What Oils Do You Use Most Often?

What oil(s) do you generally cook with?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great option to keep around for dressings and marinades.

Coconut oil and sesame oil are great for sautéing veggies with — the added flavor is delicious.  Coconut oil will add a bit of sweetness, while sesame oil will have your house smelling like Chinese takeout.

Avocado oil is an excellent option since its smoke point is so high.  This means cooking and baking with avocado oil will not cause the oil to breakdown during the cooking process.

With so many oils to choose from, what’s your favorite to use?

What’s Your Favorite Leafy Green?

Ever wonder why leafy greens are so good for you?

There are numerous dark leafy greens to choose from such as kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, chard, turnip greens, the list goes on…

These superfoods are beneficial for your whole body – inside and out.

One of the most appealing benefits of dark green leafy vegetables is their low calorie and carbohydrate contents, and their low glycemic index. These features make them an ideal food for achieving and maintaining healthy blood sugar.

They help to fight everyday toxins our bodies are bombarded with, assist with healthy digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, and help keep your immune system robust and healthy.

What’s your favorite dark leafy green?

The Healthiest Stuff at Starbucks

How often do you visit Starbucks?! Drop a comment below and let me know your go-to order.

With a Starbucks on every corner, it’s likely Starbucks is a part of your regular routine. Perhaps it’s your Monday reward to start the work week or the start to your weekend as you pop in the drive-thru on the way home on Friday. Humans like routine and we like to know what to expect, so when given the opportunity to stop at an unknown coffee shop or a Starbucks on our road trip, we’ll likely choose what we know.

If you don’t watch what you order, though, you may be gulping down more sugar than you’ve bargained for. Next time you stop into a Starbucks, here are the healthiest things you’ll find that you should order instead of those sugary frappuccinos.

– Brewed Coffee
Simple and classically delicious. A cuppa joe is the healthiest way to get your Starbucks fix without ruining your healthy lifestyle efforts. Drink it black for the healthiest option, but if you can’t stand it that way, just add a dab of stevia or raw honey. Because their fresh-brewed coffees are only a few calories, if you do add a dab of sweetener, you won’t be adding so much that you’re turning your simple coffee into the caloric content of a meal. Slowly decrease any sweetener you are adding over time, and before you know it, you’ll be loving your black coffee.

– Brewed Teas
Freshly brewed teas at Starbucks are the perfect flavor sensation with added antioxidants. Get them hot or iced for a refreshing way to power through your day.

– Nitro Cold Brew
It’s smooth and frothy, and it tastes fantastic! Change up your order from a hot coffee to a cold brew on those days you’re in the mood for a cold drink.

– Caffè Latte and Almond Milk
If you want something that tastes more indulgent, get this iconic Starbucks drink but have them make it with almond milk. It’s creamy and sweet, and it’s a nice indulgence every so often.

– Spinach, Feta, and Egg White Breakfast Wrap
Made with cage-free egg whites and tucked into a whole wheat wrap, it’s a hearty breakfast that will fill you up without guilt. Much better than eating one of those paltry pastries that will leave you hungry for more, or zipping through a fast food drive-thru.

– Protein Boxes
For a great to-go lunch, this box has a fantastic mix of carrots and apples along with a protein of choice large enough to satisfy but portioned properly so you’re not left stuffed.

– Latte Macchiato
Macchiato lovers, I’ve got you covered. Try this offering which takes espresso shots over aerated almond milk to get a frothy caffeinated treat.

– Evolution Fresh Sweet Greens and Lemon
If you’re more in the mood for juice, try one of the Evolution drinks Starbucks carries. They’re made with all kinds of fruits and vegetables that will give you a power boost for your day.

So go in and grab a table or roll through the drive-thru. You can even set up your favorite orders in the Starbucks app, so they’re ready when you get there. Now that you know your healthiest Starbucks items, you don’t have to feel guilty!

 

The cold is almost out the door, and the warm weather is approaching. I’m sure you’re eager for the blooming flowers and sunny skies — I know I am.

One part of Spring I can skip is the watery, itchy eyes and sneezing fits.

Turning to over the counter medicine for seasonal allergies is common, but what if there were a way to combat these annoying symptoms without having to take medication. Wouldn’t that be great?

Here are some  natural remedies to help fight off seasonal allergies:

– Taking supplements such as quercetin and stinging nettle.  These are natural antihistamines and help combat those seasonal allergy symptoms.

– Keep up with your probiotics daily.

– Use a Neti Pot to keep your sinuses flushed.

– Essential Oils that help battle allergies such as lemon, lavender, and peppermint.

