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3
NOV

5 Best Ways to Save Energy While Staying Warm This Winter

Filed Under: Environment,Home at 11:28 am | By: Guest Blogger
Cozy home. Candles, book and cup of tea

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Winter is coming and it’s going to bring along some seriously chilly days and nights. Though the worst of the season is still ahead, now is an excellent chance for you to start preparing. Many homeowners are aware that consuming too much energy in the winter to stay warm can be both expensive and bad for the planet. To help you through the season, here are some fun tips on saving energy and staying nice and toasty.

1. Windows

Homes are not always as well-insulated as owners might like to believe. Air leaks around windows and doorframes can cause your energy bills to skyrocket, as your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain the right temperature. Ignoring a draft could easily cause your home to waste far more energy than you’d like. Contact professionals and learn about energy-efficient window options to improve your home’s ability to handle the chill of winter.

2. Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis is the scientific process surrounding a living organism’s ability to produce heat. Eating food that can help to enhance your own thermogenesis may allow you to stay warm without cranking the heat. Ginger, lentils, and coconut oil all help in this regard. It is important to remember that weight is a big factor in your body’s thermogenesis. Depending on your weight, specific foods might not have any effect on changing the way your body produces heat.

3. Spice Life

The way you season your food can also have a dramatic impact on how warm your body feels in the cold. Putting cumin on meals has been shown to raise body temperature and make an individual feel nice and cozy. While cumin is a top choice for many, spices like cinnamon and turmeric are also excellent candidates for the task. Several academic studies suggest using these spices can aid in diet or weight loss efforts, especially when mixed with protein-rich foods.

4. Temperature Regulation

What food you eat can assist your body to best regulate its internal temperature. Eating foods rich in magnesium, like bananas, has been shown to create a feeling of warmth in the body. Many foods that contain higher levels of magnesium are easy to carry around with you. By munching on pumpkin seeds or almonds throughout the course of the day, you are giving your body the opportunity to warm up no matter where the day takes you. While at home, eating magnesium-rich food can also help you to save on heating costs.

5. Metabolic Boost

When your metabolism is moving, your body is heated. Boosting your metabolism is easy when you drink coffee on a regular basis. A cup of coffee each morning can keep you warm simply through the power of caffeine. It does not matter that the coffee is hot or iced, so feel free to indulge in your favorite caffeinated drinks regardless of temperature.

 

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.

 



3
NOV

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole With Maple Pecan Topping

Filed Under: Recipes at 10:42 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Sweet potato banana baked oatmeal with pecan crumb crust. toning. selective focus

This Skinny Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecan Topping is a vegan, light and healthy twist to traditional sweet potato casserole. All the comfort food, less than half the calories!

Ingredients

Maple Pecan Topping
3 tablespoon maple syrup
6 tablespoons almond flour
1 1/2 tablespoon melted vegan butter
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Sweet Potato Casserole
3.3 pounds sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
6 tablespoons vegan butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Maple Pecan Topping

  1. While sweet potato is boiling or right before, mix all the ingredients for the maple pecan topping together and set aside until needed.

Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a 4 QT pot of boiling water, boil the sweet potato for 20 minutes until fork soft.
  3. When the sweet potato is finished boiling, drain and mash.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and using the potato masher, mix all the ingredients together until they are incorporated, about 2 minutes of mashing.
  5. Spoon sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish and top with the Maple Pecan topping.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes (check that nuts don’t burn – if they are browning too quickly cover with foil) then remove from oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

 

Recipe from jessicainthekitchen.com



1
NOV

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (According to Science)

Filed Under: Ask The ND,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Mindfulness at 4:58 pm | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
Young Caucasian woman looking in the window in winter

Bears aren’t the only ones who “hibernate” in the wintertime! As the days get colder & we’re less exposed to sunlight, it’s common to experience the “winter blues.” You may feel a lack of energy, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, changes in your appetite & an overall lack of motivation.

While these are all normal responses to less sunlight, some might experience these symptoms on a more extreme level through Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of major depression, bipolar I or II disorder that displays a pattern that recurs with the seasons. Those more at risk for developing SAD are women, those living far from the equator or people who have a family history of depression.

If you’re feeling the blues this winter, try working these tips into your wellness regime to help feel better naturally!

