4-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Benefits of this recipe: pancakes. Protein. Four ingredients. Need I say more???

You know how most blogs make you scroll down for like 5 minutes until you get to the actual recipe? Not this blog. You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Whey protein powder (vanilla, or get creative! I used pumpkin spice protein)

1 banana, ripe (not overripe, that will make pancakes mushier)

2 eggs (medium or large)

1/8 tsp. Baking soda

Optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract

Directions:

Mash banana & eggs together with a fork. Mix in protein powder & baking soda until smooth consistency.

Heat frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pasteurized butter (like Kerry Gold) and when it’s sizzling, add your batter to pan.

Cook on one side until the edges start turning more opaque. Flip, cook for another 2-3 minutes. That’s it!

I topped w pure maple syrup, but you could add peanut butter, almond butter, whatever you have. Get creative!

Oh, and be sure to subscribe below for more recipes & wellness tips! 

Maca Chai Smoothie

I’ve started incorporating Maca powder into my routine since my hormones seem to be all over the place. Maca is touted as being able to potentially balance hormones, support hormone production, and result in some crazy-sweet benefits, like easing PMS & Menopause, aiding in fertility issues, reversing hypothyroidism, and improving libido (bow chicka wow-wow!). The taste takes some getting used to, but I found a chai-flavored one at Whole Foods that I like (see photo below).

Ingredients:

1.5 cups coconut milk or almond milk

1 sliced frozen banana

1 Tbsp. Almond butter

1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Maca boost (see product pic below)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender & blend to desired consistency. Pour in a glass & drink (it’s more fun with a straw)!

P.S. Here is the Maca powder I used (I got it from Whole Foods):

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4-Ingredient Almond Butter Cups


These seriously give me life. If you are following a ketogenic diet plan, these are also known as “fat bombs.” They’re filled with healthy fat & are super yummy! This is how I satisfy my sweet tooth on the reg y’all. Without any guilt or bloating or inflammation. Heck yes, I’ll take it!

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp Coconut Oil

4 Tbsp Chocolate protein powder** (your choice, I used Shakeology bc that’s what I had!)

6-8 tsp. almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice)

3 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut (Optional)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients (except shredded coconut) in Pyrex glass measuring cup or other microwave-safe dish. (You can also heat this on low heat on stove). The reason I suggest a Pyrex measuring cup is because it has a spouted edge to pour from. Otherwise this might get messy. 😉

2. Microwave or heat until coconut oil is melted. Mix everything together until smooth. Stir in shredded coconut.

3. Pour into mini baking cups (I found cute wrappers at Whole Foods) & place in fridge or freezer to harden.

Note: coconut oil is soft/liquid at room temperature. These need to be kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Another tip: I placed the mini muffin wrappers inside a muffin pan in case I accidentally over-poured.

**also, if the protein powder you used isn’t sweet enough for your taste, add a couple drops of liquid stevia.

Enjoy!  Subscribe below to receive updates when I post other amazing, simple, healthy recipes or other fitness & lifestyle tips!

Nutmeal

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Ingredients:

1/4 c. cashews (whole, not roasted or salted)

1/4 c. pecans

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. flax seeds (I used coarsely ground)

1 egg

1/2 c. unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 Tbsp. almond butter

celtic sea salt, “real” salt, or pink Himalayan salt, to taste (just a dash)

Instructions:

1. Blend nuts, spices, & flax seeds in blender until coarse texture.

2. In a pot, whisk your milk & egg together. Then add nut mixture & almond butter.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes or until desired consistency.

4. Top with berries, granola, shredded coconut, more cinnamon, whatever! 🙂

Enjoy!  And for more healthy, easy recipes, fitness & wellness tips, and more, enter your name & email address below! 🙂

Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Ever since I made this recipe from Dora’s Table, I’ve been in love. It is addictive, it’s easy to make, it’s raw vegan, and it goes well on (almost) everything.

Use it as a sauce mixed with pasta. Use it as a salad dressing on top of greens, avocado, red onion, cucumber, and cilantro. Drool.

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

1 Chipotle in adobo sauce

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup canned fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Muir glen)

1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice

Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and enjoy. I find this keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Enjoy!  And subscribe below to get email updates when I post amazing, healthy, easy recipes and other fitness/wellness tips!

