Slow Cooker Oatmeal

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Do you ever feel like you’ve simply run out of meal ideas? You might cook the same five dishes over and over, just like the majority of us or you’re just not inspired to cook anything. Your schedule is full enough, and having the time to get creative in the kitchen seems like a pipe dream.

This is where the crockpot/slow cooker is a dream come true.

Toss in your ingredients in the morning, go to work, and come home to a healthy, delicious, hot meal for you and your family. You have enough on your shoulders already...let me help you figure out what’s going to be on your plate.

Over the next three weeks, I’m giving you a recipe a week for you to try. They’re extremely healthy and hopefully inspire you in your kitchen.

Breakfast time can be one of the most rushed times of your day which might only leave you time for pouring boxed cereal in your bowl. On winter mornings I like something warm and slow cooker oatmeal is the perfect solution

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1-cup steel cut oats

1.5 cups water

1.5 cups almond milk

2 apples, diced

3 tablespoons coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup

1-tablespoon cinnamon

1/4-cup raisins

1-tablespoon coconut oil

  • Optional toppings: coconut flakes, fresh fruit, your favorite nuts (I love toasted pecans)

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to well-oiled crockpot (use coconut oil) and stir well. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until cooked through.

Add optional toppings.

Enjoy!

4 Delicious Breakfast Ideas To Keep You Healthy While On-The-Go.

 

Do you skip breakfast in the mornings? I know people who love to eat breakfast and others who don’t need anything until lunchtime.

When you feel overwhelmed by your schedule and you’re constantly racing from one appointment to the next, it’s an incredibly popular decision to skip breakfast entirely. Mornings truly can be a rat race that we feel we’re constantly losing, so I understand the reasoning behind feeling like there’s no time to have a breakfast. After all, when you’re already scurrying around in a race against the clock, it seems impossible to find a chance to sit down for breakfast on top of everything else.

I’ve been there, too. We’ve all been there. I have certainly felt your confusion and frustration. I’m sure your mother told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but in case you need another reminder… it’s time to stop skipping breakfast!

Now, with that said, I don’t recommend a huge breakfast for anyone. Eggs, bacon, and toast is not a well food combined meal and instead of fueling you will take away your precious energy for digestion.

So what is a good breakfast? Something light, healthy and full of nutrients for you. Below I’ll share some simple ideas that you can incorporate into your morning routine.

Eating breakfast helps improve concentration, memory and even helps boost your mood but if you eat a heavy pancake breakfast you’ll feel weighed down and lethargic. Finding a simple, healthy breakfast that works for your busy schedule is quite easy, and we’re going to do that today.

It’s essential to find time to eat a breakfast that is right for you. Personally, I can drink a green juice or smoothie and be great until lunchtime. However, others need something with a little bit more sustenance. You just went the entire night without eating, (or practicing intermittent fasting- not eating for at least 12, 16, or 18 hours) and you need to refuel your body for the day ahead. Breakfast is the perfect time to get in those important vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function well throughout the day.

Here are a few of my favorite healthy and simple breakfast ideas that fit perfectly into a busy schedule…

 

1. Toast with avocado and tomato. This breakfast tastes great and can be made within a couple of minutes. The avocado is full of healthy fats, and the tomato provides lycopene, which is an antioxidant that is brilliant at scavenging for cancer-causing free radicals. You can also add a boiled egg if you want more protein to fuel your body.

2. Fruit, Nut and Yogurt Parfait. Parfaits are a fun way to start your day. You simply layer up some yogurt, nuts, fruit, nut butter and honey to create a delicious breakfast full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Kite Hill is a delicious plant-based and dairy free yogurt that you must try if you haven’t yet. If you don’t like yogurt, then use homemade almond milk or organic store-bought brand. I go heavier on the fruit than nuts because it’s a lighter option and works best for me.

3. Make-Ahead Smoothie. When you have absolutely no time in the morning, prepare smoothies the night before. I like to use two bananas, at least a cup of berries, a few dates and a lot of greens. Blend and store in 2 16-ounce mason jars. This makes two big servings so you have breakfast for two mornings.

4. Overnight Oats and Chia. Mix in oats, chia seeds, honey and some nut-milk into a jar and then leave it overnight in the fridge. You can add other ingredients you may desire to make this to your taste, like cacao, blueberries, almond or peanut butter.

