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Super Bowl Super Foods

26 Jan

IMG_1973Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish to a Super Bowl party this Sunday, these simple recipes are sure to please your palate and body, leaving plenty of time for halftime dancing and game watching. Fully inflated football decorations are optional.

 

Appetizers: fresh fig (or date) and nitrate-free summer sausage kabobs, guacamole with red bell pepper and carrot dippers, sweet potato and cashew hummus

Main Event: bison chili

Dessert: individual small paper cups in team colors filled with 80% dark chocolate pieces and raw nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

 

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Thrive During Change: The 5-Step Anti-New Year’s Resolution Plan

29 Dec
Set your sails and avoid the rocks along the way.

Set your sails and avoid the rocks along the way.

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. It isn’t because I don’t believe in growth and bettering one’s self–I’m totally down with that. It’s because the “New Year’s Resolution” thought process that we’ve known sets us up for failure. Too lofty (“I know I haven’t exercised in 15 years, but I’m going to start going to the gym…”), too much (“… every single day at 5am…”), too dependent on societal cues  (“…because losing weight will help me get that date!”). So let’s thrive in 2015 and look a little differently at how we can start our positive lifestyle changes on a path of success!

1. How Do You Want to Feel? Danielle LaPorte writes in her phenomenal book, The Desire Map, that we spend a great deal of our time seeking goals or things to make us feel a certain way. For example, do you think having the perfect body will help you ditch your toxic partner and find a better job? It won’t because the perfect body doesn’t exist (without Photoshop)… but doing things that make you feel happy, sexy and courageous will help you realize your inner awesomeness, build confidence and you will become aware that you DESERVE (yes, you darling!) to be in a healthy relationship and a job you enjoy.

Action Step 1: Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” and make a list of words that resonate with you. Then, write down simple things (aka wearing my favorite perfume makes me feel sexy) you can do on a daily basis to feel that way.

2. Expect Challenges. Going through the transition of change can be painful. Anyone remember puberty? I know my awkwardness shined brightly throughout all those middle school pictures. Todd Herman, sports psychology coach, has the answer to stick to your changes. He says that the reason why we start off like a rock star during our New Year’s resolutions is because our brain temporarily floods our body with feel-good neurotransmitters to tell us good job and that it loves the fact we are treating our body awesome with exercise and healthy foods.

After about a week, we feel the resistance, the un-motivation. This is because our neurotransmitter levels went back to normal (and good thing, otherwise we’d literally go crazy). We think we’re just lazy and that it’s too hard to change; however, our cells are having a party transforming into healthier cells for us! They just need a little bit more time to reshape themselves (longer than our neurotransmitter support can give us).

Action Step 2: Celebrate when you feel resistance because it means you are making positive changes and your body is LOVING it! Push through the awkward puberty of change by: 1) breathing, 2) reminding yourself why what you are doing is important, 3) say it out loud, “I’m changing.” and 4) read the next step…

3. Make Small Corrections. So you missed a workout. It’s cool. Our life isn’t a typewriter. We don’t have to throw it all away just because we made a mistake. We are on a journey and can course correct, making small adjustments so we don’t hit that huge rock in our path again.

Action Step 3: What do you need to make this change successful? Is it packing your workout bag at night and having it in the car? Is it keeping almonds in portioned bags at work for emergency snacks? Whatever it is, do it. And if it doesn’t work, change it.

4. Start Small. You’ve decided you want to be healthier and exercising more is how you want to get there–hooray! Rather than going from zero to seven days per week of gym time, start slowly and build your confidence that this new positive change is easy peasy.

Action Step 4: Choose a number that sounds too easy. Maybe it is exercising one day per week for 30 minutes or focusing on swapping out one non-healthy snack with 25 almonds. Whatever it is, practice it. If it doesn’t work, re-read Step 3 and change it.

5. Think Outside the Box. Anyone who wishes to better themselves is a stellar human being in my book. So, as stellar human beings go, make the transition as enjoyable as possible. If you want to move your body, dislike running and love dancing, then for the love of guacamole dance–don’t run–to your mp3 player and “Shake It Off.”

Action Step 5: Okay, you know how you want to feel and what will help you get there. Now, make a list of the most enjoyable things you can do to achieve it. So, if you want to feel energetic and exercising is how you want to feel that way, but you dislike gyms, then make a list of everything you can do that you like outside of a gym (bodyweight exercises at home, yoga dvd, hike, dance, etc.). Choose your favorite, start small and rock out!

Warm Cinnamon Nut ‘N Apples (grain, gluten, sugar and dairy-free)

30 Dec

IMG_1823I grew up on cinnamon applesauce and apples and peanut butter as snacks. When the temps drop, I love nothing more than smelling baked apples and eating a warm fuzzy kind of snack. It’s like a hug in a bowl for your tummy.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw pecans

1/2 cup raw walnuts

3 Fuji apples (or any sweet apple)

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup almond milk

Directions:

1. Soak the raw nuts in water with a pinch of salt for at least 7 hours.

2. Pre-heat oven to 325°. Cut apples in half and core them. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet  greased with coconut oil and bake for 45 minutes.

3. While apples are baking, drain and rinse the nuts until the water runs clear. Place in a food processor.

4. Add the baked apples, cinnamon, pinch of sea salt and almond milk to the food processor and blend until porridge consistency.

5. Put porridge in a pot and warm on the stove top. Add more milk if needed and top with crushed pecans and fresh fruit.

Serves 4