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  • Turmeric Powerhouse Tea

    Turmeric Powerhouse Tea

    This one's for when you're under the weather and need a little BOOST. 

    I'm sharing my favorite Turmeric Powerhouse Tea, originally inspired by this gem.

    The base of it is suuuper simple to make ahead of time - and makes it easy to quickly whip up multiple cups of this goodness, when you otherwise don't feel like doing much of anything. (Like me, today.)

    Ingredients
    Raw honey, organic and local is best
    Turmeric, ground
    Black pepper
    Raw apple cider vinegar, aka "ACV" (I love Bragg's.)
    Freshly squeezed lemon juice
    H2O

    How-To

    • Prep a BASE: Equal parts honey and turmeric, with a generous addition of freshly ground black pepper (crucial, if you want to take advantage - and you do! - of all the benefits turmeric offers). You can save this base in a mason jar, taking a bit here and there when you make the tea.

    • For 1 mug of tea: To the mug, add a spoonful of the base honey-turmeric-pepper mix. Add 1 tablespoon of ACV and 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half a lemon). Top with warm-to-hot water, stir to combine, and sip away!

    Feel better soon, love! 

    XO

  • Butternut Kale Salad

    Butternut Kale Salad

    I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend. Something's hit me - and it's hanging on tight.

    The good news: I've got everything I need to tackle this thing, and I'm loading up! Garlic and raw honey. Ginger + echinacea tea. My turmeric powerhouse concoction. Miso soup. My oils. And rest!

    The bad news? I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend.
    Wallowing a bit, if I'm being honest.

    I can't smell.
    And I can only partially breathe (through my mouth).

    And I figure maybe if I do basically nothing, my body will have the energy to heal and recover faster.

    But it's getting boring.
    And a little frustrating.
    And: You'd think my aim would've improved by now. But, sadly, you'd be wrong.
    I guess I'm mainly just sort of throwing things in "that general direction" at this point.

    Eddie's away at his annual Alumni Soccer Game (they won!) day-long extravaganza, and our housemates are out, so it's just me here. And as much as I'd love for someone (Mom?) to come take care of me, it's just not gonna happen. 

    I decided it was time for a change of pace.
    (1) I was craving kale (need those healing greens!), and
    (2) it looked gorgeous out. (Figures.)
    Sunshine and fresh air and...kale. All good things.
    And it was up to me to make it happen.

    So I did. 
    I got dressed.
    I tied my hair up in a knot on top of my head.
    And I savored the walk (in the sunshine and the fresh air) to the market.
    It was lovely!

    And then I came home - to make a kale salad.
    I was hoping someone would bring me this one or make me this one.
    But since I never actually communicated that to anyone...
    And since it's just me here...
    I decided to throw something else together.
    And here's what I got:

    It's a winner! So I'm sharing it with you:

    BUTTERNUT KALE SALAD
    Serves 2

    Ingredients 
    4 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
    1 apple, diced small
    1 small-ish butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and diced small
    1 tablespoon olive oil + a drizzle for the diced squash
    2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I like Grade B.)
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon hemp hearts
    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

    How-To

    • Toss diced squash in a light drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and bake at 350F for about 25 mins, until just soft.
    • While the squash bakes, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: Olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
    • In a large bowl, combine kale, apple, baked squash, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and dressing. Toss well to combine.

    Grab a fork and enjoy!

  • Mango Cacao Smoothie

    Mango Cacao Smoothie

    Mango Cacao Smoothie
    A healthy + delicious solution for the 3pm slump.

    This one is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, especially as the weather turns warmer. It's refreshing, nourishing, and satisfying. Skip the coffee (and sugary snacks) and whip up one of these instead.

    Ingredients
    1 cup frozen mango
    1 tablespoon hemp hearts
    1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
    1/2 - 1 cup water, according to desired consistency
    Pinch of sea salt

    Blend until smooth - and enjoy!

  • Coconut Veggie Curry (Plant-Based + Gluten-Free)

    Coconut Veggie Curry (Plant-Based + Gluten-Free)

    Coconut Veggie Curry

    This easy veggie curry is super simple to throw together, tastes amazing, and will last you about a week! My über talented husband, Eddie (inspired by my dad!), was the brains behind this one. And I was the sous chef. He sat down with me last night to type it all up for you. It was a big hit at my Afternoon Tea + Oils event last week, and we hope you love it, too.

