking tour in Portugal was a fantastic form of exercise with a view

 

DIET AND NUTRITION

When it comes to food, it’s a little more challenging but here’s my strategy. Stick to simple breakfast options like nutrition shake, smoothie, or fruit and nuts so you are sure to start the day off nuritionally strong. I loovveee brunching, but limit it to just once or twice a week.

For lunch and dinner, whatever you choose to eat think about the option to share your dish. You are less likely to overeat this way.  I recommend checking out Yelp to review restaurant menus in advance.  Also consider visiting the nearest farmers market to try out local snacks and produce.

healthyonvacation

A yummy meal in Costa Rica, with plenty of veggies

You know how much I love vegetables and plant based foods so it should not be surprising to you when I suggest focusing on getting vegetables into your meals. I know this can be difficult to do on vacation, but start small and try to aim for vegetables in AT LEAST one meal a day. That is the bare minimum you should strive for.

 

Limit dessert and decadent treats. Don’t make it a daily habit to have these.  In all honesty, desserts are my weakness ESPECIALLY on vacations. I’m tempted to try the best ice cream shops and all the famous desserts. A few strategies for this: share the sweet treat, make the rest of your meals healthy and load up on veggies, limit sugar in your diet with all other meals.

And most importantly, carry your own snacks with you because you never know when you’ll be stuck at an airport or in a position where you’re hAngry and the only options are fast food.  Coming up this week I will share with you some of my favorite healthy travel snacks. 

One final tip is to never have two unhealthy meals in a row. Always follow an unhealthy meal with a healthy one. This keeps me accountable to making sure that next meal will be nutritious and nourishing.

 

Whatever you do, don’t be miserable on vacation because you’re worried about getting “fat.” Check in with yourself to ensure your not overindulging. Don’t completely abandon the good stuff- fruits and veggies; And find creative ways to stay active.

Enjoy your trip, #treatyoself, and honor your wellness priorities. 

 

healthyonvacation

A delicious dulce de leche donut at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn

YOUR TURN

What are your wellness priorities and how do you stay healthy on vacation?

Have you had a bad travel experience because you were worried about dieting and weight gain? Share your story or any advice.

 

 

Cheers,

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Ramen Romance: Easy, Gluten-free, Vegan Recipe

Matters of the (4)


 

 

ramen recipe

In honor of Valentine’s Day this past weekend, my husband and I celebrated by doing something a little bit “unconventional” compared to what other couples do on this day. We decided to stay in and cook up ramen! First, let me stop you right there– this is not the same type of ramen you ate in college. Ok let’s continue… So last year we started a new Valentine’s Day tradition where we decide on a recipe we would like to recreate together. We had such a fun time with this, we did it again this year and wanted to try our hands at making ramen. When we lived in Portland, Karim was on a very serious quest for ramen. There were so many great ramen spots there to explore and we’ve really been missing it since moving to North Carolina, so we thought what better dish to cook up on this day of love!

Earlier in the day I did most of the prep work by washing and chopping the veggies and garnishes. That evening we poured ourselves some white wine and got to work cooking up our very first homemade ramen.  I have to admit I did not believe in our skills and was prepared for a not-so-great bowl of noodles. But, we outdid ourselves and it turned out to be delish! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. It was the perfect warm, comfort food for a cold winter Sunday night. ramen recipe

This recipe is totally vegan and gluten free, but you can add pork and a soft boiled egg like Karim did. What I love about this dish is how customizable it is! Even the flavor of the broth is totally up to you. I usually find it to be a bit too salty when I eat it at restaurants, but at home I am the one to decide how much salt or spice to add and can load up on the veggies.

So when you try this recipe out, put your own twist on it. I can’t wait to see your version of ramen 🙂

ramen recipe ramen recipe

 

Enjoy!

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ramen recipe
Gluten Free, Vegan Ramen Recipe
Print Recipe
ramen recipe
Gluten Free, Vegan Ramen Recipe
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat
  2. Once the pot is hot, add oil, garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 o 8 minutes or until the onions have browned along the edges.
  3. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom.
  4. Add the remaining 3 cups of mushroom broth + 2 cups water, tamari, and mushrooms. Stir.
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on low for at least an hour, or up to 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer this cooks, the more the enhanced the flavor will be.
  6. Taste your broth and adjust the seasonings a needed (add salt, sriracha, or additional tamari if desired).
  7. When your about 30 minutes from serving, start prepping your toppings (green onions and carrots*) then the noodles.
  8. NOODLES: bring pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add ramen noodles. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, then separate noodles with fork. Allow to cook for another minute, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  9. To serve, put 1/4 of noodles into bowl then pour broth over it. Top with carrots, green onions, cilantro and any other garnishes*
Recipe Notes
  • Store your broth (separate from the noodles) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Additional toppings for your ramen: tofu (or other protein of choice), bok choy, cilantro, soft-boiled egg.
  • To make the tamari roasted carrots, chop up about 1 cup of carrots in coin-sizes. Toss with tamari and garlic powder. Roast at 350F for 25 to 30minutes.
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Eating Healthy while Eating Out

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eating healthy

We all know we should be “eating clean” and making better food choices as much as possible, but why is it so difficult to actually DO? If I am preparing my own meals at home, then it’s not much of a challenge at all. When I’m traveling, don’t have control over my food or there are too many options, however, that’s when I fall into poor eating habits. One of my biggest struggles with eating healthy was when it came to dining out.  This was especially difficult for me because I love love love trying new restaurants and different types of cuisines.