1. Light therapy or Bright Light Therapy (BLT)

If you have a hard time filling your space with natural light, consider using a light therapy box. They emit full spectrum light similar to the sun & are best used for 20-60 minutes a day, first thing in the morning. While you may feel the benefits in a few days, it’s important to use consistently to prevent symptoms from returning. Although safe, side effects can occur from light therapy (generally less severe than prescription medications) so always use under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

2. Exercise & meditation

You’ve been told countless times about the importance of exercise, but the endorphins released during your workouts are especially effective at improving your mood. You can also incorporate meditation & yoga into your routine to better manage stress and depression.

3. Nourish your body with whole foods

While sweets might seem like the answer to all life’s struggles, know that the “happiness effect” you might perceive is only temporary. Ultimately, spiking your blood sugar levels will cause inflammation & leave you feeling worse, so nourish your body with whole foods like leafy greens & antioxidant-rich fruits.

4. Get enough Vitamin D

Many people suffering from winter blues have deficient levels of Vitamin D. Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels & add a supplement to your diet if you’re lacking. Even though it’s cold, taking a quick walk outside in the sunlight during the day can help you feel better.

5. Socialize & connect with others

You’re probably not the only one who feels down in the wintertime, so talk to family & friends about the way you’re feeling. The act of sharing your feelings alone might help you feel better! If your symptoms worsen & interfere with your daily life, be sure to reach out to a professional for help.

While the gloom and gray of winter might leave you longing for the summer sun, don’t let it stop you from being active and socializing with friends! Take advantage of what every season has to offer and approach it with a positive attitude.



25
OCT

4 Benefits Of Collagen Other Than Skin Health

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 3:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Unrecognizable muscular man running or walking on track field, low angle view of his running shoes.

Collagen has been a top-selling product for skin health for many years but did you know that this powerful supplement offers many other health benefits? Let’s look at 4 ways collagen can improve your health.

1. Joint Health

Collagen is a major component in forming your body’s tendons, ligaments, muscles and cartilage. As you age, your body is less able to manufacture a sufficient amount of collagen and supplements can help maintain your body’s repair process. Collagen contains the amino acids glycine and proline, which help repair tissue, lessen inflammation, and provide relief from joint pain. Collagen products are used for treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.

2. Weight Loss

Collagen supplements can help in weight loss. A great source of protein, collagen provides 18 grams of protein per 2 scoops. Studies have shown that collagen peptides consumed at breakfast are 40% more satiating than other proteins such as whey or soy, and may lead to a 20% reduction of food intake at lunch.

3. Digestion

Collagen supplements can help improve digestion by repairing the mucous lining. Collagen soothes and heals the digestive tract and helps break down the protein and fat from foods, making them easier for the body to digest.

4. Athletic Performance

As mentioned above, the amino acids glycine and proline help repair tissue and lessen inflammation. Consequently, supplementation with collagen peptides shortens recovery after exercise and helps with sports related injuries on muscle, tendons, and ligaments.



24
OCT

Boiron – Your Home For Homeopathic

Filed Under: Homeopathy at 10:19 am | By: Madeline Reiss
 

Homeopathy has been used for more than 200 years, building a remarkable safety record and generating a great body of knowledge. Today, homeopathy is used by millions of patients in more than 65 countries and recommended by more than 400,000 healthcare providers. Since the passing of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938, homeopathic medicines have been regulated as drugs by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

 

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!

 



20
OCT

How to Become a Morning Workout Person

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Exercise and Fitness at 8:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Close up of a man running in the park

It’s not an easy task but if you like to take on a challenge, here’s a great one: becoming a morning workout person.

Many people simply cannot exercise in the early hours of the day for different reasons. Some people need a slow start. Some people only start functioning after a cup of coffee or tea. Some people simply don’t have the energy to work out in the morning hours. Plus, the majority of people can’t seem to fit a workout into their busy schedules. Work, school, kids—everything else seems to take up our morning time, but there’s a way to make it happen!

You can wake up earlier, get your workout done and then start your day as you normally would.
Waking up an hour earlier than your usual time may be sufficient, but as we know, this is easier said than done and takes some habit-forming skills. Of course, going to bed earlier is necessary to become a morning person as you still need to sleep enough hours and wake up rested. Making this a habit may actually bring a lot of health benefits for you.

