Top 10 products for a Healthy 2017

As we prepare for a new year, many people take the time to recommit to their wellness goals. As I’ve said on Instagram, I think cleanses and crash diets are total B.S. However, I totally understand the desire to switch up your routine and try something new, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite products that have helped me feel my best this past year.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

10 minutes after I received this book I had already bookmarked at least 15 recipes that I absolutely NEEDED to make immediately. I already knew Dana (Minimalist Baker) is incredibly talented from reading her blog, but this book takes inventive, mouth-watering recipes and amazing photography to a whole new level. At the same time, all the recipes seem completely doable for people like me who maybe don’t have many clean dishes and need to get back to watching Grey’s Anatomy ASAP.



Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer

So I am officially an old woman, considering my favorite Christmas gift this year was a kitchen appliance. But to be fair, I’m pretty sure spiralizers are the sexiest kitchen appliance out there. What could be better than a machine that turns veggies into noodles? Not to mention turning the handle definitely counts as your arm workout for the day. Delicious veggies + a quick workout sounds like the perfect way to kick off the new year.


Rishi Tea Organic Matcha Tea Bags

Ever since I enjoyed my first matcha latte at Peet’s over the summer (while reading a trendy book and feeling very sophisticated) I’ve been searching high and low for an affordable, high quality brand. I finally found Rishi, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve been loving it with lemon and in DIY lattes. Unlike coffee, drinking matcha in the mornings makes me feel refreshed, energized, and calm.


Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

I’m seriously addicted to these bars. It’s hard to believe that three simple ingredients (dates, peanuts, sea salt) can come together to create such a delicious, nutrient packed snack, but Larabar proves it can be done! After spending waayy to much on these bars at the grocery store, I finally started buying them in bulk on Amazon. It’s a great snack AND a great deal, so it pretty much ticks all the boxes.


Swell Insulated Water Bottle

For years I’ve resolved to drink more water, but time and time again I’ve failed. Even  though I knew staying hydrated would improve my skin, reduce headaches, and give me more energy, drinking water was such a chore. In the past, I’d tried apps such as Plant Nanny, but I just forgot to drink water, my plants died, and I felt terrible for killing an imaginary plant. This year, however, thanks to my Swell Water Bottle, I finally met my goal. These water bottles are so pretty, they honestly make drinking water feel incredibly fun and chic.

Lavender Essential Oil

I’m usually so excited (and a little anxious) about my life/school work/projects that I have some trouble falling asleep. Overtime I’ve developed strategies to fall asleep more easily but I’m always looking for new methods, so when I discovered this Lavender Essential Oil I was thrilled! I sprinkled a couple drops on my pillow and was fast asleep within minutes. While some of it may have been a placebo effect, they oil smelled amazing and undoubtedly helped me relax.


AVEDA Rehydrating Lip Glaze Coral Peach

AVEDA is an phenomenal natural beauty brand. I love their commitment to sustainability, good for you ingredients, charity, and animal welfare. I actually bought this gloss as a gift for a friend, so I haven’t tried it, but the staff at my local store was so helpful and brand is wonderful. I’m certainly going to stock up on AVEDA products this year as I focus on clearing the junk out of  my makeup stash and filling it up with quality products.


TRX GO Suspension Training Kit

I’ve been using TRX ropes at the gym for a couple months and they’re so much fun! Using them makes me feel like I’m a little kid at the playground. Unfortunately, it seems many other people feel the same way and the TRX stations at the gym are usually occupied. TRX Go ropes are the perfect solution, as they are unobtrusive and easy to set up at home. You can get in a workout without leaving the house (read: brushing your hair/showering) and you’ll never have to wait in line!


Hoka One One Running Shoes

These are by far the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. I received them nearly a year ago and wear them often, but they are still in perfect condition. I wish it was socially acceptable to wear sneakers everywhere because they really are that comfortable. I do wear them every chance I get, from running to weightlifting to hiking, and the bright colors never fail to improve my mood.


Yoga Mat

Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Yoga with Adrienne. The flows feel amazing and she brings so much joy and positivity to her videos. They’re so easy to do at home and don’t require any fancy equipment, but having a yoga mat really does make the experience so much better. When I started out, my only options were to do yoga on my bed or my hardwood floor- not ideal situations for balance and relaxation. This extra fluffy yoga mat is absolutely wonderful, the only problem is it’s so comfy you may just fall asleep in child’s pose.

I hope these products help you get your new year off to a wonderful start!

