Layer in Some Pleasure (+ Recipe)

We've talked about post-vacation detoxing. But if you're too strict, you risk falling off a cliff into massive unhealthy indulgences.

So let's go back to the idea of healthy indulgences. How about upgrading it and making something delicious that tastes indulgent, but instead incorporates superfoods. Not to sound too '80s, but: totally awesome.

Like a nutritionally jacked-up chocolate bark recipe—more on that at the end of this post.

Another kind of healthy indulging is celebration.

It can be anything. The only rules really are to be present while you're doing it and then just savor it.

I did this recently after finishing a project that was extraordinarily challenging. I took a long time to eat my rich meal... the flavors were amazing, I was so satisfied, so grateful. And I didn't end up overeating.

You don't even need to celebrate an accomplishment. Maybe just celebrate you.

How about.... one meal a week… relish every bite… while feeling no guilt.

Enjoy :)

Here's the skinny on the bark recipe listed below:

Raw cacao is extremely high in minerals, especially magnesium, (which relaxes muscles) iron (which builds blood health) and zinc (which fights infection). Cacao also contains powerful levels of antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage and keeps our immunity strong.

Cacao nibs are raw pieces of the chocolate nut.

Maca is an adaptogen, which helps balance the endocrine system to support hormone production, which can increase energy, mental stamina and focus, sex drive, fertility, and help support the ability to cope with stress.

Ghee (clarified butter) has the milk solids stripped out. It's easy to digest, anti-inflammatory and can lead to increased immune system and greater longevity. You can make it yourself or buy it (Purity Farms is a good brand).

Raw honey is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal and can boost energy.

Coconut oil is anti-viral, antimicrobial, it increases energy and can help you maintain healthy and youthful looking skin.
 

 Superfood Bark

Ingredients
-1/4 cup unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil
-1/4 cup ghee
-1 cup raw cacao
-1 tsp maca (the gelatinized kind concentrates all the active ingredients)
-sweetener: several drops of stevia, or 2 to 3 tbsp of raw honey
-1 tbsp cacao nibs

Directions
1. Put coconut oil and ghee in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until it's melted
2. Whisk in the cacao, maca and sweetener
3. Pour into an square baking dish lined with parchment paper and top with the nibs
4. Put in the fridge (about 40 minutes) or freezer (about 20 minutes) until firm.

 

Recipe credit:  Adapted from Amanda Chantal Bacon

Article references: Rouxbe Cooking School, Natural News, Dr. Mercola and Paul Pitchford. 

Post-Vacation Detox (+ Recipe)

I’m back from vacation. And yes, I did indulge :)

Lots of buttery lobster and ice cream (check Instagram for the evidence) and possibly a luscious popover or two.

Of course the most important thing I did when I was away was enjoy every bit (and bite) of food. Because the point of life is to enjoy it, right?

I also remember someone wise (you know who you are) reminding me that fully enjoying my food will negate the calories ;)

But now, it’s time to refocus. And I know just what will help. A quick and easy, raw detox soup.

The base of the soup is avocado and cucumber.

Avocado lubricates the intestines and it’s rich in copper, which aids in red blood cell formation (it’s also known to beautify the skin).

Cucumber counteracts toxins and cleanses the blood (it also contains silica and helps that skin glow).

Cayenne aids digestion.

Lemon cleanses the blood and stimulates the liver so your body can flush out toxins.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) detoxes the liver.

I hope you enjoy this soup almost as much as you enjoy your vacation this summer.

Xoxo,
Lauren

P.S. Let me know your favorite way to detox after an indulgent vacation, or just leave a comment below.
 

Raw Detox Soup

 Ingredients
-1 cup water
-1 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
-1 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 tbsp cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
-juice of 1 lemon
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the “mother”
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 dash (or more) of cayenne
-cumin, for garnish

Directions
1. Put all ingredients into a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix.
2. Start on low and gradually increase the speed to high until the soup is smooth.
3. Pour into a bowl or glass and sprinkle with cumin.


Credit: Adapted from Dr. Axe

 

Pre-Vacation Veggie-Loading (+ Recipe)

It's kinda like when marathoners carbo-load before a race.

I'll be road-trippin it to BBH, Maine soon (Boothbay Harbor, for the uninitiated) and there won’t be as many veggies as I’m used to. What there will be is glorious lobster—sautéed, buttered (on a buttered roll no less), served with champagne cream sauce. Did I mention the chocolate lover’s ice cream for lunch?

Yes, I'll be forced to endure rich foods when I'm away :). But before then I'll totally be veggie-loading.

