3 Ways to Regain Life Balance ⚖️

If you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, pressed for time, and stressed, join the club! Only a minority of people report feeling peaceful, equanimous, and blissed out these days. The good news is that you can take a step in that direction and reap a bunch of benefits. Here’s how:

1. Identify what’s important to you, your mindset, and what throws you off balance. Once you identify your values and your non-negotiables, you can simplify and cast off the unimportant to-dos. Maybe rainbow-organizing your pantry and linen closets are a “nice to have” but family time is more of a priority right now. In terms of mindset – have you noticed how some people seem relaxed and carefree as they go about their duties while others seem rattled with the same amount of work? Leading a calmer and more peaceful life often has to do with our personal experiences, belief systems, and coping mechanisms…all of which influence our mindset and our thoughts. By changing those, we can change our behaviors and results.

Consider what throws you off-balance. Is it a last-minute request to participate in your child’s extracurricular activity? The pressure you put on yourself every year to balance not just work but with making each holiday or birthday ‘perfect’ for your family? Or does getting inadequate sleep cause you to feel easily rattled the rest of the day? There is a well-established link between our emotional state and our physical one. By adopting a more peaceful mindset, we can avoid chronic diseases and live longer.

2. Know the signs of an imbalanced life and burnout. Symptoms include headache, sleep disorders, anxiety, tense and stiff muscles, and digestive woes. The stress we’re under can contribute to poor immune function, focus and memory. It can also be detrimental to fertility and sex drive and even accelerate the aging process. Noticing these symptoms early in your life can help prevent you form sliding into burnout or into chronic disease states.

3. Add + subtract. We’re going to let our inner nerd out a bit as we reveal how much we loved stoichiometry and balancing equations in high school. Without complex chemistry and math, just imagine playing with weights on a scale – add another stressor to one side and notice how the beam shifts, especially if there aren’t enough restorative activities in the other scale pan. Here are some ideas to find your own balanced equation:

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Top 5 Plant-based Breakfasts

Guten Morgen! Buongiorno!

If it’s not already a good morning, we present to you our top five plant-based breakfasts which provide:

  • Fiber to help your digestive system get moving as you start your day
  • Protein – seeds and nuts are great sources of plant-based protein, as is amaranth (technically a seed, though typically considered a whole grain)
  • Fun – these are colorful and customizable, so get your DIY on!
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals so you’re taking care of your body right out of the gate!
  • Fuel for the morning! Test your coffee and bagel against any one of these options and you’ll see which ones hold you until lunch.

Without further ado, your new breakfast options!

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  1. Amazing Amaranth Bowl – Move over, porridge! We have a higher-protein option that also provides minerals such as iron, manganese and phosphorus.

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2. Express Detox Smoothie – Love your liver by providing it with the vitamins and minerals it needs from greens! This recipes takes less than 5 minutes and is one of the most-loved from the Green Smoothie Challenge eBook.

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3. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet – Smoothie. Oatmeal. Rinse & repeat. We know that breakfasts can get a bit repetitive and unimaginative so we’re going to shake it up with this inspired southwestern dish. Make it vegan by not adding an egg on top.

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4. Great Goji Groatmeal – This easy recipe can be popped into the slow cooker and you can get fancy with goji berries and other accoutrements. Enjoy this warm breakfast on a cold morning!

cherry almond pancakes

5. Cherry Almond Pancakes – Waking up and enjoying a fresh stack of cherry almond pancakes is both a joyful and nutritious way to start the day. May it be the same for you!

Remember to try the 7-day Breakfast Experiment to see which breakfasts work best to fuel you for your day!

Recipe: Lemony Kale & Almond Salad

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We’ve tested it thrice so far with the crowds at Thanksgiving, a holiday party, and recent Friendsgiving with rave reviews. Here we share the zingy, tongue-tingling Lemony Kale & Almond Salad! May it serve you and yours well during holiday celebrations, potlucks, a light dinner, and even just for a mid-day snack. The dressing’s simple ingredients become something greater when combined, like when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers connected their rings. Also, *voice lowers* it’s gluten-free and vegan…not like anyone will hold it against you :).