Do your best not to overcomplicate it – that’s exactly what causes the feeling of overwhelm that holds you back from eating breakfast daily. Save the heavier breakfast foods for your lazy day Sunday brunch.

I understand some people need food when they wake up because their digestion is a little off, but if you can, drink warm water and wait till you eliminate before you start feeding your belly again. This way you're not stuffing more food into your digestion system on top of what is still in your digestive tract and overwhelming your system.

Do you ear breakfast or skip it? Do you practice intermittent fasting? Leave a comment below and let's chat about it.

Cacao Smoothie

RFSpring17 Cacao Smoothie What tastes like a dessert, helps you lose weight, builds bones and is ultra healthy for you? A cacao smoothie!

I believe it’s important to get as many greens in to your diet, and if you’ve been reading my blog through the years, you know smoothies are one of my favorite ways to drink and digest my greens (besides green juices). I drink a smoothie everyday. I’m also a salad lover but let’s be honest, how many salads can you eat in a day to get all the greens your body needs for impeccable function? Too many! You’d be chewing like a cow all day long to get all the greens you need to fuel your cells. That’s why blending, drinking and enjoying them in a smoothie is the perfect, fiber rich way to add greens to your day.

Cacao is full of antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling your best and taste amazing in this smoothie. Also, the tahini in the cacao smoothie is a great source of calcium and gives the smoothie a nice thickness. The banana gives you potassium so it’s great for an after workout snack or meal.

Enjoy!

CACAO SMOOTHIE

Serves 1-2

1 ½ cups water or dairy-free milk

1 cup spinach

1 cup mixed greens

1 banana

2 tablespoons raw cacao

2 tablespoons tahini

Dash of ground cinnamon powder

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

 

Did you try the recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

 

 

Fig Green Smoothie

FigSmoothie When I was a teenager, my favorite cookie was a Fig Newton. There is nothing like this cookie with its distinct flavor. It’s so tasty.

When I moved to NYC to pursue my dancing career, I had no money and was living on bagels and pasta. I took dance class every night after long days of auditioning and working. I treated myself each evening to a Fig Newton at a deli nearby. I would conclude my evening enjoying these cookies as I traveled back to Astoria on the subway. I looked forward to the cookies everyday with anticipation.

These days, Fig Newton’s are not on my meal plan or agenda but I still love figs and their delicious flavor so I decided to throw them into a smoothie and see what it tasted like. The verdict is…outstanding and healthier than any fig newton you can buy in the store.

I love dried figs and they are great source of calcium, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. In addition, they are co-factors in metabolizing fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Fig it Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water (I used homemade almond milk)

1 cup kale or spinach

½ avocado

2 to 3 figs chopped (I used dried figs that were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

Dash of cinnamon powder

Dash of nutmeg powder

DIRECTIONS

If you are using dried figs and soaking them, drain the soaking water and put the figs with all the other ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend.

 

Were you a Fig Newton lover too? Leave a comment below and share if you have healthy alternatives for enjoying figs.

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Boosting Smoothie

img_1718 It the most wonderful time of the year and the unhealthiest time too. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re like me, you pack in many activities and traveling during the holiday season. As you shop all over town, wrap gifts, decorate your Christmas tree and plan for holiday parties it’s easy to go to your local coffee shop and fill up on caffeine and gingerbread BUT…how is that going to affect your energy and waistline?

I want to help your holiday season to be filled with energy and feeding your body great foods so I’m giving you my energy Blaster Smoothie recipe below. It’s easy to blend in the morning and take in a thermos or mason jar with you as you travel, shop or drive around looking at Christmas lights (hello Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).

I promise you can get through the holidays with a jolly spirit WITHOUT gaining weight or feeling lethargic.

Here’s a tasty smoothie to make and take on the go.

Energy Boosting Smoothie

1 ½ cups dairy-free milk

1 scoop protein powder (vanilla flavored protein powder is good in this recipe)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

½ banana

Dash of turmeric

1 handful of spinach

DIRECTIONS

Blend ingredient together in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

Leave a message below and share your smoothie recipe that keeps you energized.

 

Should I Cut Out Carbs to Lose Weight?

img_1688 One of the biggest questions I get from clients is should they cut out all carbohydrates in order to lose weight.