One recipe in rotation will be beet carpaccio (you read that right—beets, not beef ;) ) with striped beets from an awesome farmers market in Princeton (they're on Witherspoon Street every Thursday 'til Thanksgiving).  Recipe below. Beets are high in silicon, which is fabulous for skin and help purify your blood and liver. 

When I get to BBH, I'll have some strategies there as well:

-I'll be drinking lots of water (half my body weight in ounces)
-I'll be packin green powder like its heat (fermented spirulina and vitality super greens).
-I'll be toting Cocobiotic, fermented coconut water that's an awesome probiotic and prebiotic—hell, I might even drink some during breakfast at the hotel, who cares if people think I'm nuts, right? ;)
-I’ll ask for a non-starchy vegetable at dinner, in place of a starch (ex: green beans instead of potatoes or rice).

What are your travel tricks? Leave a comment below.

Xoxo
Lauren

P. S. There are more veggie recipes on my site… here and here and here


Beet Carpaccio

Ingredients
-2 to 4 beets, or as many as you have, whole with stem in place, scrubbed well
-extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed avocado oil
-chopped hazelnuts
-salt + pepper
-fennel seeds (optional)

Directions
1. Steam the beets whole until they are tender (approx 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size)
2. Once steamed to your liking, let them cool slightly and then carefully peel the skin off and slice them into a bowl with a mandolin
3. Arrange on a plate, top with nuts and optional fennel seeds and drizzle with the oil

Bikini Zoodles (+ Recipe)

070115-bikini-zoodles.jpg

Ok, if you called into my Summer Survival tele-class last night you’d know exactly what I was talking about.

It’s pretty simple. In the words of Britney Spears: “You wanna look hot in a bi-ki-ni?”

Do you think you’d feel confident on the beach if you’d just eaten a plate of regular old spaghetti?

Didn’t think so. How about if you ate a plate of wrinkle-busting, belly de-bloating, cooling zucchini noodles (known as zoodles)?  Now let’s add in some pesto, which includes basil (slows down the effects of aging) and walnuts (a liver cleansing, omega 3 brain boosting food).  Ahhhh, much better.

Check out how nicely that pesto clings to the zoodles. Almost looks like pasta, right? Amazingly almost tastes like it too.

Bring some to that July 4th party, chew slowly, then lounge by (or jump into) the pool confidently.

Recipe below.

Enjoy ;)

Lauren

P. S. If you come to my Summer Survival event at Pure Barre in Westfield, NJ next Tuesday, July 7 at 11:15 you can try them in person.

 

Pesto Zoodles

Ingredients
2 medium zucchini, room temperature 
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup walnuts
1-2/3 cups basil, or all the leaves from a small bunch of basil
2-4 tbsp grated parmesan, depending on how cheesy you’d like it
a little less than 2/3 cup olive oil

Directions

1. Spiralize the zucchini into a large bowl.
2. Put garlic, walnuts, basil and parmesan in food processor and mix to a paste.
3. Add oil in steady stream, mixing continuously.
4. Pour pesto onto zoodles and combine well.

Note: I recommend adding salt when the zoodles are plated, as they zucchini will start releasing water once the salt hits it.

Yes, I Can Be Bad Too. (+ Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe)

060315-choc-covered-strawberries.jpeg

Do I crave pizza when I get emails from the local place that has a-maz-ing pie?

Mmm hmmm. Do I go there every once in a while and dive into their awesome slices and 80s-style salads? Yup.

I don’t go completely off the rails either.

But because I don’t try to be “perfect” and I occasionally have foods that aren’t as healthy as say, a nutritionally jacked-up kale salad, there’s less of a chance that I’ll be triggered into a downward spiral and inhale massive amounts of my very special weakness, cannoli (extra crispy shell, please).

There’s even a way to tweak indulging so that it’s healthier than a full-on pizza-fest.

More on that later.

But speaking of downward food spirals, they can happen quite frequently. What’s that all about?

Well, do you think you’d inhale half a sleeve of Oreos every night if you had people in your life who you could laugh with until you cried?…or someone to have mind-blowing sex with?…how about a job that made you feel worthwhile and happy? I think not. This isn't about willpower and trying to be “good”.

This is where the certified health coach (me) comes in to assist in deconstructing what’s going on.

My role is to partner up with you to explore what’s keeping you from getting what you want.  Because you should have it.

And before you think I’m gonna get all high and mighty and judge-y, know that I’ve been were you are (for different reasons of course, because none of us are the same) and I gave myself over to coaching mind, heart + soul, to get what I want. I’d never coach anyone until I’d been coached myself. Because I walk my talk. It could get a little messy, but that’s when things get interesting and real.