Yields: about 12-15 servings

Prep time: about 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb kale (we’ve used a clamshell of baby kale)
2 cups almonds, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
Optional: pepper to taste

Instructions

Let garlic steep in olive oil. Toast almonds in pan until golden brown, then set aside to cool. During garlic-steeping and toasting of almonds, cut small batches of kale into thin strips and place into a very large bowl (with lid, for transport to holiday gathering). In a separate bowl, put dressing together by adding lemon juice, salt, and garlic-steeped olive oil. If you don’t want garlic in the end-product, remove crushed garlic from oil and discard. If you are a garlic-lover, use the finely chopped garlic, without sieving, in the dressing. Combine almonds and dressing into larger bowl with kale and toss with tongs. For best results, serve within about 1 hour. Note: the more oil used, the heavier the kale leaves will be and it will reduce volume of salad within the bowl.

London Calling: Food & Fun

Last month we finally went on an intentional vacation to Amsterdam and London. We say ‘intentional’ because sometimes our vacation days in Columbus turn into work days (reading/writing about nutrition)…and that’s sometimes okay because we obviously have a passion for what we do, but for the brain and body to fully recharge, it’s wonderful to put the phone on ‘airplane mode’, hop on a plane, and explore another part of the world. Should you get the chance to travel to London, here are some must-eats and must-sees:

Restaurants

Zizzi

Address: 194 Earls Court Road, SW5 9QF

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The receptionist at our Kensington hotel suggested this place, and we were initially skeptical for two reasons: it was a chain and it was Italian food. It was hard to believe that we would find gluten-free options, but their online menu sold us. Vegan, non-dairy, and gluten-free options?! Amazing. They had delicious, thin-crust gluten-free pizzas that Italy itself would be proud of! With so many toppings and combinations offered, the though crossed our minds to order two (one for breakfast). There was wine, the vegan ‘Zucca’ pizza, and, of course, three scoops of chocolate and salted caramel gelato!!

Squirrel

Address: 11 Harrington Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3ES

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Vegan and gluten-free eaters of the world, rejoice!  Squirrel offers a treehouse-like interior and a variety of delicious plant-based options (menu here). You can order coffee, smoothies, juice, baked goods, and more. They are very careful about 14 different food allergies, including celery, mustard, lupin and sulfites.  This plant-forward establishment offers a diversity of meal options ranging from chilis and soups, salads, bowls, and fancy avocado toasts. We chose chili served on a sweet potato and chose a fresh juice called “Bushy Tailed.” The squirrel-forest motif carried through the whole restaurant, including the bathrooms, and added to the pure delight of the tasty meal.

In the name of research, we came back here for breakfast and were very pleasantly surprised to find gluten-free pancakes with nuts and other toppings as options. Grab a quick meal and fresh juice…and rejoice!

Note: Remember that ‘rocket’ is  arugula in British English.

Dishoom

Address: 4 Derry St, Kensington, London W8 5SE

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If you’ve perused our recipes tab and stumbled upon our Chickpea and Cashew Korma or Spicy Indian Dal, you may get the idea that we love Indian food…and that we do.

Because of the many positive reviews about this restaurant, we made a reservation before ever boarding the plane to Europe. Trust us, you’ll want to reserve a table and skip the line when it comes to this outstanding restaurant. In a beautifully decorated Art Deco-style restaurant, you will dine on the most delectable dishes. There are vegan and gluten-free options that don’t feel like an after-thought. The dishes are meant to be shared and everything works well together. We started with a Peacock Cider while others at the table enjoyed pale ale beer and tea. The appetizers and entrees rolled in soon after. Omnivores will love the Chicken Ruby or Tikka and everyone will likely enjoy the Fried Green Chillies and Bowl of Greens. We also ordered biryani and, surprisingly, jackfruit is an option! Of course, the gluten-tolerant may want to indulge in the garlicky, chewy naan. To finish the meal, we had a creme brulee rice pudding and a Chocolate Chai that made our eyes pop with the joy of surprise – it tasted like Christmas in a cup! Since then we’ve been aiming to re-create it almost every morning.

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Of course we had to try so many different entrees, drinks, and desserts in order to do our proper research for you, that we had picked up four extra pounds of ‘luggage’ around our abdomen. The sacrifices we make *sigh* :D.

See the Sights

Definitely check out Hyde Park, it’s London’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park and, inside, you’ll find Kensington Palace, the Sunken Garden, and the Serpentine, a memorial to Princess Diana. Also, there’s the Albert Memorial. A short walk can bring you to Buckingham Palace!

