Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Recipe Find: Jennifer Garner's Go-To Smoothie

This month I have been diving into plant-based eating. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons:

1. February is heart month and it is said that eating more plants and less meat is good for your heart among many other things like cancer prevention, boosted energy, neurological disease prevention

2. My step-daughters live plant-based lifestyles, so this will give me more insight into what they are eating and what we can prepare when we are together

3. I'm taking on this challenge with the FASTer Way community, so I am not alone as I navigate my way into a new way of eating.

Most of my recipes are found online or come from the FASTer Way meal plan. I love this smoothie that Jennifer Garner shared on social media. Plant based, great for low carb days and I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand!


Now, you don't have be a plant-based eater to enjoy this smoothie. I made it plenty of times before taking the plant-based challenge. I mean, it's just packed with healthy whole foods. Plus, it is absolutely delicious!
  • 1 or 2 scoops chocolate protein (I love this one because it’s even good as a shake with just water!)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (this one is my favorite - 1 ingredient!)
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk 
  • Handful fresh spinach
  • Small handful ice
  • Small handful blueberries



Blend and serve!

Full disclosure - it is a green smoothie, but I promise it tastes better than it looks. And that is also why I have not included a picture of it blended :) Enjoy!!

Let me know if you have any questions or if you give it a try!




Sunday, February 23, 2020

Self-care Sunday: Podcast Review - How Tiny Habits Lead to Big Changes

One thing I love to do on Sundays is catch up on my favorite podcasts. This is one of my forms of self-care because I listen while I take a walk or an easy spin on my bike and I always learn something new.



I recently listened to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss podcast episode How Tiny Habits Lead to Big Changes and heard many points speaking to me. I shared this podcast when my new clients and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to create healthy habits or eliminate unhealthy habits.

My favorite takeaways:

  • Success momentum - small wins carry over. It's the frequency of success matters, not the size that matters. Frequency and recency. So looking for and celebrating those small victories each day will help you stay motivated. Every day I remind my clients to focus on what went well and every Friday I ask them to share their biggest wins from the week. It is truly one of my favorite days. This doesn't mean that we ignore the things that could go better. It just means that we make a point to celebrate what was good.
  • Pearl habits - take an irritation (the prompt) and turn it into positive behavior. The name of this habit comes the way pearl are made: a little piece of sand gets inside the oyster. The oyster is irritated by the sand, so it rubs it and coats it until it eventually becomes a pearl. This habit is a great way to quickly shift your mindset from something negative to something positive. For example, when my clients are upset that they are too busy at work or home to get in a full workout, I remind them of all the ways they can fit in movement throughout the day along with all the healthy eating they can focus on.

I loved this podcast because it shared tips for how to keep a positive mindset. When we are on a journey, there are going to be ups and downs. That's life. The tips that Dr. Cabral shares are practical and will help turn negatives into positives, so that we can continue to make changes and see progress. 

No matter what you do today, I hope you take a little time to do something for yourself!

What are your favorite things to do on #selfcaresunday?





Monday, February 3, 2020

Recipe Find: General Tso Tofu

Do you love General Tso chicken, but wish there was a healthier version? I’ve been searching for a healthier alternative to the entree that we all know and love. Mostly they’re all OK, but not crispy enough. This recipe by Vegetarian Times hit the spot!

Now I'm not vegan, but I am trying to eat more plant based this month with the FASTer Way VIP community as part of a challenge. It's good for my cholesterol and the planet :) Seriously though, this tofu dish is very, very tasty!

Pic from Vegetarian Times

Ingredients
Crispy Tofu
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. mirin (rice wine)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. cornstarch
Sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
4 tsp. mirin (rice wine)
2 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. sambal oelek chile paste, optional
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 green onions, green parts chopped (1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Preparation
To make Crispy Tofu: 
Cut tofu block into two broad slabs. Wrap tofu slabs in paper towels, and place between two cutting boards. Weight top cutting board with soup cans, and press 30 minutes. Unwrap tofu, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, oil, garlic, and ginger in resealable container. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, or overnight. (Tofu should absorb all liquid.)
Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Sift cornstarch over tofu, and turn to coat evenly. Spread tofu on baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm and crispy, turning several times to brown all sides.

To make Sauce: Whisk together broth, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, tomato paste, and sambal oelek (if using) in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute, or until thickened. Stir in Tofu. Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.

I served mine with quinoa and it was a really good combo.

Let me know if you try it!


*