    Ingredients:
    3 tablespoons coconut oil 
    1 onion, roughly chopped
    5 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 cups carrots, chopped
    4 stalks of celery
    1 crown of broccoli, roughly chopped
    1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
    1 tablespoon curry powder
    1 tablespoon dried parsley
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, more to taste
    1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper, more/less to taste
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 BPA-free can diced tomatoes, fire roasted
    1 BPA-free can coconut milk
    8 cups vegetable stock (or water), more or less depeneding on desired consistency

    Instructions:

    • Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat
    • Add all vegetables to the pot
    • Add spices and sautée until just softened, about 10 minutes (stirring frequently)
    • Add diced tomatos, coconut milk, and vegetable stock/water
    • Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes
    • Allow to cool (enough to transfer to the blender)
    • Puree soup (we used the Vitamix), then return pureed soup to pot, rewarming as needed
  • Food for a Cause: From Scratch is here!

    Food for a Cause: From Scratch is here!

    Oh, just one more reason I love the Academy of Culinary Nutrition!

    Their mission reaches beyond the "classroom" and beyond the kitchen.

    They're out to change lives and empower people to take back their health and create the lives they desire and deserve!

    What does this latest compilation, From Scratch, from the Culinary Nutrition Experts have to do with changing lives? 

    Well, for one: The recipes are downright dreamy: Gorgeous photos of food-for-healing style recipes, created by yours truly and a whole bunch of my extremely talented friends!

    But much more importantly, 100% of the proceeds (your donations!) will be donated to Kiva, an amazing lending program that helps people around the world kickstart their own businesses - and change their lives!

    This year's edition of the From Scratch Cookbook includes:

    • 35 plant-based, entirely gluten-free recipes
    • Options for vegan, dairy-free, and allergy folks
    • Culinary nutrition tips

    AND it's all available at pay-what-you-can pricing!

    But only through March 6th, 2015!

    So, come on! What are you waiting for?

    Jump on over here and grab your copy:

    I've already donated and downloaded my copy! (It's stellar!!)

    And THANK YOU for supporting this special project. It is truly an honor to be a part of this awesome community. 

  • Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread

    Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread

    Oh heeeey there!

    I didn't see you there behind my giant heaping bowl of chocolate chili and stack of cinnamon cornbread. You have got to try this one! (Recipe and cookbook giveaway coming up!)

    It's packed with plant-based power and it's super hearty, to satisfy all! Plus, it has chocolate in it! (What?) Yes. It's true!

    Especially as my days and nights grow busier with all the holiday happenings, I'm loving having my friend Michelle Pfennighaus' Winning at Kitchen, A Budget-Conscious Cookbook + Mealplans on hand.

    Michelle Pfennighaus is a fellow Holistic Health Coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She suffered for years with debilitating IBS and anxiety, until finally healing herself through changes in diet and lifestyle. Now, she helps others do the same. (And you know I'm all about that!)

    Sure, I know how to make meal plans. And sure, I know how to cook up some delicious, nutritious food!

    But sometimes even a health coach just wants some new done-for-you ideas, to take the stress out of deciding what's for dinner -  and to add to the standard rotation! I'm keeping things interesting over here!

    So far, I've loved everything I've tried! 

    Another nice thing about the Winning at Kitchen recipes is that they're family-friendly! Michelle knows what it takes to get her little people to eat their veggies. In fact, she's kind of an expert at that. 

    We could all use a little more time in our days, right? And a little more money in our pockets! With Winning at Kitchen, you'll get:

    • 25+ recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert and money-saving staples using real food ingredients.
    • 4 weeks of no-fuss dinnertime meal plans spelled out for you.
    • Recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free and pain-in-the-butt-free. Some vegetarian meals, some with meat.
    • You’ll get printable grocery shopping lists and make-life-easier prep instructions. Start right away, or whenever your schedule allows.
    • You’ll also get Michelle's comprehensive budget shopping guide. Do you know how to edit a recipe to be less pricey? Are you buying organic and wondering if it’s worth the cost? I’ve been honing my money-saving skills for decades and can’t wait to share my secrets with you!
    • AND you’ll have 24/7 access to Michelle's online forum for extra help, ingredient substitution questions, recipe exchanges, kid-friendly ideas and more. In other words – you’re not alone. That sort of support is something you don’t get with other cookbooks or meal plans out there!

    So what do you say? Wanna snag a copy for yourself? Click right here to buy your copy right now. And, while you're here, why not enter the free giveaway, too!?


    WIN YOUR OWN COPY
    Click HERE to enter!!


    And here's the recipe you've been waiting for:

    Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread
    Makes 8 Servings
    Prep Time: 20 Minutes
    Cook Time: 1 Hour

    Ingredients:
    1 Tbl. coconut oil
    1 onion, minced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large sweet potato, diced
    3 large Swiss chard leaves, minced
    15-oz. can diced tomatoes
    1 quart chicken or vegetable stock I used vegetable.
    2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

    2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    1 Tbl. cumin
    1 Tbl. cinnamon
    1 Tbl. chili powder
    2 Tbl. cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp. salt (or more, depending on how salty your stock is)
    Hot sauce We skipped the hot sauce.