– If you feel an allergy attack coming on, head to your acupuncturist for a session.  This works wonders!

What are your typical spring allergy tricks?

 

Have you tried a weighted blanket?

These weighted blankets have been around for quite a bit, but have gained mainstream traction in the last year or so.  You can now even buy one on your next Target run on the blanket aisle.

These blankets help ground you, ease anxiety and help you sleep deeply.  You can get them in all sorts of different weight ranges — and you should choose your blanket weight based on your body weight.  Aim for between 5-10% of your body weight when choosing the right blanket weight.

So, have you tried one yet?! What was your experience?

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Isn’t it so interesting how we’re generally either one extreme or the other?

Some people crawl into bed at 8pm ready to call it a day, and others begin to feel their most productive hours begin around dinner time.

Sleep is essential for good health — this you know.

And it can be quite tricky to navigate that road when you’re on the night owl spectrum.

For the night owls:

– Pick up some Sleepytime Tea and drink a cup around 7pm each night this week.  See what happens.

– Eat dinner an hour earlier than usual this week, as well.

– If you need to shut your mind off, try journaling for 15 minutes before heading to your room to unwind for the evening.  You also can try planning the next day and creating a to-do list.  Waking up feeling organized and ready to tackle your day can help ease your mind as you drift off to sleep.

So – are you a night owl or an early bird?

Juicing vs Smoothies

Is there a Difference?

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about juicing and green smoothies, especially with the celery juice trend happening right now. Have you ever wondered if there are any notable differences between juicing and blending, and what those differences could be?

With juicing and smoothies, the similarities are simple…they’re both healthy ways to get in more fresh nutrients from fruits and vegetables. The key differences are how they’re prepared.

Juicing separates the indigestible fibers from the juice itself. This helps your digestive system avoid strain so it can focus on absorbing the benefits of the nutrients left in the juice. These nutrients absorb very rapidly into your body, faster than you’d get from eating the same fruits or veggies you put into your juice. If you have problems with fiber irritating your digestive system, then juicing is a great way to get what you need.

With smoothies, you use your blender to pulverize your produce whole. You use the entire fruit or vegetable and all its fiber (after peeling fruits that you typically peel). The blender helps break down the fiber for easier digestion and makes smoothies a good choice since they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar. They’re fast to make and ideal for replacing a meal because they’re quite filling.

To get the full benefits from your juice or smoothies, there’s something very important to know –

Drink them immediately
When you blend or juice, you get the most nutrients from drinking it as soon as you make it. It’s ideal to consume within 15 minutes, before those essential nutrients you’re trying to provide your body with begin breaking down from contact with the air and light. Pack your produce into a sealed mason jar the night before so you can simply dump and make your fresh juice or smoothie first thing in the morning without any preparation. This will be the fastest way to get the freshest, most nutrient-dense juice or smoothie on your way out the door.

Get the right equipment
The differences indeed are a bit subtle, and both require the right equipment to make it happen. If you prefer juicing, find yourself a quality juicer.

Most people have a blender in their home, but if yours is a bit subpar, replace it with a top-of-the-line model, and you’ll be amazed how much better your smoothies are.  I love my Ninja blender!

So, what’s the verdict? Do you prefer juicing or smoothies?

Are you a Spring Cleaning type of person?

With Spring knocking at our door, it’s almost that time.

And I must say – I am READY.

Cleaning and decluttering helps create a sense of confidence as it exercises your decision-making skills. When things are in place and organized, it can help with reducing anxiety and stress.

What needs purging and cleaning most in your house?

Do you use fresh herbs when you cook?  Dried herbs are great to keep stored in your cabinets for recipes, but nothing quite tastes as delicious as fresh herbs right out of your herb garden.

Using herbs in your cooking is an easy way to add flavor to any and all dishes. On top of that, these fresh herbs are adding extra nutrients and vitamins to your dishes.  They’ll pack in flavor far superior to any sugary condiments you can find on the condiment aisle.

So, what are the top 5 herbs for cooking?

1)    Parsley

2)    Tarragon

3)    Thyme

4)    Basil

5)    Oregano

Pair any of these with some fresh garlic and black pepper, and you’re off to the races.

What’s your go-to herb for cooking?

Do you deal with comfort food cravings during these cold winter months?

Aside from staying inside more often than usual, these frigid months can cause us to desire heavy, warm foods that will ground us.

Luckily we live in a world where Pinterest exists — you can find a healthy swap for just about any comfort food craving you can come up with.

So go ahead – drop me a comment below letting me know what your favorite comfort food is, and I’ll comment back a healthy swap recipe for it.