And part of me being real is telling you that I indulge.

I say it loud and proud. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be, ever. That’s boring. I want to feel alive. How about you?  Click here to set up a free session with me to explore.

Back to the healthy indulging—an easy way to do it is by having healthy versions of old school favorites.

Check out this Coconut Oil Popcorn recipe…and the sweet creation below, Chocolate Covered Strawberries. The chocolate is made with 4 ingredients, including blackstrap molasses, which is rich in calcium, magnesium and iron—and it adds a salty-richness to this delicious concoction. It's also made with raw cacao powder, which is high in antioxidants, including one that has a central role in boosting collagen production (which slows down skin aging). Strawberries contain silica, which also aids collagen formation. 

Enjoy ;)

Xoxo
Lauren

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 Ingredients:

  1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  1/4 cup unsulphured organic blackstrap molasses 
  1/4 cup cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil
  1 tbsp cashew butter
  1 lb organic strawberries

Directions:

1. Wash strawberries and let dry.
2. Meanwhile, in a small pot add the cacao powder, blackstrap molasses, coconut oil and cashew butter and combine with a whisk over low heat until the coconut oil is melted.
3. Pour mixture into a bowl and dip strawberries in.
4. Place each dipped strawberry onto a plate lined with parchment paper.
5. Let the strawberries chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.

Adapted from ohsheglows.com

 

Leave a comment below or let me know what old school food you’d like to see a healthy version of in a future post.

 If you liked this post, share it.

Do It Veggie-Style. (+ Memorial Day Recipe)

Ok, maybe the title is a little suggestive, but I’m talking about vegetables, not something else.  ;)

It got your attention though, right? I did it because I’m extremely hot for my vegetables and I’ll do what it takes to convince you to become a little obsessed too. Why?

They’re a straightforward way to get the body and skin that you want.

Tell me…. are there really any debates (and there are a TON of debates in nutrition) about the fact that vegetables are good for you?? Not really. They have fiber to fill you up so you don’t eat the bad stuff, phytonutrients to fight cell damage, vitamins and minerals to get your skin glowing and looking younger and if you do it right, they are absolutely deliiiicious. You’ll be hooked.

You do NOT have to be vegan (or a masochist) to get into this.

Vegan’s a bit extreme and let’s be honest, it can be just as unhealthy as eating a bunch of crap processed food. Hell, Oreos can technically be considered vegan, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you.

But now that we’re on the subjectwhat are the first four letters in vegan anyway?
V-E-G-E...

Which stands for vegetables. Not 10 pieces of fruit, not vegan French toast or coconut bacon (which sounds pretty awesome by the way, but that’s beside the point). Vegetables.

Do you have some rebellious-kid block against eating them?

Get over it!  :) Cut up a veggie. Pour some vinaigrette over it. Eat and enjoy. You’ll want to do again—very soon.

It never hurts to keep it simple.

1.  S l o w l y  start adding them into what you make, starting one meal at a time (put that zucchini in your smoothie—I mean it). Goal: get vegetables into every meal.

2. Or start even easier and make a veggie dish for an upcoming holiday..…

Here’s an easy, non-mayonnaisey coleslaw recipe, just in time for Memorial Day. 

Make it, eat a boatload of it and resist the urge to eat that whole damn bag of Doritos this weekend—you know who you are.   ;)

 

Non-Mayonnaisey Coleslaw

Ingredients

1/2 medium cabbage, thinly sliced by hand or with a mandolin, or get a bag pre-shredded
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (preferably with “the mother”, Braggs is a great brand)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

1. Put the sliced cabbage and onions together in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl add the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper; whisk in the oil slowly.
3. Add the vinaigrette to the cabbage and onions and stir well to combine.
4. Let sit for at least 1 hour.
5. Enjoy :)

Cabbage and onions both contain sulfur and will make that beautiful skin glow and look younger naturally.

 

Leave a comment in the box below.

Let me know if you’re going to make the coleslaw recipe this weekend, or some other vegetable. Or just leave a comment about the article.

If you liked it, share it.

 

 

 

How Clothing + Shoes Saved Me

When I was going through an awful divorce and feeling undesirable and weak, sliding on a pair of sky-high heels and tight, skinny jeans made me feel hot, strong and in-charge.