Acai Smoothie & Coconut Chia Pudding Parfait


The name of this recipe is a mouthful, and a tribute to the complex flavors and exquisite, refreshing texture in this raw vegan delight.

For the Coconut Chia Pudding:

Whisk together…

2 cups full-fat coconut milk (canned)

1 tbsp. Pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Slowly stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds.  Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

 

For Acai Smoothie:

Blend together….

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 sliced frozen banana

2 tbsp. Acai powder (you can buy this in bulk from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup almond or rice milk

1 tsp. agave nectar to taste

1 tbsp. almond butter or other nut butter

 

Assemble by layering pudding with smoothie.  Top with granola, hempseed hearts, assorted fruit, cacoa nibs, whatever you fancy!

 

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5 Easy Habits to Get Healthier Now

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Tongue scraping

This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that Western medicine is beginning to acknowledge as productive to oral health. Did you know that a coating of residue (including toxins and yucky bacteria) on the tongue is what leads to bad breath? You may have learned to brush your tongue, but I have bad news for you. All that does is push the bacteria around. Tongue scraping eliminates it. Getting rid of the coating on the tongue also leads to greater sensitivity of the taste buds; meaning, your food will be tastier. Wouldn’t it be nice to be satisfied with less food? Less food = less unnecessary weight on the body. We all know this. The process of tongue scraping is so quick and simple, there’s really no excuse to not do it. You simply take each end of the tongue scraper in your hands, start at the back of the tongue, and add gentle pressure, scraping from back to front, rinsing in between. Repeat about 5 times. I’m telling you, your mouth will feel cleaner. You can buy a tongue scraper here.

 

 

Switch to Whole Foods

 

No, I don’t necessarily mean the grocery store. You don’t have to drive to another town to find a Whole Foods market. A whole food means a food that is in its complete form, with no additions. Ingredients: 1. An apple is a whole food. A carrot is a whole food. An almond is a whole food. I like what author Michael Pollan says: “eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” What he’s saying is, avoid stuff with a million ingredients. Actually, more than 5 ingredients and you’re going down a road leading to nothing good. If this is too difficult for you, at least start reading the Ingredients on your box o’ food, and avoid anything with the words “hydrogenated”, “palm oil”, “carrageenan”, “maltodextrin”, and “aspartame”. That’s a solid place to start.

 

 

Drink Organic, Fair Trade Coffee (ditch the K-cups)

 

If you’re like most Americans, you drink coffee. If you’re like me, you have a slight obsession that borders on unhealthy. Nevertheless, we’re not here to judge. Coffee is delicious. However, I encourage you to do the environment a favor and stop using the disposable K-cups in your Keurig. I’m not saying to throw out your Keurig…that would be wasteful. Instead, buy a couple reusable, refillable little cups. Buy a bag of high quality, organic coffee. You’ll find that the coffee will last a lot longer, you’ll save money, and you’ll feel good about helping the planet. You can buy some on Amazon here.

Better yet, get yourself a French press.  You’ll feel like a badass, and the coffee honestly does taste better.  I got this adorable one that I take to work with me – it’s enough for one cup (there are larger ones as well).  Check it out here.

 

Begin a Daily Gratitude Practice

 

Get a cute little journal. Find 5 minutes to yourself either in the early morning or before bed. Grab a cozy spot, a cup of tea, and light a candle. Create a sacred space, and get to writing. Write what you’re grateful for. If you’re having a difficult time and grasping at straws, start with something very basic and primal. “I’m grateful for shelter and warmth”, might be a nice a place to begin, particularly if you live in New England like me, where the winters are bitter cold. “I’m grateful that my body carries me through the day and moves me from place to place.” It might seem silly, but it has been shown that gratitude and joy are directly correlated. This is no coincidence. The more we acknowledge all that we have, the more satisfied and fulfilled we can feel.