    For Cornbread:
    1 cups cornmeal
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 egg, beaten I used a "chia" egg*. 
    1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more for pan

    1 1/2 cups unsweetened milk of choice I used homemade almond milk.
    2 Tbl. raw honey

    *1 chia egg is easily made by combining 1 Tbl. ground chia seeds (I use a spice/coffee grinder) with 1/4 cup warm water, mixing well (I use a coffee mug), and setting aside for about 10 minutes to fully gel. 

    Instructions:

    • In a large stock pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and sweet potato. Mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard, tomatoes, stock, beans, spices, and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Serve with hot sauce.
    • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Great a 12-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch pan and set aside.
    • Combine all cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into prepared skillet or pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    And enjoy! It tastes amazing - and even better the next day!

    Love,
    Katie
    XO

  • Delicata What?

    Delicata What?

    Hey Loves!

    It's been far too long since we've connected here. Time to nip that in the bud! I've missed you!

    How are you? How's life going for you? 

    The last few months have been a bit of a wild (and awesome) ride for me. I've been TA-ing for the most wonderful Culinary Nutrition Expert program, teaching people how to use essential oils to improve their (and their families') lives, and working on a very cool group coaching program!! (Definitely keep an eye out for that one - because I'll be sharing all the details very soon!)

    Lots of good things! And lots to be grateful for. 

    But in the midst of a lot of professional goodness, I found that my self-care routine had been taking a bit of a back seat. (Raise your hand if that sounds familiar.) I know I'm not the only one who struggles with maintaining self-care and work-life balance! 

    It's an ongoing thing. Life is always gonna be busy, right? Things are always gonna happen.

    So what are we gonna do about that? Well, I've decided that I've got to stop putting myself last. And you know what's kind of awesome and amazing?

    I'm finding that my relationships, my body, and my business will ALL benefit from my re-commitment to self-care.

    You can't take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself.

    AmIright? So from here on out - and I'm putting it out into the interwebs for all of you to hear...and hold me accountable - I'm recommitting to doing what I need to do in order to love and respect myself AND be able to serve all of you best

    Let's start with food! Today, I've got a delicious delicata squash salad for you. It's seasonal, simple, and so delicious. If you haven't had delicata squash before, then you need to try this. It's a personal fave, inspired by a recipe a dear friend of mine sent me last year! Ready? Here we go:

    Super Simple Delicata Salad

    Ingredients:
    1 delicata squash
    1/2 tablespoon EVOO (or coconut oil)
    1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
    Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
    Leafy greens Enough to fill a plate. (I used mesclun and spinach.)
    1/4 cup of walnuts (roughly chopped)
    1 tablespoon of dried cranberries

    For salad dressing:
    1/2 tablespoon EVOO
    1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Instructions:

    • Wash squash and slice it in half long-ways. Scoop out the seeds. 
    • Slice squash into half-medallions (as pictured) and place in a medium-size bowl.
    • Add EVOO, maple syrup, and sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Toss to combine/lightly coat.
    • Place on parchment paper-lined cooking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350F.
    • Place greens on plate, and sprinkle walnuts and cranberries on top.
    • In a small bowl, mix all salad dressing ingredients together.
    • When squash is finished baking, add it to the top of your salad. The warmth of the squash will warm your salad just the right amount, making it a nice salad for cold weather.
    • Drizzle with salad dressing, and enjoy!

    Let me know what you think! And take me up on this self-care challenge: Do at least one thing today to take care of yourself. What will it be? You are so worth it, my friend. XO

    Love,
    Katie

  • Miso Soup For The Soul

    Miso Soup For The Soul

    Who needs chicken soup when you've got miso?

    This satisfying concoction is ridiculously easy and soothingly delicious.

    But first, let's talk miso. What's so great about it?

    Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae, known in Japanese as kōjikin, and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. 

    Because it's fermented, miso is a natural probiotic, which is super healthy for the gut

    The World's Healthiest Foods recommends choosing certified organic soy miso, since 90% of U.S. soybeans are genetically modified (GM) these days. The "certified organic" seal offers a lower risk of unwanted contaminants. No need to mess with the bad stuff.

    Ok, ready to get cooking? 

    Ingredients:
    2 teaspoons coconut oil
    1/2 onion, sliced thinly
    2 carrots, sliced thinly
    3 cups water
    2-3 tablespoons miso
    2 portabella mushrooms, halved and sliced thinly

    1 broccoli crown, chopped into bite-size pieces
    2 sheets nori, torn into bite-size pieces
    1 avocado, sliced
    sesame seeds, to taste


    Instructions:

    • In a medium-sized pot, heat oil over low-medium heat.
    • Add onions and sauté until just translucent.
    • Add carrots and sauté until just tender.
    • Add water, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
    • Add miso, mushrooms, and broccoli, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat. Stir in nori.
    • Add avocado, to taste.
    • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    Enjoy!