Eating properly is essential. You may choose to eat a light breakfast or a nutritional bar before your workout and then complement with a healthy breakfast once your activity is done. You can also eat a full healthy breakfast and then workout, of course, this option may only work you have enough time in the morning. In both cases, eating well and exercising in the morning hours are two important factors that can help regulate your eating habits, and in some cases, making you less hungry for the rest of day.

Since waking up early and starting a new habit are two, not-so-easy things to do, you can start slowly, exercising just 10-15 minutes, two or three times a week. Once your mind and your body are used to the new workout time, bump up to 20-30 minutes and more frequently if you wish. This way, it may be easier for you to get that great feeling after getting your exercise done in the morning hours without feeling tired during the day.

Remember that it may take time and you may feel like quitting but don’t give up. Once you have established yourself as a morning workout person, you will feel energized every day.



20
OCT

6 Reasons to Try Homeopathy

Filed Under: Homeopathy at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Closeup of bottles with homeopathic remedies with Basil herb and Materia Medica and Repertory books on side, arnica montana, aconite napellus, lycopodium clavatum, arsenicum album … Generic labels with generic names created by me and applied to bottles.

Homeopathy has been growing in the past years for a variety of different reasons. Known to help stimulate the body’s own mechanism, homeopathy is an inexpensive remedy that can help people who are in pain and may be dependent on drugs that may cause more problems than the original issues. Let’s look a 6 good reasons to try homeopathy.

1. No Side Effects

Homeopathy is a treatment without side effects, making it easier for anyone to try and use it on a regular basis. Plus, there is no risk of addiction to homeopathic medicines, a common issue with regular drugs.

2. Effective Treatment

Homeopathy works. This effective treatment can help minimize your health problems permanently and, as long as the remedy is chosen and used correctly, it will provide quick relief, acting within minutes or hours.

3. Affordable

Homeopathic remedies are much more affordable than conventional ones. These inexpensive products are below the $20 range per bottle and can be as low as $2.

4. Works for Everyone

Homeopathy can help adults, children, infants, the elderly, and even pets and livestock. This simple treatment may offer anyone of any age the solution for different health problems that conventional medicine has no cure.

5. FDA Approved

Homeopathy is approved by the FDA, Food and Drug Administration. Unlike conventional drugs, there are no reports of homeopathic remedies which have been forced off the market due to consumers having adverse reactions.

6. Worldwide Data

With over 200 years of data to support its claims, homeopathy has been used throughout the world in many countries in Europe and South America as well as some countries in Asia.



17
OCT

Doing The Planet A Favor Has Never Tasted So Good

Filed Under: Environment,Health Foods at 9:31 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Selection vegan protein sources on wood background, copy space

THE VEGIDAY™ MOVEMENT: Making the right choice – for you, and for the planet

Everyone on our marvelous planet deserves to be well nourished. But as Earth’s population continues to grow, how will we feed everyone? The simplest – and most sustainable – route to nourishing the world is to produce food that uses less of the planet’s resources. A seed only requires water, some nutrients from the soil, and a whole lot of energy from the sun to become a nourishing plant that can sustain life. Producing animal protein uses far more resources to deliver an equivalent amount of protein. When we choose to replace animal protein with plant protein, even for just one meal a day, we save enough resources to give five more people a serving of plant protein. Plant protein is also better for our health, and better for the environment.

Plant protein is better for the planet

Large-scale industrial animal farming has a negative impact on the planet.

  • The livestock industry is responsible for approximately 15% of global carbon emissions
  • The average meat-eater is responsible for almost twice as much global warming as the average vegetarian
  • By reducing your meat intake by half, you could cut your carbon footprint by more than 35%

Natural Factors Raw Organic Plant-Based Protein

Doing the planet a favor has never tasted so good! These deliciously nutritious protein powders are 100% certified organic and contain a wholesome blend of seven raw, non-GMO plant proteins: pea, pumpkin, sacha inchi, quinoa, chia, spirulina, and chlorella. By combining various plant proteins, the full spectrum of essential amino acids, including the important branched-chain amino acids, are included. These easy-to-digest proteins are made to the highest quality standards.

