Recipe: Just another Mochi Monday 🍡

*Reference to an 80s band, hints below!

What is mochi?

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from short-grain glutinous rice. Let’s take a moment to define the term glutinous; it sounds like it would have gluten in it, but it actually means having a gummy or glue-like quality. As long as your mochi is made from rice, without any added glutenous (which means gluten-containing) ingredients, this is a perfectly good dessert option for those who are gluten-free. In making mochi, the rice is pounded into paste and a desired shape.

Is mochi healthy?

For a treat, mochi is definitely a healthier option than most out there. It has carbohydrates from the rice and nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, niacin (B vitamin) and some potassium and iron.

What does it taste like?

Plain kiri (rectangular) mochi tastes like a sweet, chewy marshmallow-rice mix. It’s stretchy like bubblegum and has a soft texture.

How does one eat mochi?

A multitude of options await one who is eagerly staring down some puffed up mochi. You can choose to make it into a nori sandwich by placing the mochi in a sheet of nori and adding some tamari or soy sauce. Mochi can be cubed and added to soups as dumplings. It’s known as a cheese substitute that could be grated into lasagnas or quesadillas (we’ve not tried these yet). As a simple, salty snack just dip mochi into soy sauce or tamari. For those who prefer a sweeter version, try it with some maple syrup and nuts (recipe below).

When is the best time to enjoy some mochi? Pretty much anytime really. While walking down your street, like an Egyptian. When a hazy shade of winter falls around us. Though we’ve eaten it during every season, autumn is a perfect time to have this nice, warm treat

All we can say is that this treat will probably ignite an Eternal Flame of dessert desire in your heart. Get it?

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 13 minutes

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

Ingredients

2 mochi, kiri type (we used the Eden brand, individually wrapped)

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1/8 cup organic pecans

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on baking sheet and then the mochi on top. When oven reaches designated temperature, transfer baking sheet onto top rack. Bake for about 13 minutes or until mochi “puffs” out sufficiently (turn on oven light and watch the baking ‘magic’) and is nicely toasted.

*Did you figure out the 80s band? What do you think of mochi? Let us know in the comments below.

Why you Need to Eat Honeynut…Squash?!

Truth be told, the only ‘honey nut’ food item we had heard of, before a couple of weeks ago, was of the breakfast cereal variety. Luckily, one of our favorite organic produce stands at the farmers market added to our lexicon AND our playing with a new, rather cute food in the kitchen.

What exactly is honeynut squash?

Honeynut squash is the ‘child’ of butternut squash and buttercup squash. This crossbreeding gives it a flavor and shape akin to butternut squash, but it is sweeter and more the ‘pocket-size’ version of its parent. Perhaps think of honeynut squash as your own personal butternut squash.

Why you’ll want to eat it

It’s delicious. As mentioned above, it is sweeter than butternut squash- and spoiler alert! – even more so if roasted. And we haven’t even dove into why it’s great for your health yet…

What honeynut squash does for you nutritionally

As with most winter squashes, honeynut squash contains a high level of vitamin A and beta-carotene (which gives it the yellow-orange color). It’s also a wonderful source of minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, calcium and zinc. Known for helping with energy production, B vitamins are in good supply here in this squash too.

How to incorporate it

One of the best, and easiest ways to cook honeynut squash, just like butternut, is to roast it. Then you can turn it into caramelized cubes of golden-orange sweetness that can be added to a salad. It can also be added to pasta and even turned into a quick, blended soup.

Stay tuned! We’ll have an easy, delicious recipe for you coming up in the next few weeks.

Top 11: One-minute Energy Boosters 🤣

Unless you have the exuberance of a young child, most of us could use more energy – whether to fulfill our dreams or even just our quotidian responsibilities. The good news: there’s no need to artificially jolt yourself into action with another coffee or energy drink. A few of these natural energy boosters can provide enjoyable, longer-lasting energy for you. Give them a try!

  1. Bouncing or jumping in place and shaking out your hands can be a nice way of shaking off a negative feeling or worries and giving you a bit more energy.

  2. As your shower comes to an end, turn the knob for cool or cold water and let it run over your head, each raised underarm and on your lower back.

  3. Drink a glass of water – this can boost your energy and your detoxification processes.

  4. A minute of laughing can be an excellent mental health and energy booster. Prepare for tears of laughter with this.

  5. For a little pep in the afternoon, place a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in your palms, cupping hands over your face. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

  6. Sing the chorus of your favorite song, aloud if you can. Today’s pick was the oldie-but-goodie “More than a Feeling” by Boston.

  7. Go outside – stand in the sun (if it’s out) and notice the temperature, breeze, smells, the birds communicating, colors of leaves and whatever else your senses are picking up.