 

Incorporate Yoga into your Life

 

If you’re a seasoned yoga, or know the basics, try to fit 30 minutes in a day. No need to go to a yoga class, or pop in a DVD. Just roll out your mat and flow through 10 sun salutations, surya namaskar A (see photo below for instructions). If you have no clue what I’m talking about, click the menu at the top of this website and go to “private yoga instruction”, and schedule a session with me (if you live in CT). Even if you don’t live nearby, feel free to email me and I’ll give you some personal recommendations. So, 10 sun salutations, followed by 10 dirgha breaths, followed by 10 minutes of nadi shodhana, and finally, 5 minutes of meditating on the breath.

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Sat Nam,

Steph xo

Trusting Your Inner Compass

Remember the times before GPS?  Yeah, me neither.  I do remember typing my destination address into Mapquest’s magical navigator, and scribbling down the directions on a scrap of paper, dashing in my car, and whizzing on my way.

Many times, I still got lost.  But that was half the fun of it, wasn’t it?  It was part of the adventure and emblazoned anxiety.

Now, we set out on a journey and it’s no longer really a journey.  We’ve become so reliant on information systems outside ourselves, and lost touch with our own inner compass.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  We try to control the events of our lives, set reminders on our phones, tweet and post and scroll, clutching fervently to whatever seems to be working for us.  Distractions from ourselves.  Whatever it takes to get us to our pre-determined destination crafted by the thinking (vs. intuitive) mind, that’s what we’re going to do.  Steps A-Z.  In sequential order.

Well what happens when our plan runs off the tracks?  When T comes before B?  When someone throws a wrench in our perfectly prescribed timeline to “Z” destination?  I can tell you what happens for me.  I become disappointed, confused, angry, bitter, sad, and usually, defeated.  I forget the entire journey, throw away the destination, and move on to devise another plan.

Maybe I don’t need to do all that planning.  Hmm, there’s an idea.  Maybe it makes more sense to follow signs, landmarks, breadcrumbs, garden gnomes.  (Ok, probably not the last one).  At least I won’t be so attached to a rigid outcome.

I think by allowing myself to stray, to wander, to try different hats and shoes and scarves on, I can free myself from the anxiety of reaching that pre-set destination.  Maybe I’m already where I’m supposed to be, in every moment.  And the more I’m fully here and awake in each moment, the easier it will become to follow the flags, lights, and arrows pointing me to my next excursion.

This of course, requires trust in some force greater than myself, and also great trust in myself.  I used to ignore, shove aside, and snuff out my intuitive sense.  I’d shush that hushed voice that was actually guiding me.  I did things that didn’t align with what felt right to me, or true to my essential nature.

The more I denied my inner compass, the more lost I became.  But now, I feel like I’m starting to rest in the knowledge that I will listen to ME, and also take some hints and nudges from God/Universe/Spiritual Law/whatever IT is…because that resides in me.

The answers reveal themselves like dominoes clicking gently against each other, spiraling and weaving and knowing exactly where they are headed.

Steph xo

Mindfulness Challenge

 

In my garden, the rose opened. But I was in too much of a hurry, and passed it by. Love remembered me and said, I will make a rose bloom in your heart. -d. Chopra

It’s #mindfulnessmonday.  A reflection is in order.  How often do you not remember your drive home, because you’re consulting the to-do list in your head, or blasting the radio to drown out that same list?

There’s something very powerful and compelling about silence, and mindfulness.  I think some people find it intimidating, and need to fill the spaces with conversation, music, white noise.

There are times where I want to listen to a podcast, or jam out to some 311.  But in silence, I start to notice more of what’s all around me. Particularly in this season, when the trees are exchanging last hugs with their leaves until spring introduces new friends to embrace. The colors, well I can’t tell you about them. It will never be like experiencing them.  I am grateful for the mindfulness that allows me to bask in the beauty of the landscape all around me.

This is a practice.  Being mindful doesn’t always come naturally, especially to those of us who are chronic worriers, or have active, analytical minds.  I myself have a total monkey mind, as it’s referred to in yoga.  My mind swings from one thought-vine to the next, hardly pausing to notice, to take a breath.  So you can see why I meditate.

I have new experiments I’m beginning.  I’ve got 3 so far:

  1. Simplify my life.
  2. Get rid of stuff I don’t need.
  3. Blog daily.

That is all.  I’m practicing number one right now.  Less words.  Less thoughts.  More living.