Aside from a few cool and funny dudes, the one thing that kept me sane during the last year at my corporate job was how I dressed (yes, I wore the heels and tight, skinny jeans there too). The atmosphere was so stressful and stifling, but dressing exactly how I wanted gave me such a rush that I almost looked forward to going to work each day. ;) 

They also gave me a protective shield.

It’s NOT superficial.

Despite always loving fashion (hello Barbie dolls), it finally hit me during that tough time how important clothing and shoes are.

As well as protecting and building me up again, they made me feel beautiful and peaceful on my wedding day, gave me the courage to go up to a guy who I thought was hot at a bar and the strength to give my mom’s eulogy.

It can change your life if you let it.

It’s the quickest way to feel however you want—strong, sexy, balanced, pulled-together, professional, sweet, edgy. Then you act accordingly.

The key is not to worry about what other people think.

Because really, who cares what they think?

You know who I’m talking about: the people who stare open-mouthed as you clip-clop by in your fabulous new shoes or short, tight skirt.

Guess what, you’ve just given them permission to dress the way they’re dying to dress as well.

Why this is a great thing?

Because the point of life is to enjoy it.

There’s nothing like wearing something that makes you feel like a million bucks—your interactions will be more real and you’ll be happy.

Let’s try it on.

1. Drop into your body and think about how you want to feel—hot, strong, a bit edgy, cool, whatever. Really feel it.

2. Check out your closet and drawers. Is something there that could make you feel this way? (ex: a brightly colored dress that you never, ever wear).

3. Nothing? Decide if shoes or clothing would fit the bill (or both) and start shopping—online (my favorite choice) or a store.

4. Start small—maybe edgy shoes to wear with a conservative outfit. Or some funky earrings or maybe a badass cuff.

5. Not too trendy, unless you really love it. When I pick things because I connect with them and not just because I saw them in a magazine, my outfits click and I feel the happiest. I’m not copying anyone—I’m being myself, the amped-up version.

6. Wear what your heart desires, ignore the gawkers and smile.


This also one of the best ways to look younger naturally.
When you’re wearing something that feels like who you really are, you’ll glow.


Now tell me.

Have clothes and/or shoes gotten you through a tough time, or just made a night out even better? 

If you’re not doing this already, how would you start—small or all-out?

Or, just leave a comment.

If you like this article, share it.

How To Stay "Hot + Heavy" With Healthy Food

Remember the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine dates a saxophone player? 

In order to keep their dating momentum building, the musician decides to add a new move to his bedroom “repertoire”. Although his attempt ends in spectacular failure (on more than one level) his thinking is right on target for anything in life, particularly eating healthy. 

Let’s try that with whole foods.

You may have enthusiastically hopped on the whole foods (mainly vegetables!) train and gotten energized by how the food makes you look and feel, but unless you add a few new moves to that repertoire, there’s a good chance that you’ll get bored and go back to eating convenient, processed foods that don’t satisfy you and keep you feeling a few pounds heavier than you deserve.

Here’s how to do it:

Let’s keep that energy focused in the right direction by picking up some new moves--aka recipes. The easiest way to do this is to take just a little bit of time and google recipes with ingredients that appeal to you and bookmark them, pin them or print out and save them in a binder.

Here’s what to look for in your search:

1.  Vegetables -- because they are nutrient dense and satisfying. I love cruciferous vegetables (think cauliflower, kale, cabbage, broccoli, collards, Brussels sprouts) because they contain sulfur, which boosts collagen and makes your skin glow. I’m all about natural ways to look younger.

2. Quick – how many ingredients does the recipe contain? If there are any more than say 5 or 6, that could stop you from making it--water, salt and optional ingredients don’t count!

3.  Easy – how many steps are involved? Self-explanatory. I don’t have time to make a complicated vegetable dish complete with a fancy sauce and I’m sure you don’t either.

4. Delicious – do the ingredients seem appealing to you? Remember that sometimes it’s fun to try something a little new or exotic.

Do this next:

-Find at least three recipes using the above criteria and make one this week. Then make the next one the following week and so on….

-Choose a day you’ll make it. Sunday is my day of choice for batch cooking.

-In case you’re having trouble finding recipes, here’s one that I’ve had a little crush on over the last few months—it’s a bit unusual, but still awesome. And easy. The best part is that there’s enough for a few days if only one person is eating it. It contains sulfur-rich cauliflower and onions, which will have you glowing in no time. Also check out the recipe section of my site for other ideas.

Enjoy ;)

xoxo
Lauren

Now spill it.

In the comment section below, tell me what kind of recipe(s) you’re going to try and which vegetables you’d like to see featured in this blog in the future.

If you think this post will be helpful to your friends, please share.