When my husband and I first moved to Portland,OR in 2013, we  were excited to experience the amazing food scene (especially brunch). We basically made it our hobby to dine out and try new foods. We still, however were eating healthy whenever we ate at home and continued working out. After several weeks of enjoying our new hobby together we noticed a standstill when it came to our fitness progress. Our love for eating out and attending many social events was not loving us back.  We learned that the saying “you can’t outwork a healthy diet” was all too true.

I chose to address this situation with a simple solution of simply not eating at all anymore.  But can I tell you how sad this made me feel!  Dining out is often a common way of celebrating, socializing and networking. I experienced major FOMO (fear of missing out), but I kept telling myself if I went out to eat I would not find anything healthy on the menu. On one occasion, I tried meeting friends at a restaurant but ate at home before going. Well that was awkward..just watching them eat was not a fun experience. Another time, I just ordered the house salad which was boring and did not fill me up. I proceeded to go home and stuff my face because I was still so hungry. Another fail! I’m pretty sure people were getting annoyed by my healthy eating obsession. I needed to find balance!

After much trial and error, and I wish I could say it happened over night but it didn’t, I created a plan & guidelines for myself to stick to whenever I dined out. They’ve helped me maintain balance so that I can enjoy new restaurants, celebrate with friends, and still try new, delicious cuisines guilt-free.

 

 

eating healthy

 

 

ALWAYS LEAVE LEFTOVERS 

With my new strategy in place I can eat out and eat healthy but still enjoy foods I love. How I do this is by first, choosing healthy options from the menu. But what if I see something that sounds absolutely delicious or that I’ll never get a chance to try again? What if I really want pizza? Ok, in this case rather than deprive myself completely I will order that dish, enjoy it, but leave half of it!

Restaurants often serve super sized portions and we don’t even realize how much we are eating. We think we are enjoying a normal amount of food, but often the servings sizes are double and triple what they should be.  This is called portion distortion.  I leave half of my meal and it’s actually a treat because then I have left overs for the next day’s lunch or for my husband to enjoy.

 

SHARING IS CARING

Another option for enjoying great food without the guilt, is to share! Yes, share with your friends. This way you’re automatically having a smaller portion size.

 

DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO EAT & CHECK THE MENU IN ADVANCE

This is my biggest tip to you when it comes to eating healthy while dining out. If you can have a hand in deciding what restaurant to eat at, you stand a better chance at finding a place with somewhat healthier options on their menu. The good news is that nowadays more and more restaurants are including healthier meal options (and in some cases even the nutrition facts) onto their menus. I love Yelp! Try this app out when researching places to eat.  It’s an easy way to see food photos, read tips and reviews before showing up to a place. Whether you have a hand in choosing the restaurant or not, always try to take a peek at the menu beforehand and decide what you’ll be ordering in advance.

 

THINGS TO AVOID

The first thing to avoid is that warm, irresistible complimentary bread they bring to the table at most places.  I would advise don’t have any, but if we are being more realistic let’s settle on limiting yourself to just one piece.  If you’re like me, though, and lack a bit of control, just politely ask the bread not be served at your table altogether.

Something else I watch out for when dining out are those lovely adjectives that make the food sound oh so delicious. Words like crispy or smothered are red flags for me! I do my best to steer clear of anything fried or covered in any creamy, oil-based sauce. This includes salad dressings (ask for it on the side).

Sometimes I find the chef is willing to prepare a dish without oil or butter, or make it grilled instead of fried. You never know if you don’t ask. Which bring me to my next tip…

 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK

Just because there is seemingly nothing on the menu that meets my criteria for eating healthy, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. There have been quite a few times where I ordered few of the side dishes and voilà, I had a complete meal.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for an alternative to those french fries.  More than likely, there is a salad or steamed veggie option available.

 

DON’T GO TO DINNER HANGRY

Ok remember this one and plan ahead! Do not ever go out to eat when you are full on hangry, because you never know how long the wait might be and add to that the length of time it takes for your food to get to your table. When you are super hungry, you’re less likely to think about portion control or make good food choices.