  • Build The Perfect Salad, A FREE Guide

    Build The Perfect Salad, A FREE Guide

    Hello Loves!

    Summer is in full swing here in Maryland, and with it comes a massive amount of fresh, seasonal, delicious produce. What better way to dress up a boring salad than to pack it with the fruits (often quite literally) of the season?

    In the Spring, my Nutrition School released its FREE "Spring Salads Guide". It's full of tons of awesome salad recipes from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition students and grads. And did I mention it's FREE?

    What's even better about it is that it's applicable throughout the year - not just in the Spring. :) 

    Click on any of the images below to grab it for yourself and your family - or share it with a friend.

    There's even a quick recipe for an anytime salad dressing. My tip? Add a touch of raw honey to the mix for a little extra sweetness.

    Enjoy! 


  • Portobello Pasta

    Portobello Pasta

    I'm getting ready to do a two-day fresh-pressed juice cleanse (more on that in another post), so I needed to use up some of the food in the fridge. 

    It's so awesome to have access to fresh produce - but one of the challenges is to actually use all of that food. It kills me to have to throw rotten food away.

    We had tons of greens from our Therapy Garden, a random portobello, and some coconut milk left over from that bomb Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I made last week. 

    Th result? A very simple, yet super delish Portobello Pasta.

    Takes about 15 minutes to make. Do it. Thank me later. :)

    Ingredients:
    1 cup orecchiette pasta
    fresh salad greens, torn into bite-sized pieces
    1 teaspoon coconut oil
    1 portobello mushroom, halved and thinly sliced
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons coconut milk
    1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

    Instructions:

    • Get the pasta cooking.
    • Prep your greens (rinse and tear into bite-sized pieces).
    • Plate the greens.
    • Warm coconut oil over low heat.
    • Add sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Allow mushrooms to cook (over low heat) to desired tenderness, moving them around the pan frequently to prevent burning.
    • At this point the pasta should be just about done. Strain and drain - and add pasta to mushrooms.
    • Add coconut milk and nutritional yeast. More sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    • Pour over salad greens.

    Enjoy!

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

    Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

    Nom nom nom.

    I feel super lucky to live right next door to an awesome year-round Farmers Market. (It's part of why we chose this neighborhood in the first place!) But the Spring and Summer months are especially exciting! So many fresh, vibrant colors to take in - and recipes to plan!

    This weekend I put together a little Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, based on my many recreations of Meghan Telpner's crumble - from her must-have (seriously, you must have it) book UnDiet

    It was my first time using rhubarb - and it was sooo good! I picked up the rhubarb on a whim last week at the market. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but it was too beautiful to pass by. Its super tart taste pairs perfectly with the sweetness of fresh strawberries.

    Ingredients:

    For the filling:
    Two cups strawberries, quartered

    Two cups rhubarb, sliced into half-inch thick slices 
    1/4 cup raw honey
    3/4 tablespoon arrowroot starch

    For the crumble:
    1/2 cup sprouted spelt flour
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup slivered almonds
    1/4 cup coconut oil, just melted
    1/4 cup raw honey, just melted
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon allspice


    Instructions:

    • Preheat the oven to 350F.
    • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling.
    • In a second, medium-sized bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble, mixing well to combine.
    • Pour the filling layer into an oven-safe baking dish, to create the first layer of the dish.
    • Evenly sprinkle the crumble over the filling, creating the second layer of the dish.
    • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until slightly golden on top and the layer of fruit bubbles below.

    Enjoy!

  • Culinary Nutrition + Lemon Lentil Veg Soup

    Culinary Nutrition + Lemon Lentil Veg Soup

    I was not a natural in the kitchen.

    I loved watching the Food Network and eating amazing food! But it used to be that my husband's asking me to take care of dinner (a rare occasion, since he was the only one who could cook in our relationship) would be an anxiety-provoking experience.

    What to make?
    How to make it?
    How long will it take?
    What will it taste like?!
    Can't you just make it? Pleeease?

    Fortunately, that's no longer an issue. In fact, now I probably take care of dinner just as often as he does - if not more!

    What changed? 

    My first attempts at cooking were the result of changing the way I ate - in order to heal myself and get on with my life. It worked! But the food wasn't always that impressive. It tasted good to me, but there was very little rhyme or reason behind the "recipes" (if you could even call them that!). 

    Now, things are very different.

    It's easy for me to make dinner. I'm more-than-comfortable in the kitchen. I love it, actually! I'm even confidently creating my own recipes. (It's crrrazy dude!)