Paleo Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Phew. The post-Christmas blues are real. I absolutely adore everything about the holiday season, from peppermint mochas to playing Christmas carols on the piano (badly). And once Christmas is over, sometimes everything seems to fall a little flat.

This year, I’m starting new projects, reading new books, and taking the time to set goals for the new year. Finding more to look forwards to is a great way to move past that post-holiday slump, but I was still feeling a little blue today.

As I often do, I found solace in the kitchen. This cozy bowl of “oats” was born from:

1. my constant craving for oatmeal

2. the abundance of leftover sweet potatoes in my kitchen

3. my desire to create a paleo-friendly oatmeal recipe.

This meal is so perfectly cozy, comforting and vitamin-packed, I promise you will be left glowing and satisfied.

Paleo Sweet Potato Oatmeal
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Serves 2
 
Whether you're testing out the paleo diet or just looking for a way to change up your morning oats, this is the recipe for you!
Ingredients
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup almonds (toasted if you have time)
Instructions
  1. Grate sweet potato
  2. Bring water to a boil, add grated sweet potato, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain water from sweet grated sweet potato.
  4. Mix together almond milk and spices, then microwave for 30 seconds
  5. Spoon grated sweet potato into bowl, add spiced milk, and top with slivered almonds.

 

PB&J Quesadilla

Yesterday I babysat for three ten-year-old boys from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and by the end I was completely exhausted. As soon as I got home, I made a cup of tea, put on my comfiest sweats, and curled up in bed for a Grey’s Anatomy marathon.

Babysitting was worth it though, considering I need to fund my Whole Foods trips and overzealous gift buying somehow. However, I am far more reluctant to part with money I’ve worked so hard to earn- causing me to be more mindful about my food budget. And that’s where this thrillingly simple recipe comes in.

This easy quesadilla recipe is the perfect cheap, nutrition-packed power breakfast to give you energy for all the craziness in your life, be it babysitting, studying, sports, your job, or anything else that really takes a lot out of you. Although, now that I think about it- can I still call it a quesadilla if there’s no cheese?? Am I committing some sort of quesadilla sacrilege here? If you think so, you don’t have to call it a quesadilla, but you DO have to make this recipe. I’m pretty sure you and I both know you need to experience all the crispy, gooey, sweet, nutritious goodness that is a PB&J quesadilla.

  1. PB&J Quesadilla
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Breakfast/Lunch
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 1
     
    Ingredients
    • 1 whole wheat tortilla
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter
    • ¼ cup blackberries (use frozen + thawed to save $$)
    • ½ tsp coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp cinnamon
    Instructions
    1. Melt coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
    2. Once oil is melted, place tortilla in pan.
    3. Spread peanut butter over half the tortilla.
    4. Place ¼ cup berries on top of peanut butter and smush with a fork.
    5. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of berries, fold tortilla, and flip quesadilla.
    6. Cook about 30 more seconds, or until tortilla is golden brown and peanut butter is melty.

Gingerbread Cake Pops

 

When I was in middle school, Starbucks cake pops were a big trend. Having a cake pop in your snack/lunch made you by far the luckiest girl in the lunchroom, and my little sister would beg my mom for one every time we stopped into Starbucks for a hot drink.

I never quite understood the idea- why would you want just one bite of cake?? However, my sister recently requested I make cake pops for a holiday treat, and I decided to take on the challenge.

Making this recipe healthier than traditional cake pops really got my creativity going, and I’m so happy with the end result.

The (naturally!) sweet cake and creamy frosting come together for such a scrumptious, festive bite. Applesauce and yogurt sub in for butter and frosting to make these lighter and more filling than the Starbucks version, and, in my opinion, far more flavorful.

These are such a fun treat, I would HIGHLY recommend giving them as a gift or whipping up a batch for a holiday party.

Gingerbread Cake Pops
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a ramekin or small baking dish.
  2. Whisk together applesauce, egg, melted coconut oil, and ½ tbsp molasses.
  3. Add spices, vanilla, flour, and whisk again.
  4. Pour into ramekin and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. While cake is baking, stir together molasses and yogurt and refrigerate.
  6. Once cake is done, remove from oven, crumble (use your hands! go crazy!), and mix with yogurt mixture.
  7. Roll into 1 inch balls, insert lollipop sticks (if using) and place in freezer on baking sheet for 20 minutes.
  8. Melt chocolate using a double boiler (use a splash of milk to thin if needed), remove cake bites from freezer, dip in chocolate, and return to freezer for 15 minutes.
  9. Store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.