Big Ben was under construction at the time of our visit so we moved on to London Tower (London Bridge was not as exciting), after playing in the fountains with other kids.

Because Mr. Chef and I had so enjoyed watching the Mr. Selfridge series on Netflix, we had to go to the aforementioned department store once in London. There we found lots of designer clothing and items and another floor held a food court with an grocery area full of culinary delights – candies, jams, biscuits, teas, macarons- and another meal or so there. Bring your wallet, it’s not a discount store.

Of course, just walking and exploring is exciting – you’ll see the red London double-decker buses, the Shakespeare-related Globe Theater, the London Eye, cool small cars (two can fit in one parking spot!). To help off-set our eating, we walked 20 miles on the Sunday before our flight back to Amsterdam. Bring comfortable walking shoes and make sure to visit this charming city sometime soon.

10TV: Summer Mocktails

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June is National Iced Tea Month and because it’s been so warm lately, it’s a great time to switch from hot coffee and tea to cooler beverages like iced tea – whether black, green, oolong, white, or herbal. There are many benefits to drinking tea including lower cholesterol, cancer prevention and improving dental hygiene (cavity determent).

A mocktail is an easy and delicious way to keep hydrated during these high temperature months. Behold! The Strawberry Mint + Lime Cooler as well as the Cranberry Raspberry Lime Sparkler.

Strawberry Mint & Lime Cooler
1 cup white tea
1 cup sparkling mineral water
½ cup fresh mint
½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced

Cranberry Raspberry Lime Sparkler
1 cup 100% cranberry juice
1 cup raspberry tea
1 cup sparkling mineral water
¼ of a lime, juiced
Mint for garnish

Instructions:
Make tea; once tea has cooled, add ice cubes (if desired) and stir in remainder of ingredients. Garnish with mint and lime. Of course you can easily make this mocktail into a cocktail by adding your favorite wine, mead, or liquor (i.e. vodka). These recipes will serve you well in the late spring and deep into summer’s heat. Enjoy!

In the Client Spotlight!

client spotlight of recognition

“Fall 2018: While eating my second to last of an entire package of cookies (chocolate macadamia nut I believe they were) and calling it lunch, the thought that I love sugar a little too much once again crossed my mind. Those tasty treats also reminded me of my life-long turbulent love affair with sugar… remember when my dear love sugar gave me diabetes for an anniversary present about 10 years ago! While eating that last cookie, I pulled up an article that listed the characteristics of a sugar addict and I think I nailed 5 out of 6! Maybe… maybe now is the time I can do something to gain control over what looks more and more like a real addiction. Oh yeah, also around this time seemingly in the midst of a complicated (aren’t they all) personal low period, just to bring more fun to the party…

Research led me to One Bite Wellness and Adrienne. Conversed with her about the hypnotic hold cookies (my drug of choice!) have had upon me since birth! Bragged that I am a certified master cookie enthusiast, and that with a small taste I can tell where the ingredients of a finely-baked cookie were grown. I learned from Adrienne how to collect data (this appealed to my scientific mindset) to help more clearly identify patterns, issues and barriers. She helped me see in a deep and meaningful way… It’s ALL about the connections and it goes waaaay beyond food! As part of my work with Adrienne, I now see my life as many pieces of a puzzle (about 10,000 I’m thinking), with the Diet/Nutrition puzzle piece being far larger, more central and more complex than I’d ever imagined, and… it connects with damn near ALL the other puzzle pieces!

Spring 2019: So there I was… standing on a digital scale in my closet looking down at a weight I haven’t seen since the 10th grade (that’s 37 years ago if you’re curious)! A fun moment for sure, made all the sweeter by feeling that this has been accomplished in-part through knowledge based healthier eating and not a short-term diet. Working with Adrienne, I had the benefit of not having to go it alone while working through this difficult process. Adrienne is a trusted resource on call… a provider of both intellectual and emotional support.

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Had to get photographic evidence of that moment in case no one believed me!”

– Steven H., Columbus, OH


Note: Steven has gone on to lose an extra 4 pounds, as of our last meeting…but weight isn’t the whole story! He’s feeling better in many areas of his life that nutrition alone couldn’t touch.