    I knew a lot about nutrition, but I'd wanted to up my game (take it to the next level) and finally learn how to prepare awesome food for myself, my family, and my coaching practice

    From the moment I saw Meghan's Culinary Nutrition Expert program, I knew I had to do it.

    I just had a sense that I needed that program - personally and professionaly. 

    And I was right. But what I got so far exceeded my expectations.

    It's an information-packed, challenging-but-totally-worth-it, life-changing course.

    And if you're thinking about going for it this time around, then do yourself (and your family, friends, and clients) a favor - and take the leap!

    Today is the day, guys. Life's too short not to do what you love. 

    Here's a peak at what's on the other side:

    • Real time pre-recorded workshop videos
    • Accompanying course materials (resources + recipes)
    • Weekly live-stream office hours with Meghan (includes demonstrations and Q&A)
    • Reading materials
    • Meghan’s business coaching workshop
    • Goal setting workshops
    • Home study & cooking assignments

    Use my link to learn more - and tell them I sent ya! 


    And in the meantime, give this recipe a shot! It's a super easy-and-delicious Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup, and it's the "Meghan recipe" I've made and remade most often.

    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
    1 medium (average-sized) onion, diced
    4 carrots, sliced
    5 celery stalks, sliced
    3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained*
    3/4 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
    3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    6 cups water
    1 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste) 
    1/2 avocado (garnish)
    * Or just use all red or all all green lentils.

    Instructions:
    Heat oil over low-medium heat. Sauté onions until just translucent. Add carrots, celery, lentils, lemon juice, water, sea salt, and cayenne. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. (I've found that you'll need a little longer if you're using green lentils.) Add avocado as garnish. It's such a creamy, delicious addition!

    Notes: I also love adding broccoli (2 cups, chopped up small) and 2-3 cups of sliced-up greens (spinach, mesclun, kale) at the end. I'll turn off the heat, mix in the broccoli and greens, and then re-cover to let the hot soup cook the broccoli and greens with no added heat. Hope you love it!

    And, if you'd like to see the original recipe (not much different from what you see here), you can find it on Meghan's page: http://bit.ly/1o5Vq19

  • Easy Chickpea & Quinoa Salad (Vegan & Gluten-Free!)

    Easy Chickpea & Quinoa Salad (Vegan & Gluten-Free!)

    Whip up this super easy, light-yet-satisfying lunch: Chickpea & Quinoa Salad! It's plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free. Aaand it's delish. 

    Ingredients:
    2 cups quinoa (cooked)*
    1 can chickpeas
    1/2 cup diced red onion
    2 tablespoons dried cranberries, unsweetened
    1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon EVOO
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    • Combine all ingredients.
    • Allow to sit for 1-2 hours, or enjoy immediately.



    *Making quinoa is super easy and fast! To cook quinoa, rinse 1 cup of quinoa until water runs clear. Combine rinsed quinoa and 1.5 cups of water in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. 

  • How To Stay Healthy + Happy On Your Vacation

    How To Stay Healthy + Happy On Your Vacation

    Summer vacation is coming up - and you've been feeling pretty good lately. You're excited about the trips you've got planned, but kinda nervous, too.

    Why? You're worried about how you're going to feel and what's going to happen.

    Will you be able to maintain your healthy habits? The ones that are making you feel happier and healthier than ever before?

    Or will things just fall apart? The last thing you want is to feel like crap on your awesome vacation. Right?

    If you're like me, you're just not willing to compromise anymore. It took me a good long time feel better, and I know what did it. In a nutshell? Good food and good living. 

    Now, I'm in a really good place. And part of that means not missing out on the things I love. Like packing up and going on adventures!

    I caught the travel bug a loooong time ago. Finding ways to immerse myself in and among new places, cultures, people (and food!) is a super important part of my life. It just takes a little extra planning now.

    So today I'm going to share with you my best tips for traveling. (And staying happy and healthy along the way!) 