  8. Play with your pet. A laser pointer or dangly toy for your cat or hide-and-seek with your dog. We like to play ‘tag’ with our bunnies then ‘catch’ and provide cuddles.

  9. Squats. One minute of these will get your blood flowing to and from those large muscles (quads). This can be easily done during breaks from desk work.

  10. Have a small snack – perhaps DIY Hippie Granola with yogurt, a banana with nut butter, or a small handful of nuts.

  11. Engage with a friend or loved one who lifts your spirits. Even a quick text during the day can boost both of you.

Which ones worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Recipe: Blueberry & Peach Compote 🍑

Ooh wee! Have you seen the fresh peaches available at farmers markets and grocery stores? If you haven’t already, grab a few along with a pint of blueberries for this sweet, no-added sugar dessert. Compote usually involves fruit cooked in a syrup or with sugar but we just used water and a bit of cinnamon. It’s wonderful to have for breakfast or as a dessert. Life’s a peach!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: about 30-40 minutes

Servings: ~ 9

Ingredients

4-5 ripe, fresh peaches

1 pint blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Dice peaches and put in medium saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom. Add blueberries and cinnamon. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes or until fruit has softened. Enjoy on its own, with oatmeal in the mornings, or with vanilla ice cream in the evenings.

Sugar Detox Champion! 🥇

“This sugar detox challenge came at the perfect time for me, and my family. I had been noticing how the kids were asking for convenient (junk) snacks and fast food, cereals and frozen meals. Since they are teenage boys, they could eat with abandon and seemingly not gain weight. For awhile, I could ignore the voice in my head that said I had to make a change. After all, my husband and I work full-time and with the kids activities and daily life, we were busy and I had a hard time saying no to their requests. It was much easier to give in than try to figure out new food options or recipes. I wanted to be a better role model and I knew I had to address my own sugar consumption. Even though I considered myself a healthy eater, certainly better than average, and had removed a number of junk foods from my diet, I still had my soda dependency to work through. I told myself I needed it for a caffeine boost and that since I ‘only’ had 1-2 sodas a day, it wasn’t a big deal, but it was. I signed up and mentally prepared myself for the change.

The first few days were difficult to say the least. I had a headache and experienced fatigue to the point where I needed to take a nap in the middle of the day. By days 4 and 5, I felt like I was coming out of a fog. My brain felt like it was functioning better and I could think more clearly. My energy started to boost back up, without caffeine! I started noticing my skin tone improve. Things were looking good…

I relapsed over the weekend and felt sluggish, unfocused and foggy-headed. This was a valuable lesson because now I can definitely see the difference when I have less sugar. This makes me feel stronger and more committed to making it last.

I’m not a slave to sugary drinks anymore. I noticed that Coke is kind of a gateway drug for me and, if I had it at lunch, I’d end up ordering a specialty coffee drink (with more sugar) later on that afternoon. Along with this, my alcohol consumption has decreased because I’m no longer having mixed drinks.

Other benefits over the past 25 days include better bowel movements and a yeast infection clearing up, avoiding late-night ice cream and snacks, and having more energy. From my original measurements to the last day of the challenge, I’ve lost 3.5 lbs and a 1/2 inch from my waist. In just 25 days! My skin looks healthier too and though I’m in my late 40s, I’ve been told it’s ‘glowing’. I’ll take it!

My husband and my children still enjoy their frozen treats most evenings, but we’ve all started looking at labels and trying to find better options in the snack or frozen-food aisles. One of my sons has seen his acne clear up significantly and the other is now mixing his sports drinks with water to reduce sugar too.

The sugar detox challenge was full of information that helped me to change individual ingredients in my kitchen and make improvements to our meals. I appreciated the individual support to help me with my challenges with health issues and travel, which I often do for work. Even though I didn’t do it perfectly, Adrienne was always very encouraging and offered practical tips that fit my situation and I still had great results without pressuring myself to do it perfectly. It was totally worth doing. My family and I have learned valuable lessons that we will carry through the rest of our lives.”

Tara G.

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The ’25’ Sugar Detox Challenge is aptly named because it really is a challenge to put effort into changing up the way we view and engage with added sugars. The first 3 days for most people is no joke as energy tends to dip and symptoms can worsen. Getting through that leads to the other side where you can start reaping benefits (which can show up differently for each individual but typically results in improvements with digestion, skin, energy and even body composition). If you have a dependent relationship with sugar, consider this challenge as a way to help break-up with it. Remember: you don’t have to do it perfectly to get results.

Ready to get started? Join today – we start August 14th!