  • Raw and certified organic
  • 20 g of vegan protein per serving
  • Provides all the essential amino acids
  • Certified gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Easy-to-digest, soy free, and dairy free
  • Naturally sweetened and flavored
  • Supports healthy weight management
  • Helps build and maintain lean muscle mass

These delicious plant-based protein powders come in French Vanilla and Decadent Chocolate flavors, as well as an Unflavored option. Just mix one scoop with water, juice, or your preferred non-dairy beverage. For added variety try blending in fruit, berries, ginger, and greens or other powdered superfoods. Or just add a scoop to your favorite shake or smoothie!

 

Learn more at vegiday.com!



12
OCT

This 10-Step Routine Might Be The Secret To Clear, Glowing Skin

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:38 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Young beautiful korea woman holding product in hand with relax emotion at pink background, 20-30 year old.

Korean skincare (K-Beauty) products are populating beauty aisles left and right. Characterized by their eye-catching colors and whimsical packaging, K-Beauty products utilize a modern “nature meets technology” formula and thorough 10-step regimen that’s practiced morning and night. Pick up a face mask and you might see ingredients like snail mucin (yes, that’s snail slime), pig collagen and bee venom—all said to boost cell regeneration, calm inflammation and leave you with a dewy glow.

The philosophy behind the K-Beauty regimen is that an individual’s complexion requires a customized routine that addresses their unique skin issues, such as acne, dry skin, premature aging and so on. While 10-steps sound exhausting, keep in mind several steps are only practiced twice a week and a few products are used more than once.

Ready to become an expert on Korean skincare? Buckle up, because we’re taking you through the complete, 10-part system.

The 10-Step Korean Beauty Routine

Step 1: Remove Makeup & Pre-Cleanse…

The first half of the popular K-Beauty “double cleanse” is removing your makeup with an oil-based makeup remover. Massage all over your face to break up dirt and bacteria, adding a splash of lukewarm water to help spread the product, then rinse!

Step 2: …And Cleanse Again

A crucial step in the K-Beauty regime is proper, thorough cleansing. This helps activate a radiant, acne-free complexion! Using a mild, water-based cleanser, rinse away impurities leftover from the pre-cleansing step with soft, circular motions.

Step 3: Exfoliate

Soft, supple skin means no dead skin cells collecting on the surface, so slough it off and don’t neglect your lips! A big note on this step: you don’t need to scrub your entire face every night. Try this step twice a week, as exfoliated skin allows your skin to effectively absorb the rest of the products.

Step 4: Toner

K-Beauty toners are not your typical, overdrying, alcohol-filled formulas. Their goal is to hydrate and clarify, balancing your skin’s pH levels and prepping the surface for better absorption of other products.

Step 5: Face Mist

Regarded as the most important step of K-Beauty skincare, an essence is a kind of toner-serum hybrid made for aiding skin repair, brightening your complexion and assisting with cell turnover. Apply it to freshly toned skin and pat it in.

Step 6: Serum

Think of a serum as a concentrated essence that directly treats the issues unique to your skin type. Different serums target large pores, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc. This is what makes the 10-step routine super customizable to your own skincare needs.

Step 7: Sheet Mask

While essences are the most important step, sheet masks are definitely the most popular and recognizable step of the K-beauty routine. Apply and let the mask sit for 15-20 minutes, once or twice a week for best results. If you’ve been wanting to add a mindfulness practice to your daily routine, this is the perfect time for some meditation!

Step 8: Eye Cream

K-Beauty recognizes that the skin surrounding your eyes is different from the rest of your face—soft delicate and fragile. An eye cream provides this special area with the hydration and protection it needs to stay bright and free of dark circles. Always tap to apply & never rub!

Step 9: Moisturizer

If dewy, glowing skin is the ultimate goal, it’s paramount to find a moisturizer that suits your skin type. K-Beauty moisturizers span the entire realm of face care formulations, from creams to gels to lotions, all working to seal in the hydration that will keep your skin firm and fine-lines in check.

Step 10: SPF Or Sleep Cream

If you’re sealing off your AM routine, the K-Beauty regimen always encourages an SPF of 30+, even if you’re only going outside for a few minutes. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent premature aging and skin cancer. If you’re practicing your nighttime routine, smooth on a second layer of moisturizer with a sleep cream. This step locks in moisture and keeps your skin hydrated through the night.