    • Do your research. Get on the google - and check out the situation ahead of time. I like to search for "best vegan restaurants" for wherever I'm headed. Websites like www.happycow.netwww.vegginoutandabout.com, and www.urbanspoon.com are some of my favorites. And a search for the closest Whole Foods Market is always a must. Many times you'll find restaurants that are "vegan friendly" or "vegetarian friendly". You'd be surprised at how many good restaurants are willing to whip you up something special upon request.
    • Pack ahead. Sometimes you'll find yourself heading into a bit of a "food desert" when it comes to high quality food options. (You'll know this because you've done your research.) In such cases, it's a great idea to stock up on healthy snacks beforehand. I like to bring organic dry foods, like nuts, seeds, fruit, seaweed, dark chocolate, granola, and tea. Packing ahead gives you a sense of control and comfort going into a somewhat questionable food experience - and allows you to supplement accordingly.
    • Bring a natural first aid kit. I like to bring along a few key items to help keep my body healthy and strong while I'm away. Teas like echinacea + elderberry (for immune support) and ginger (to calm an upset stomach) are great. I also bring along essential oils - and am really in love my essential oils. (Email me to learn more about my favorite oils!)
    • Stay hydrated. If you're like me, you do a lot of walking and exploring on your trips. Always have a water bottle on hand to make sure you're staying well-hydrated. I just take mine through security (empty, of course) and fill up at a water fountain on the other side. Easy. 
    • Find your people. It seems like it's getting easier and easier to find likeminded people while your traveling. I find them at health food stores, yoga studios, Whole Foods Market - and beyond. They're great resources for places you'd probably love to check out, whether for food or other activities, while you're visiting.
    • Choose your travel companions wisely. It always helps to surround yourself with people who understand you and support you. This doesn't mean they have to do everything the same way you do! They just need to be understanding and supportive when you need to do things a certain way. If they question your choices (skipping the deep dish pizza, for example, or choosing not to drink alcohol), simply explain that you feel really great and don't want to risk feeling sick on this awesome vacation! It's just not worth it. That being said, there will be times that you feel you MUST eat or drink something that you normally would avoid. Go with your gut. Sometimes a little slip is worth it. Other times? Not so much.

    The whole point is to enjoy the experience. Taking the time to explore your options before and during your trip makes things a whole lot easier on you - and ensures that you'll be healthy and happy enough to get the most out of it. Until the next one!

    Do you have other tips to add? Share them in the comments!

    And in the meantime, here's to your happy, healthy vacation ahead!

    LOVE,
    Katie
    XO

  • Taco Night Done Right

    Taco Night Done Right

    Happy Earth Day, guys! Wondering how else you can give Mother Earth a little more love this year?

    I’ve got the perfect thing for you: A totally plant-based, super easy and delicious recipe that you can throw together in minutes. This one is always a winner at our house.

    Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with Earth Day. Actually, quite a lot. According to the Environmental Working Group:

    Americans’ appetite for meat and dairy – billions of pounds a year from billions of animals – takes a toll on our health, the environment, climate and animal welfare. Producing all this meat and dairy requires large amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed and water. It also generates greenhouse gases and large amounts of toxic manure and wastewater that pollute groundwater, rivers, streams and, ultimately, the ocean. In addition, eating large quantities of beef and processed meats increases your exposure to toxins and is linked to higher rates of health problems, including heart disease, cancer and obesity.

    So, if you want to give your mother a little extra love this year, consider taking a look at the foods you consume - and where they come from.

    A plant-based diet (based mainly on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) is generally more Earth-friendly than the alternative. Bonus points for paying attention to how far your food has to travel to get to your table. This is super important. Local is best!

    Here's a recipe you can feel good about - that loves you back and is easy to put together fast! 

    Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

    Ingredients:

    The Filling:
    3 cups sweet potato, diced small

    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can corn, drained
    2 avocados, diced
    1/2 cup red onion, diced small

    The Dressing:
    4 tbsp lemon juice

    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp raw honey (or use agave or maple syrup if you prefer)
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp ground cayenne
    1 tsp sea salt

    Tortillas:
    We like to use soft, organic corn tortillas for our tacos.

    Instructions:

    • To steam diced sweet potato, add 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of a medium/large pot, sit steamer basket in the pot, and add sweet potato. Steam, covered, on medium/high heat until tender. (About ten minutes.)
    • While the sweet potato is steaming, place black beans, corn, avocados, and onions in a large bowl. Once tender, add the diced sweet potato.
    • In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, raw honey, cumin, cayenne, and sea salt until well combined.
    • Pour dressing over filling, and mix gently to combine well.

    We use a cast iron pan to warm our tortillas. Low-to-medium heat does the trick. The tortillas will soften quickly. Give them a flip to be sure they've warmed throughout. Add as much filling as you like - and enjoy!

    So, what do you think? Easy enough, right? And it does not disappoint. I would love to know what you think – and I’d love to hear what your go-to healthy meal is. Let me know in the comments below!

  • Get-Happy Ginger Cookies: Easy, Gluten-Free, & Plant-Based!

    Get-Happy Ginger Cookies: Easy, Gluten-Free, & Plant-Based!



    SUPER EXCITED to have
    my new Get-Happy Ginger Cookies on MindBodyGreen today!

    These are super easy to throw together - and they're entirely plant-based AND gluten-free. Happy bellies all around! 

    Snag the recipe HERE.

    Let me know what ya think!