3 Tips & The Summer Slowdown 🐌

Being more of a ‘pitta’ type, according to the ancient science of Ayurveda, our fiery, driven nature has often been amplified by the hot summer season. With the energy of a squirrel possessed, we would run around, overwork, explore and adventure, and constantly be Doing. This year has been different, even strange, in a way. We know something crucial: stacking heat – such as intense exertion in high temperatures – can lead to heat stroke or even burnout. With the latter, we’ve been there before and never want to go back. What to do? Instead of speeding up and pushing the speedometer to 120 mph without rest, we’ve challenged ourselves to exit off the highway of hustle culture and slow down.

Has it been easy? Heck no. Resisting the urge to avoid our feelings and inner lives by salsa dancing, overwork or keeping endless social commitments has had rather dire consequences for our mental and emotional health (not to mention physical). If you too have been feeling a bit burned and frayed around the edges, join us in putting the brakes on. Here’s how:

Increase Downtime & Rest

Most mornings we have an intense exercise class and, though the kinetic energy can continue for hours, we tend to get sleepy in the early afternoon. In past years, we would have dosed up on some sugar, coffee, or chocolate to keep going. Not only that, but the critical voice in our head would have shoved us back into productivity. We’d hear: “You don’t have time – there’s too much to do! Rest later!” Luckily, age has come with wisdom as well as discernment of lies and truth. Now, we give ourselves permission to rest or nap for about 20 minutes. How might want more downtime look and fit into your life? Here are some ideas:

  • Take a break in the middle of the day for ‘tea time’ – even iced tea and a few moments to connect eye-to-eye with your kids, your partner or even your dog
  • Give yourself the gift of an earlier bedtime
  • Transition yourself from work to home life by taking a short walk or a few deep breaths with your eyes closed
  • Create a bedtime routine you enjoy
  • Read a favorite, relaxing book with some hot tea in the evening
  • Give even just 5 minutes of meditation a try, any time of the day, to get re-centered

Monitor your Mental Health & Bring back Joy

If recent news about mass shootings, gun and abortion laws have you rattled, maybe don’t add to it with local, constant news about burglaries or random acts of violence. Also, good news may not make the headlines the way fear does but there are many kind & thoughtful people in this world working for positive change. Consider the thought that there is no such thing as the ‘good old days’ because every period in history has had its positive advances and its social ills. We are all here now so let’s do the best we can to improve our environment and foster community & connection while we hurl through the galaxy together on spaceship Earth.

Do you know what joy is? Where does it live in your life? So many of us are not sure how to answer that question these days. It’s worth exploring and pondering what brings you joy as it adds an element of ‘juice’ to your energy tank. Joy can put a bounce in your step as you run errands and be a buffer against the storms of life. Whether it’s playing soccer, baking, writing calligraphy, dancing, oil painting, playing with pets or children, see how it might be possible to add a little bit of joy-generating activities to your life.

Inner Healing

We saved the most challenging, and yet most rewarding, for last. It’s a fact: our past experiences can and do influence who & where we are in the present. While we needn’t spend all our time in what some would call the ‘basements of our minds’, visiting traumas and slights you’ve experienced can help explain how the old beliefs established back in the day are playing out today. Whether that’s numbing out with food or alcohol, acting out in anger or rage, distracting with ‘busy’ activities, or a myriad of other ways, we often have no clue where we picked up these deeply-embedded and unhelpful coping mechanisms. We love the title from Sarah Wilson’s book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful which comes from a Chinese proverb about conquering a beast (e.g. bad habit, anxiety, etc) by deeply engaging with it. The aphorism has been apt during the past month while we’ve been digging back into a self-healing therapy modality whose exercises have brought us into profound inner connection and understanding. Be forewarned: inner work can be mentally and emotionally exhausting & may require the assistance of a therapist.

Before we all know it, autumn will be here – not just with its pumpkin spice everything, but with harried school preparations and planning for holidays. Take a moment, a few hours, days or a month to slow down in whatever way feels best for you. We promise that ‘productive’ rest (not laziness – here’s a refresher on the difference) and recovery will allow you to speed up once again, this time with a sense of rejuvenation.

Kiwi? Oui Oui! 🥝

Nope, it’s not about the flightless bird or New Zealanders today – we are all about this tiny, overlooked fruit in grocery store that has so much to offer you. What are its nutritional credentials exactly? Well, here’s a start:

  • It has about twice the vitamin C of oranges, per serving
  • Constipated? There’s more to help than prunes and psyllium – kiwi contains fiber and an enzyme that maybe help move things along, if you get our drift
  • Folate – this B vitamin helps prevent neural tube defects in pregnancies but is also important for building red blood cells and reducing homocysteine levels
  • Antioxidants to help neutralize free radical damage

A common question is whether one can eat the skin or not. Yes, you can eat the skin. It’s fuzzy and can kind of tickle the mouth a bit, but it has fiber and the skin doesn’t have much of a taste on its own. In terms of the fruit, the texture is similar to that of a banana but with crunchy seeds in the middle (similar to chia seeds). We think these elements come together to create an interesting and sweet snack.