Until tomorrow,

Steph xo

Leaning into Acceptance 

   
Before I discovered Kripalu yoga, I had a deeply rooted discomfort with my body. I constantly tried to force myself to go on diets, limit my calories, write down every single morsel of food that passed my lips, run until my knees hurt and my head throbbed, and on and on. None of these practices made me more satisfied. If anything, my anxiety about my body grew worse. I couldn’t relate to my physical self in any way other than with mean thoughts and criticism. I was always looking for the ultimate rule book, something to keep me contained, as if, left to my own devices, my body and my life would go horribly awry. I thought if I had control over my body and my weight, somehow I’d have control over what was going wrong in my life (even if it had nothing to do with me). When my mom told me she had breast cancer, I felt helpless. I almost instantly reverted back to my old ways. Somehow, controlling my food intake and exercise in a drastic way (aka disordered eating) deluded me into believing I had things “handled”, and life would go exactly the way I wanted it to. Gripping onto idealized outcomes in this way only adds to suffering. If such is true, then the only other path to take would be that of acceptance.

 

Accepting painful circumstances is challenging. Allowing ourselves to feel emotions fully is something we tend to writhe away from, especially when these emotions make us feel vulnerable, or angry, or sad. But when we ride these waves of emotion and senses that arise, especially in the safe space of yoga practice, we can eventually release them. We can learn to trust our inner compass, the brilliance of our physical body, that is constantly trying to keep us in a place of homeostasis, or balance. 

 

When did I learn such mistrust for myself? I stopped listening to the innate wisdom of my body, which tells me when I am hungry, when I am full, when I need a nap, when I need to go for a walk, when I need to retreat to nature. I’ve gripped on to perfectionism for so long. I’ve thought on some subconscious level that the more I achieve, the more I push for results that seem to indicate success, the happier will be, or the more I will like myself. That, also, is not true. We all deserve happiness regardless of achievement. 

 

I encourage you to remind yourself of the below affirmations. You may choose one to focus on, or attempt to incorporate all of them in your day:

 

“Today, I am redirecting my energy away from perfectionism. I will commit myself to quieting the inner critic, who tells me I am not “enough”. I will reframe those thoughts into ones of worthiness. I will extend warmth and sweetness toward myself and others.”

 

Namaste,

 

Xo Steph

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

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I’ve always been a snacker. I could put away a bag of Pirate’s booty in a sitting, dominate some Cape Cod potato chips. I decided to finally try roasting chickpeas as a healthy snack, and now I wonder what took me so long! These little babies are bomb. Seriously, if you like crunch, they’ve got it. And you can jazz them up anyway you like (make ’em sweet with honey and cinnamon, or savory with olive oil, kosher salt & thyme). Plus, they’re super simple and low-maintenance.

Ingredients

Can of chickpeas (or 2, depending how many you want)
Olive oil (I use my Misto sprayer to cut down on the fat content)
Kosher salt or Himalaya salt
Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain chickpeas, rinse with water, and let them dry on paper towels, patting them before placing onto a baking sheet. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and spread chickpeas out on tray. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, until chickpeas are crispy. Take out of oven and toss with a couple teaspoons of hot sauce. Place bake in oven for another 10 minutes. Voila! Crispy, crunchy, yummy, fiber-filled snacking!

Enjoy.

Xo Steph

Boyfriend-Approved Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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I have absolutely nothing against Paula Deen. However, I was skeptical when I found this recipe. A Paula Deen recipe with no…*gulp*…butter?? Healthy, even? It’s true. And I have to tell you…this Cauliflower Crust Pizza is the chiz (for lack of a better adjective). It’s easy to make, too. Also, I’d totally promote it as an arm workout, if you switch arms halfway through grating the cauliflower.

Anyway, just try it when you get a chance. It won’t disappoint.

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/2 cups grated cauliflower (approx. half a large head)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Pizza sauce of your choice
More cheese and your favorite pizza toppings (I like black olives, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper.

Grate the cauliflower with a box grater until you have 2 1/2 cups. Place in large bowl and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Once cool, mix in the beaten egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, and salt and pepper. Once combined, press into a pizza pan. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Top the pizza with sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until bubbly and beautiful. Enjoy!

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