Whew! Though it seems like you’ll need a spreadsheet to keep all these products organized, many people are raving about the 10-step K-Beauty routine. Will you be giving it a try? Let us know your thoughts!



11
OCT

Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Filed Under: Recipes at 10:46 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Quinoa salad with cranberries and orange. Superfoods concept. View from above

This salad made with protein-packed quinoa, tasty cranberry, pumpkin seeds & butternut squash is bursting with fall flavors! Easy to mix up in large batches so you always have a healthy meal on hand.

Ingredients

3 cups butternut squash, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1½ cups water
⅓ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
Salt & black pepper

For Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt & black pepper

Instructions

For Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

For Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
  3. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender & lightly browned.
  4. While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear.
  5. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & cook partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  6. To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.
  7. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for couple hours & serve.

Recipe source: LittleBroken.com



10
OCT

5 Best Mindful Activities When Meditation Isn’t Cutting It

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Mental Wellbeing,Mindfulness at 12:27 pm | By: Guest Blogger
Mid adult woman riding bike

Article Written by Jessica Thiefels

“Mindfulness” is a buzzword we can’t seem to ignore any longer because it’s more than just a passing trend. In fact, this concept is rooted in ancient Eastern customs and culture and, when practiced regularly, can have a wide variety of holistic benefits that strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

Greater Good Magazine defines this term as “moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment.” This mental exercise grounds us in the present, enables us to observe our inner selves without judgment, and keeps our focus off the “white noise” of this distracted, hyper-frenetic world.

I know what you’re thinking: “But I can’t just sit still for 20 minutes; I’ve tried meditation, I just can’t do it.” The good news is you don’t have to sit still to reap the benefits of mindfulness. If you want to experience more balance and peace in your own life, these sports are ideal for practicing mindfulness and getting a workout at the same time.

Cycling

Cycling engages the mind-body connection in several capacities, from the physical act of steering and pedaling to the mental drill of pushing through challenges, finding your pace and anticipating the route ahead.

“Every aspect of cycling can become a meditation,” suggests Nick Moore, author of Mindful Thoughts for Cyclists. He explains that preparing for a ride “has its own rituals that switch us unconsciously from civilian to cyclist—a mental shift of gears in which we transition from one energy state to another, from the potential to the kinetic.” And after, “giving the bike a rub-down, re-lube and once-over is a chance to decompress and gather our thoughts.”

Take your cycling outside for even greater mental health benefits. If you can only cycle in a gym or your home, stay in tune with your body and your breathing to maintain mindfulness.

Tennis

The elements of competition and self-awareness that are prevalent in tennis work to keep your attention engaged in the action and energy of the court rather than your mind. According to a discipline known as Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology, this practice “enhances overall performance by increasing an athlete’s ability to function ‘in the zone,’ by sharpening concentration” to hone both “accuracy and precision.”

The Huffington Post also reports that tennis champion Novak Djokovic uses mindfulness in this tennis to release self-doubt, anger and worry, a skill he deems “just as important as physical training.”

You can play tennis alone against a wall, or with a partner; in either case, you may not have to try very hard to maintain mindfulness in this game. The game will keep you naturally focused on breath and movement.

Running

Running has a way of giving you clarity and focus as you move to the rhythm of your footfalls and feel the deepness of your breath. That may be why 22 percent of runners said they started running as a natural form of stress-relief, according to a 2017 runners poll by Fit2Run.

This type of movement leaves room for “reflection and exploration,” suggests Runner’s World, making it the perfect way to practice active mindfulness. Tune into the repetitive motion that engages both the upper- and lower-body and listen to your feet as they strike the ground. Take note of how that feels, as your foot flows from heel to toe and back into the air again.

Archery

This less popular sport is rooted in the “kyudo” tradition of samurai warriors and has been described as a “moving meditation” to synchronize and bring about a sense of equilibrium to a person’s inner world. “Kyudo [which means ‘way of the bow’] is infused with philosophical influences…making it a ritualistic practice,” explains Archery360.

This unique form of archery eliminates all outside diversions to “symbolize leaving your worries at the door.” Instead, you enter the practice range, uninhibited from stressors with a clarity of “pure heart and mind.” The precision needed to align your stance, engage your isometric muscles, then fixate on the target is both an intuitive and immersive experience.

To enjoy this active meditation, look for a local archery school or class, which you may be able to find at a local college or recreation center.