How to eat kiwis:

The easiest way is to slice it up and enjoy it on its own.

We love it in our Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Tart and Spiced Vanilla Chia Pudding.

How will you eat your kiwi? Share in the comments below.

Recipe: Coconut Almond Smoothie 🥥

After chilly rain earlier this week, the Ohio weather gods have bestowed 60-degree weather upon us. Time to break out your blender and get some chocolate & spring greens in.

Join us in relishing this delicious, anti-inflammatory smoothie that is great for gut health!


Ingredients
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
2 tsp chia seeds
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup spinach
2 medjool dates
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp shredded coconut

Instructions
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend well. Add additional non-dairy milk or water
to reach desired consistency. Enjoy!


The Green Smoothie Challenge eBook contains tips and tricks of the trade, 14
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Start adding in these green smoothies so you can experience having more energy,
clearer skin, improved digestion, weight loss, or any number of benefts as yet
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Get ready to experience the easiest and most sustainable way to enjoy some
superfood-fueling smoothies; grab the guide and get started on the first week
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Build a Better Body Bootcamp

You know your health and body image aren’t where you want them to be. You also realize that short-term resolutions and yo-yo dieting is not the answer.

The Build a Better Body Bootcamp is a 6-week program designed to help you improve the elements of your diet that lead to sustainable changes in body composition and weight loss. During these 6 weeks, we will cut through the confusion and provide the tools you need to jumpstart your better body. Topics include:

  • Deceptive marketing and nutritional confusion
  • Navigating nutrition facts labels
  • Building better meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • MyPlate and portion sizes
  • Healthier snack and dessert options
  • Measuring and tracking your success
  • Sodium, sugar and fat
  • Navigating social events with ease
  • Better restaurant & fast food options
  • Styles of eating

Many of us have been stuck in nutritional confusion for so long (“are eggs good for me? What about coffee? Am I eating too much fruit?”) without support to actually make the changes we desire.

By using the tools and getting clarity and support from our private community, you’ll be able to take this dedicated time to springboard yourself into healthier habits. Benefits include:

  • Jump-starting your new eating protocol, not a fad ‘diet’
  • Learning how to feed yourself, and your family, better
  • Changing your body composition – feel stronger, leaner, and more toned
  • Feeling better
  • Having more energy
  • Better digestion and regular bowel movements
  • Improvement of chronic health issues

Here are the details. The 6-week Build a Better Body Bootcamp starts on Wednesday, April 27th and ends Wednesday, June 8th.

  • Includes weekly live meeting with Integrative & Functional Dietitian-Nutritionist where we breakdown topics into bite-sized action steps
  • Tools and recipes
  • Private Facebook group for community support
  • Skills practice
  • Accountability and resources

Ready to rock a better body? Let’s go!

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Paid-in-full, save over $100

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2 monthly payments of $297

Fast-action BONUS: for those who know they are ready to make the changes and sign up by Monday, April 18th you’ll be able to join our next Sugar Detox Challenge, beginning May 22nd, for FREE!  (Valued at $197)

Questions? Schedule a complimentary 20-minute call.

Recipe: Plant-based Taco Tuesday 🌮

You definitely don’t need it to be a Tuesday to enjoy these tasty tacos, but “Sunday Tacos” doesn’t exactly have the desired alliteration. We like to call these the Anytime Tacos – the ‘t’ sound is still in there and it’s much more freeing – but social convention is a powerful thing. Regardless, have this crunchy, delicious, and nutrient-dense meal whenever you’d like. Remember the “Got Milk” slogan? Well, this calcium-rich meal actually does a body good. Enjoy!

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes, depending on number of condiments offered

Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients

1 package of 12 hard taco shells (we used Siete grain-free ones)

1 head of lettuce, romaine or green leaf, chopped

1 can, 15oz of black beans and/or our cauliflower & walnut crumble recipe (if time allows)

1 tsp taco seasoning

2 tomatoes, diced

2 avocados, sliced

1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 jar of salsa to share

2 limes, sliced (optional)

Instructions

Rinse beans from a can and then put in a small pot over low heat. Add taco seasoning and stir; simmer for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees for the tacos. While waiting, prep lettuce, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes and limes. Follow directions on hard taco shell box for how long to heat them up in the oven (about 2-3 minutes). Plate tacos and allow each dinner guest or family member to decorate their own tacos with the condiments provided. Lime juice provides a nice splash of flavor and acidity to the meal. Your taste buds might just shout ¡olé!