    LOVE,
    Katie
    XO

  • Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce

    Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce

    Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce With A Kick

    Ingredients:

    1 teaspoon coconut oil
    1 carrot, diced
    1 small potato, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
    1 cup water
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Instructions:

    • Melt coconut oil in medium-sized pot over medium heat.
    • Add carrot, red bell pepper, and potato. Stir.
    • Stir in smoked paprika, cayenne, and sea salt.
    • Sauté until warmed throughout. 
    • Add water and continue to allow veggies to cook until just soft. 
    • Remove from heat and pour into blender. 
    • Blend until smooth.
    • Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    This made enough to coat 2 1/2 cups of my favorite 100% organic brown rice pasta in creamy deliciousness. Perfect as a side - or a meal!

    Enjoy!

    LOVE,
    Katie
    XO

  • Recipe Review: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    Recipe Review: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    This right here is seriously good stuff.
    Chocolate mousse!
    Made out of avocados!!
    Um, yes please.

    I've been seeing these recipes pop up from time to time - but hadn't gotten around to trying any yet. 

    Until last night. When, as fate would have it, we had an unusually large perfectly ripe avocado - but had already eaten dinner. What to do?!

    Make mousse, of course. 

    That's right, dessert that's actually good for you.

    Let's review:

    Raw Cacao is anti-bacterial, immune supportive, an antioxidant, and cardiovascular system-friendly.

    Raw Honey is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, a powerful antioxidant, and immune-boosting.

    Avocados is a source of heart healthy fat, great plant-based protein option, rich in Vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory (Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols, and omega-3).

    The Kitchn to the rescue! Recipe? Right over HERE


    NOTE: I used raw honey (you know how I feel about raw honey, right?) instead of raw coconut nectar. It's what I had on hand. Aaand it's the greatest. I also used my KitchenAid mixer instead of a food processor - just mixed everything together and popped it in the fridge. Worked beautifully!

  • RADICAL SELF-CARE

    RADICAL SELF-CARE

    Radical Self-Care

    Too often, taking really good care of ourselves (in the same way we would lovingly take care of a newborn, a child, an aging parent, or a loved one fallen ill) is pushed aside with excuses of time, money, or the crazy idea that taking time for self-care is selfish.

    Develop easy self-care habits: People get so wrapped up in their busy lives that they forget to take care of themselves. This can be something as simple as a relaxing bath and as nice as a day at the spa. ― Joshua Rosenthal

    We put our own health at the bottom of our long list of priorities: raising a family, planning events, pursuing a career. Or we're too tired - and we spend our downtime on social media or in front of the television.

    This is all fine and good for a little while. Our bodies are powerful, miraculous machines that work tirelessly to keep us in balance. But eventually, our late nights, endless stress, and general self-abuse catch up with us. We feel like crap. Depressed and unable to keep up, our energy and enthusiasm drained.  

    The result? We can't enjoy the things we love, appreciate the things we have, or pursue our dreams.

    Something must be done.
    And that thing is called radical self-care.

    Self-care is just what you think it is: taking care of one's self. We do it every day: shower, brush our teeth, put food in our bellies. 

    But radical self-care is taking basic self-care a giant leap further. It is the quietly bold act of putting your health and your quality of life first. And it is in doing so that we are able to face (and overcome) the major challenges and stressors of life - and to live with greater balance and resilience.

    [Radical self care is...] acting on the premise that your need for sleep, time out, socializing with your friends, and exercising is JUST as important as getting the kids to soccer practice, doing laundry, and going to work. ― Aimee Gallo

    Here are some of my (easy, reliable, and) favorite ways to practice radical self care all day long:

    Start the day off right. Treat your body to cleansing, calming, energizing foods in the morning. A breakfast of fresh fruit and tea. Warm lemon water with cayenne. Maybe a green juice. And a little bit (even five or ten minutes) of you-time: to sit and calmly enjoy your meal. Take some slow, deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth. Maybe swap the talk radio station for some soothing Pandora music on your way to work. (Often my ride to work is my morning me-time, and I treat it as such.) Consider starting your day with meditation. There's still time to start this one.

    Food as self care. What you choose to eat is a form of self-care. Choose foods that contribute to health - not disease. Whole, plant-based foods are the superheroes of nutrition, and summer is an easy time to eat this way. Experiment with new recipes and ingredients. Use spices to season and add flavor. Ditch the junk food, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Eat less meat, dairy, and sugar, and consume less coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. Pay attention to your body. How do you feel when you eat more of the good and less of the bad?

    Get it all out. When your mind is clogged with things to do and you feel like you're going a little cray-cray, it might be time for a mental purge. The good folks at zenhabits have put together an excellent list of 15 Can't-Miss Ways to Declutter Your Mind. Pick one and try it today.