Speaking of good choices…

 

ALCOHOL WEAKENS YOUR WILLPOWER

Slow down on the cocktails. Not only are you drinking unnecessary calories and sugar, but alcohol diminishes your willpower. You’re more likely to make poor choices and eat more than you intended when under the influence.

 

 

More and more restaurants are becoming aware of the need for improved nutrition and are offering healthier options on their menu, making it easier for you and me to dine out stress-free.

Fast forward 2.5 years, my husband and I now live in North Carolina and are exploring a brand new food scene. I’m now much more comfortable with dining out and feel confident that I’ll be able to make healthy choices. I still, however, limit the amount of times I eat out to once or twice per week. This is what I have found the best balance with. I encourage you to find your own balance when it comes to living healthy and eating better. Try out the strategies that have helped my husband and I stay healthy without sacrificing our social life and love for good food.

eating healthy

 

So now you know my biggest obstacle when it comes to eating healthy,

WHAT IS YOURS? 

 

Health & Happiness, 

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Healthy Holiday Recipe Re-do’s

Have a Happy, Healthy

I can’t believe we are just a few days away from Christmas and a brand new year! I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful time of year. I wanted to announce that there is a huge opportunity coming up soon from PrescribingHealth ! You’ll hear more about it in just a few days so stay tuned, especially if you are looking for an effective way to reboot your lifestyle and revamp your health.

Today I  just wanted to share a few of my favorite healthy holiday recipes.  Who says eating healthy can’t be delicious too?  These are some of everyone’s classic treats, with a healthy holiday twist. I hope you try these recipes out and enjoy them as much as I do.  


 

HAPPY HORMONES HOT CHOCOLATE:

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Find more great whole food plant based recipes from Homespun Capers here. 


 

VEGAN EGGNOG

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Check out more from Tasty Yummies here


 

 

RAW GINGERBREAD COOKIES AND BALLS

 

raw-gingerbread-cookie-balls-recipe-glutenfree-lowfat-veganVisit RawManda‘s site for more raw foodie delights. 


 

 

CREAMY CANDY CANE SMOOTHIE: 

 

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Find out more about this superfood nutrition here. 

 


 

 

HEALTHY PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BALLS:

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    This is healthy dessert alternative by Tried & True was delicious!  

     


     

    I would love to know which of these healthy holiday recipes is your favorite. Do you have your own healthy holiday treat? I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below.

    P.S.–

    If you want to be the FIRST to know about my big announcement & upcoming opportunity be sure to sign up here.

    Merry Christmas!

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    Sweet Potato Juice: Perfect for Fall!

    SWEET POTATO juice

    One of the staples of my diet include smoothies and juices. During the colder months, I find that using too much fruit (especially tropical fruits) makes me feel colder in a way. I still want my liquid nutrition so I swap out my usual juice recipes for more fall friendly ingredients.  Adding root vegetables, seasonal fruits and spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom or cayenne can provide a “warming effect” and make your juice more appealing on a cold day.

    sweet potato juice

    Here is one of my fall favorites – a sweet potato juice- along with the benefits of each ingredient. Yes, to my surprise, you CAN juice a sweet potato! This sweet and soothing juice packs a powerful anti-inflammatory punch, along with a surplus of antioxidants. It’s perfect for chilly fall days 🙂

    What’s so great about this sweet potato juice?

    Sweet Potato – Did you know these jewels have more nutrients than a white potato, with fewer calories? They also contain 400% of the daily needs of Vit A. It’s also important to note the immunity boost from the vitamin C and beta-carotene content.

    Ginger – No only does it provide anti-inflammatory action, but it can also reduce muscle pain & soreness, improve brain function and help with indigestion

    Red Pepper – This vegetables is great because it is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and by rich I mean TWICE the daily recommendation. It’s also great for weightless because it’s low in calories but high in flavor and nutrition!

    Carrots – Vitamin A, K, and B6 are among the few antioxidants included in this veggie. They aid in eye sight, fight infection and keep skin healthy.

    Celery – Helps to relieve inflammation and eliminate toxins. Also, a great post-workout tonic as it rehydrates the body and replaces electrolytes and minerals.

    sweet potato juice

    Sharing is Caring…

    I hope you enjoy this sweet, delicious juice. Share the power of vegetables and fruits with your friends by telling them about this recipe. For more healthy food ideas be sure to follow me on instagram

    sweet potato juice

     

    sweet potato juice
    SWEET POTATO JUICE
    Print Recipe
    An anti-inflammatory, nutritional powerhouse that's perfect for fall.
    Servings
    one 16oz. juice
    Servings
    one 16oz. juice
    sweet potato juice
    SWEET POTATO JUICE
    Print Recipe
    An anti-inflammatory, nutritional powerhouse that's perfect for fall.
    Servings
    one 16oz. juice
    Servings
    one 16oz. juice
    Ingredients
    Servings: 16oz. juice
    Share this Recipe
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