Weightlifting

The breathing sequence of “inhale, exhale, lift, hold, pause and repeat” is a powerful way to activate active meditation during your workout. Tuning into yourself in the weight room, finding stillness in the sound of barbells making contact with a metal rack or the feel of your biceps protruding under a heavy mass, boosts strength, both mental and physical.

Ayurveda expert Larissa Carlson suggests that by noticing the “sensation of muscles contracting and releasing, the roughness of your skin against the weight or the sweat trickling down your back,” it’s possible to achieve a posture she calls “meditation in motion.”

Start Moving Mindfully

Find time for these activities in your regular fitness routine—but don’t expect mindfulness to come naturally. Tune into your breath, make note of how your muscles are feeling, and connect breath with movement as much as possible. Soon, this mindful active state will come naturally, and you’ll leave very workout feeling that familiar post-yoga bliss that comes with focusing on breath and our bodies.

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time writer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist. She’s also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, an online health magazine for women who are fed up with being told how to look and how to get there, yet still don’t feel like enough. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, workouts tips and more.



7
OCT

Low-sugar Vegan Salted Caramel Brownies

Filed Under: Recipes at 4:40 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Want to indulge in chocolatey goodness without the guilt? These vegan, salted caramel brownies are rich, fudgy, perfectly sweet, low-sugar and require less than 10 ingredients in total. Great for parties or packing in your lunch for a mid-day treat!

Ingredients

1½ cups tahini
2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water (for flax eggs)
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup walnuts
½ – ¾ cup vegan salted caramel (recipe makes ~ 1 cup)

For the Caramel Sauce

¼ cup lite coconut milk
⅓ cup maple syrup
½ – ¾ cup tahini
½ tsp molasses, more or less to taste/preference
¼ tsp sea salt, more or less to taste

Instructions

For Caramel Sauce

  1. Add coconut milk, maple syrup and ½ cup tahini to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat, whisking occasionally until well incorporated, about 3 minutes
  2. At this point the caramel sauce will still be fairly liquid and milky. If you’re okay with this texture, you can proceed. If not, whisk in up to ¼ cup more tahini until desired consistency is reached
  3. Taste and adjust sweetener as necessary then stir in molasses until well combined
  4. Remove from heat, stir in salt and vanilla extract if using and adjust salt to taste
  5. Pour into a mason jar and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge

For Brownies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9×9 brownie pan or line with parchment paper and set aside
  2. Combine ground flax and water in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside for 5 minutes until an egg-like gel forms.
  3. Add the tahini, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla and whisk until well combined
  4. Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, walnuts and/or other mixins of choice and fold in with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  5. Transfer batter to prepared brownie pan and top with extra nuts or chocolate chips if desired
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean
  7. While the brownies are baking, prep the caramel sauce if you haven’t already done so and allow to cool slightly
  8. Remove the brownies from the oven and pour the slightly cooled caramel sauce onto the still hot brownies, making sure to spread the caramel evenly with a spatula. Alternatively, you can allow the brownies to cool slightly before slicing then drizzle with caramel sauce
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired and place the pan on a wire rack on the counter or in the fridge (to speed things up)
  10. Allow cooling completely before slicing and serving

Recipe Source: Exsloth.com



5
OCT

7 Protein Sources for a Plant-Based Diet

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Starting a plant-based diet? Get ready for the inevitable question: where are you going to get your protein? Don’t worry. With so many great sources available, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a few foods that can fit into your new diet. Let’s look at 7 protein sources for a plant-based diet.

1. Spirulina

This algae superfood is incredibly rich in protein and is a perfect ingredient for smoothies. With 40 grams of protein per serving, spirulina also contains the highest amount of glutamine found in a plant food.

2. Chia Seeds

No longer a strange superfood, chia seeds have become a stable of health food. Rich in protein and an excellent source of soluble fiber, you can sprinkle chia seeds on oatmeal, cereals, porridges or make a delicious chia seed pudding with almond milk.

3. Black Beans

An awesome source of protein, black beans contain 15 grams per serving and can be easily added to your diet. Used in salads and veggie burritos, black beans also contain lysine and leucine, two amino acids rarely found in plant-based foods.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Perfect for baking, pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein as a single cup contains up to 12 grams. Considered a complete protein, these seeds are also high in healthy fats and minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

5. Lentils

Lentils are a great source of protein as well as fiber and carbohydrates. With 20 grams of protein per cup, lentils contain a ton of amino acids and can be easily added to your diet in salads, tacos, or mixed with rice or quinoa for a delicious meal.

6. Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds have 9 grams of protein per serving as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A complete amino acid, hemp seeds have a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor that can be added to increase protein content to many recipes of smoothies, baked goods and desserts.

7. Quinoa

A gluten-free grain, quinoa is also a great source of protein with around 15 grams per cup of cooked quinoa. Considered a starchy protein, quinoa also contains carbohydrates and fiber and is widely used in hot or cold cereals, salads, or in meals instead of rice.



4
OCT

Gluten-Free Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Filed Under: Recipes at 3:33 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Warm Apple Cider Donuts Ready to Eat

Apple cider donuts are truly a mark of the season! This recipe is a gluten-free adaptation of the traditional donuts typically enjoyed after a day of pumpkin picking. These donuts pair perfectly with a mug of hot cider or coffee or topped with ice cream for dessert.

Ingredients

2 cups of unfiltered apple cider
½ cup of coconut sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk, shaken
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
¼ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves

For the topping:

¼ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar & 1 teaspoon cinnamon, whisked together in a bowl

Instructions

  1. Heat the cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until the cider has reduced to ½ cup. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 2 mini-donut pans (or 2 regular doughnut pan) with gluten-free cooking spray. (Tip: if you need to bake the donuts in more than one batch, make sure to re-spray the pan with gluten-free cooking spray)
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and reduced cider until combined. Add the flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves and beat until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large zip-top bag and snip about ½ inch off one corner. Carefully pipe mixture into your prepared donut pan, filling each well about ½ full. Do NOT overfill the donut wells or your donuts will come out looking more like leprechaun hats.
  5. Bake the donuts until they spring back when gently touched, about 8 minutes for the minis, 10 minutes for the larger ones.
  6. Dip or brush the donuts with the melted butter just as soon as they are cool enough to handle and gently toss with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  7. Serve immediately!

Recipe source here.



25
SEP

3 Frighteningly Delicious Halloween Party Snacks

Filed Under: Recipes at 11:24 am | By: Madeline Reiss
 

Throwing a Halloween party, or just looking for snacks that are as adorable as they are spooky? These three treat recipes are delicious and (mostly) healthy…because we all want to indulge a little on holidays!

Banana Ghosts & Tangerine Pumpkins

Healthy Halloween treats, banana ghosts and orange pumpkins, on a plate with holiday decor

Ingredients

  • Tangerines, peeled
  • Celery, cut into small sticks
  • Bananas, peeled and cut in half
  • Mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Stick celery into tops of tangerines.
  2. Stick a chocolate chip eyes & nose into bananas.
  3. Now wasn’t that easy!

Recipe: Flo & Grace

 

Monster Apples

Spooky halloween edible apple monsters healthy natural dessert. Horror party decoration delicious snack. Homemade cute cyclop mouth with teeth and peanut butter on dark vintage wooden table background.

Ingredients

  • 2 green apples, each quartered
  • almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 32 sunflower seeds
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1-2 googly eyes (marshmallows) per apple quarter
  • Chocolate sauce for the googly-eye pupils

Instructions

  1. Cut the middle out of each quarter of the apple in order to create a mouth. Don’t worry about it being perfect, as you are filling this gap with almond butter anyway so if you cut too deep, you can always cover it up and you won’t even be able to notice.
  2. Coat the inside of the gap where you just cut with a filling of almond or hazelnut butter.
  3. Place sunflower seeds on the top of where the “mouth” is to resemble the teeth.
  4. Place 1 sliced strawberry inside the mouth to resemble the tongue.
  5. “Glue” each eye above the mouth, using a dab of almond butter to make it stick in place.
    Serve your monsters and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Parenting Chaos

 

Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail

Colorful Candy Corn for Halloween on a Background

Ingredients

  • pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • oranges, cut into bite-sized chunks ( or I used small Cuties)
  • whipped cream
  • candy corn

Instructions

  • In a clear glass, layer pineapple, then oranges and top with whipped cream and a couple pieces of candy corn. Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe: Family Fresh Meals