 

Soothing Hot Chocolate

I’m about to head off to my last day of classes this term, but I just had to share this with you guys. I’ve struggled all winter to perfect a vegan hot chocolate recipe full of feel-good ingredients, and I finally did it!

I know this hot chocolate will give you all the good vibes, so please send me some for the last day of term!

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Soothing Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

2 cups nondairy milk (I’m loving Califia Farms Coconut Almond)

2 tbsp. carob powder (could sub cocoa and adjust sweetness as needed)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. lemon juice

pinch of sea salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in glass jar with lid, close jar, and shake well to combine.

Remove lid and microwave jar for 60 seconds.

Screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously to froth.

Pour hot chocolate into mugs and serve! If you want a smoother drink, you can pour the hot chocolate through a strainer before serving, but I didn’t and I thought the texture was fine.

Portobello Burgers

The weekend after Thanksgiving break, my family took an impromptu overnight trip to Napa. I had so much fun swimming, going to dinner, and enjoying the last warm weather of the season. One of the best parts of the trip, however, was our visit to Oxbow Market. The market is full of vendors selling local, delicious food, and the specialty grocery section of the market had all the handmade pasta and granola my heart desired.

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As you can see on my Instagram, I also enjoyed a delicious portobello burger from Five Dot Ranch. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I would need to recreate the spicy, hearty goodness at home.

Since I’m a bit of a spice wimp, my version doesn’t have quite as much of a kick as the original, but the mellow flavor of the patty pairs perfectly with creamy avocado and fresh mango.

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These burgers are the perfect fun, fresh contrast to traditional holiday meals- I can’t wait for you to make them!

 

Portobello Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Portobello Patties:
    • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or sub your favorite hot sauce)
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 4 portobello caps, stems removed
  • Fixins:
    • 4 whole wheat english muffins
    • 1/4 cup diced mango
    • 1/4 cup diced avocado

Directions

  1. Mix olive oil, Sriracha, syrup, cumin, and garlic powder in a large, shallow bowl.
  2. Place portobello caps in sauce and marinate for half an hour.
  3. Preheat panini press and grill portobello caps until panini press signals they’re done.
  4. Toast english muffins, assemble burgers, and serve!

 

 

Pumpkin Granola

For me, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t go by fast enough. I actually had to drag myself away from online shopping for Christmas gifts just to write this post. The recipe is really the star of the show here, so I’ll type it up real quick and get back to deciding whether to get my sister fancy peppermint brownie mix or a pair of earrings.

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This is probably – no, definitely – the best granola I’ve ever made. An believe me, I have made A LOT of granola. I’ve always loved granola, but the store bought kind often has some questionable ingredients, so I was thrilled when I learned how to make it at home.

Somehow, this is both the healthiest and best-tasting recipe I’ve tried, which makes me so very happy. I’ve been sprinkling this on smoothies, mixing it into yogurt, and snacking straight out of the jar for an energy-boost with healthy fats and minimal sugar.

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Ingredients:

  • Dry Ingredients
    • 2 cups oats
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/4 cup coconut
    • 1/2 tbs minced ginger
    • 1/2 tbs chia seeds
  • Wet Ingredients
    • 1 tbs coconut oil
    • 1 tbs maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Stir until wet ingredients appear smooth and creamy.
  5. Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and stir into dry ingredients.
  6. Make sure all dry ingredients are coated in pumpkin mixture (definitely get in there and use your hands, its very satisfying).
  7. Spread granola evenly across baking sheet, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until granola is crunchy and golden.

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10 Cozy Desk Lunches

Recently, my desk lunches have been pretty pathetic. I was going pretty strong with meal prep for most of September and October, but recently my organization hasn’t been so great. The result of my disorganization is cold, lackluster lunches that do nothing to warm my frigid hands, fill me up, or satisfy my cravings for all things warm and cozy.

My desk lunch dilemma has inspired me to collect this list of ten recipes for you (and me) that are delicious, comforting, healthy, and meal-prep friendly.

Healing Bowls by Pinch of Yum

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup by Vegan Blondes

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Vegan “Sausage” by Primarily Plants (me!)

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Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad by Cookie and Kate

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Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Chickpea Glow Bowl by Pinch of Yum

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Super Spinach Quinoa Bowl by Primarily Plants (!!)

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Cheezy Spaghetti Squash by Chickpea in the City

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Eggplant and Almond Butter Tofu Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Roasted Acorn Squash Bowl by Well and Full

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Happy eating! If you have any other lunch recommendations, let me know.