If anyone tells you to stop eating carbohydrates in order to lose weight, I want you to run in the opposite direction and never look back. It’s the worsts advice you could ever get.

Here’s the deal. Carbs do not make you fat. Glucose is the pure energy source your body runs on and carbs are your main source of glucose.

Living without carbs in your body is like the walking dead…no energy and hangry.

With that said, I believe in fruit…”What? I can eat fruit?” Yes you may. It’s a miracle, I know. Over the past 10 years or longer, the diet industry has told people to not eat fruit because of the “sugar”. Let me tell you the truth. Fruit does have natural sugar called fructose and when eaten in in its whole fresh form, it’s the best clean energy source you can eat.

I’m not talking about apple pie or blueberry coffee cake. I’m taking about an apple picked off the tree; a banana that is freshly peeled; or an orange that sprays natural juices as you bite into it. FRESH FRUITS!

Fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach either in the morning to break-the-fast or in smoothies with greens (they digest well together). If you have problems eating fruit due to digestive issues, start eating fruit in the morning after fasting for at least 12 hours overnight to ensure that no leftover, undigested foods remain from the day and cause digestive concerns.

Also, its’ best to always eat melons alone since they go through your system very quickly.

If you think about it, fruit in all its glory of being a wonderful carbohydrate is the perfect food since all you have to do is pick it from a tree or bush and eat it. You’ll get antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber to keep things flowing.

Vegetables and grains are another wonderful source of carbs that are needed by the body. When you eliminate “carbs” at the recommendation of many well-intentioned but wrong “experts,” you’ll crave simple carbs in the unhealthy forms of white sugar such as candy bars and cakes. No good.

What I eat on most days are green smoothies that are 3/4’s fruit. Salads chock full of veggies and a big vegetable dish for dinner. I do incorporate grains too, but vegetables are the main focus for my dinner meals. I snack on fruits that are easy to pack and go. In the summer, my fridge is stocked with cut up melons ready to eat. In the fall and winter, I love stocking up on apples, pears and frozen berries.

The days of gorging on pasta and bread are best limited to special occasions when you’re in Little Italy in NYC or when in Rome! White carbs do nothing for you. I know you know this but I’m just repeating it for you in case you were about to snack on a baguette. Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, “Repetition is the mother of learning” so I’m here repeating what you’ve already learned just as a reminder.

Here is my favorite healthy carbohydrate fruit smoothie: Enjoy!

FRUITY PLEASURE

Makes 2 servings

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

1 cup cherries

2 bananas

2 big handfuls of spinach or kale

Water (I usually put enough to fill 3/4 of my blender container. You can use more water if you want your smoothie more liquidly or less water if you desire your smoothie to be thicker)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the ingredients in to a high-speed blender (or normal blender) and blend.

Pour into glasses and enjoy. I sometime pour it into wine glasses to feel fancy.

Save for later: pour the smoothie in to mason jars and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

 

Scrumptious Breakfast Bowl: Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl  

Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, Please.

During the heat of the summer I want you to stay cool and nourished. I also want you to get your chocolate too!

I created a Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl for your morning pleasure. Never mind the scrumptious taste, this smoothie bowl is life supporting, aids in weight loss and keeps you looking slim and trim. This recipe can be part of your healthy lifestyle any day of the week. Hint...It's detox friendly too.

With cacao and cherries combining perfectly together, this recipe is loaded with fiber and healthy fats. This protein packed and naturally sweetened treat is a perfect post-workout snack to fuel your body until lunch.

This smoothie bowl is made with some of my favorite ingredients. Spinach always blends smoothly into any smoothie bowl and keeps you strong. Cherries are high in antioxidants due to their pigment rich color (they are also one of the low calorie fruits). Bananas protect against muscle cramps during workouts and have been show to help overcome depression due to their high tryptophan levels, which is converted to serotonin, the happy neurotransmitter.

Here’s to keeping your meals clean, healthy and tasty.

 

Cherry Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

1 cup pitted cherries or frozen

1 handful baby spinach

1 small banana

½ cup dairy-free milk

1 scoop protein powder

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 handful ice

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

BLEND: Add the cherries, spinach, banana, dairy-free milk, protein powder, raw cacao powder, and ice to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and serve in a bowl. Top with hemp and chia seeds.

Do you have a smoothie bowl recipe you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and let’s share recipes!