    Throughout the day. Check in with yourself throughout the day. How's your breathing? When was the last time you took a deep breath, fully filling your chest and body with oxygen? If work is driving you mad, take a mini-break. Get outside - or at least out of the immediate environment. A change of scenery helps you focus on other things. Listen to your favorite song on your phone. Or take a quiet walk. It helps to break up the day with something more peaceful and positive. Another trick I use at work is humming. It brings me back to calm and helps me stay focused. GPS for the Soul, Insight Timer, and Relax Life are all great {free!} apps that help me through the overwhelm.

                     

    Disconnect. And reconnect. Take time to disconnect from the phone, computer, or television - and reconnect with family and friends. When my husband and I eat dinner, we put our iPhones out of reach. It's impossible to build meaningful relationships with people if you're constantly looking at your phone instead of actually looking at them and paying attention to the words coming out of their mouths. Be present and engaged. Your relationships will improve dramatically. 

    Evening self-care. A shower is an excellent opportunity for self care. Try a delicious-smelling body scrub. Dry skin brushing. Experiment with essential oils. Light a candle. After, while your muscles are still warm, treat yourself to an ayurvedic self massage. Check out this link for a how-to demonstration. On cold nights - or for sore muscles - fill a hot water bottle with hot water and take it to bed with you. It's comforting, warming, and healing. Old school - but super cool.

    Gratitude. Start a gratitude practice. (A good excuse to buy an awesome new journal!) Not buying it? Check out all these reasons why it's good to live gratefully. Starting a nightly gratitude practice is also comforting, and therefore a great exercise in self care. Instead of letting the worries and stress of the day (or day to come) cloud your minds - and keep you from a peaceful slumber - try writing down three things for which your grateful every night before bed. 

    How do you practice radical self-care?
    Which idea are you most excited to try?
    Leave a note in the comments below and let me know what you think.

  • CONFESSION

    CONFESSION

    Confession: I am not a great chef.

    For someone who loves (and talks about) food as much as I do, you'd think I'd be a master in the kitchen, right?

    Not so much. Do I totally understand and appreciate what I'm eating? Yep, sure do. Am I a reliable food critic with pretty darn high expectations? Sure am. 

    And yet, I'd say I generally fall into the "sous chef" category (at best) at our house. I never had to get creative (or especially skilled) at cooking, because I was blessed with a husband who is an amazing chef and loves to cook.

    His initial reaction to my decision to eschew animal-based food, however, was not so amazing. (Fortunately, he is now very much on board! But that's a story for another day.) Point is, I was forced to learn to cook things for myself. (And I use the term "cook" very loosely here.) 

    Since becoming a plant-based foodie about a year and a half ago, I've gotten a lot more up close and personal with food than I ever used to be. Why? I was forced to. I told my husband I didn't care what he decided to eat (lie), but that I was going to be changing my diet (so there). The fact that I was willing to take on food preparation is a testament to how committed I was. 

    Early on, my most common approach to cooking was picking a few ingredients, throwing them together, heating them up, and then eating them. Not much rhyme or reason. Not much use of (the many, fabulous) cookbooks I enthusiastically purchased, or the multitude of spices and seasonings at my disposal.

    Fortunately, my newly-acquired taste buds (they change when you start eating this way) loved all those crazy concoctions. It all tasted great to me! But not everyone had taste buds like mine...

    I want to create healthy, delicious meals that I'd be proud to share with my family and friends. This is my goal, and I'd like to share that journey with you. Whether you're an amateur or an expert, I hope you enjoy the recipes I'll be sharing here from time to time. 

    And please share your favorites with me, too! Together, we can build an arsenal of healthy deliciousness. 

    Buen provecho! 


    BROWN RICE PILAF
    WITH BABY BROCCOLI AND EDAMAME
    Serves 3-4 

    This one was a winner.

    Ingredients
    1 cup brown rice
    2 cups water
    1/4 cup raisins
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 cup diced onion
    almonds (sliced)
    1-2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
    1-2 cups frozen edamame 
    sea salt and tamari sauce to taste 

    Instructions

    1. Combine water, brown rice, raisins, and cumin in medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to boil.
    2. Once boiling, reduce heat, stir once, recover, and simmer for approximately 45-50 minutes, addiing chopped onions to top of mixture after about 20 minutes of simmering.
    3. While the pilaf is cooking, prepare broccoli and edamame. Place aside.
    4. Remove pilaf from heat, uncover, and fluff with fork. Allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes.
    5. I served equal parts pilaf, broccoli, and edamame, sprinking sliced almonds over pilaf and drizzling less than a cap-full of tamari over the whole bowl.
    6. Enjoy!
       

    And for dessert:
    CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING
    Serves 1-2
    Don't knock it till you've tried it!


    Ingredients
    1 cup chocolate almond milk
    1/4 cup chia seeds

    Instructions

    1. Combine milk and chia seeds.
    2. Mix thoroughly.
    3. Wait approximately 1 hour.
    4. Mix thoroughly.
    5. Enjoy!