As we’ve said before, it is a great honor to guide our clients from a place where they feel stuck, addicted, and in pain, or feeling like something is ‘off’ to where they feel light, whole, confident, and vibrant! Our long-standing mission in life is to help others heal and reach their potential. Thank you, Steven, for trusting us to guide you on this path of total transformation.

Recipe: Fruit & Nut Tart

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In honor of National Pecan Month, we were invited to share our fruit and nut tart recipe with the fine people of Columbus, thanks to WBNS 10TV. This beauty is easy to make and fun to decorate. Made from fruit and nuts, it’s raw, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Did we mention delicious? Because it’s definitely that too!

Ingredients

Crust

1 cup chopped nut blend (we used 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup pecans)
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg, optional

Toppings

1-2 mashed bananas
Blueberries, strawberries, and kiwis to decorate (about 1 cup of each)

Instructions

Soak dates in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Chop nuts with a knife or use a food processor. Drain dates and mix with nut blend, coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Once well mixed, roll into balls and press into pie plate. Mash bananas and add a layer or ‘frosting’ to the crust. Top with berries and kiwi or your desired fruits. For extra pizazz, drizzle honey or melted chocolate over the tart.

10TV Recipe: Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls

cocoa-maca energy balls

If you watched last month’s segment on 10TV, you learned about the factors which can make us feel FAT & TIRED as well as the top 10 foods for increasing our natural energy levels. One of the ideas featured was our Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls; it’s a great pick-me-up for the 3pm slump and a delicious, chocolate-y treat.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Servings: 24 energy balls

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil, melted
2.5 cups shredded coconut
1 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maca powder

Instructions

Put shredded coconut, cacao powder, cinnamon and cayenne in medium bowl. Mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and pour over dry ingredients. Combine well and put in freezer for about 15 minutes. Remove mixture and shape into balls; recipe makes 24. Store in fridge for up to a week or in freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Emotional Ice Cream

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It starts at a young age with associations we can’t remember making. But by this point in our short lives, we have engineered quite a few if-then connections.

If I throw my food on the floor, then mommy will be upset.

If I behave while at preschool today, the teacher will give me a sticker.

Perhaps there was a time where you fell, scraped your knee and began to cry because of the pain and shock. Maybe an adult offered you a lollipop to help cheer you up. Bam! Neural pathway made: “okay, so when I feel hurt, eating sweets is an acceptable solution”

Fast-forward decades years later and it’s still going on. A difficult conversation with your boss or spouse become an excuse, albeit mostly unconscious, to indulge in some ice cream. A night out drinking with friends is a ‘reward’ for a hellish, stressful week. And it’s OKAY to treat ourselves, but there’s a distinct mindlessness involved in emotional eating. Very few people think to themselves, “boy do these feelings hurt, perhaps I’ll eat enough chocolate chip cookies to squash them down.” And yet that unconscious belief can be at play, creating patterns that are deeply ingrained.

What to do?

The first step is awareness.

Perhaps the next time you find yourself reaching in the freezer for ice cream, ask yourself why you think you’re doing it. Perhaps you’ll reflect upon your day and remember that your boss assigned a short deadline for your next project, you’re completely overwhelmed by responsibilities, or that your mother-in-law criticized your parenting. Ice cream can seem like a balm for these ‘ouch’ moments, but there is more shame than comfort at the bottom of a pint of rocky road. Even if you find the answer to your question, you may not be able to change the behavior just yet. That’s okay. It’s something we can work on together; schedule your complimentary 20-minutes Discovery Call to get started.

The 7-day Breakfast Experiment

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At the Body Mindfulness presentation we gave at VegFest this past weekend, we spoke about how to bring awareness to both our lifestyle choices and to our plates. By listening to the messages the body is sending us, we can identify issues (and solutions!) related to digestive, blood sugar, and stress woes. Are you answering the calls your body makes?

Because what we eat first thing in the morning can impact our energy levels, sugar cravings, digestion, and more, we suggest you try a fun Breakfast Experiment. Consider keeping record in a notepad, calendar, or on your computer. This exercise is a powerful tool to bring awareness to your eating patterns. Here’s an example:

Day 1: scrambled eggs
Day 2: fruit smoothie
Day 3: oatmeal
Day 4: boxed breakfast cereal
Day 5: coffee and bagel
Day 6: whole wheat pancakes
Day 7: avocado toast (toast with mashed avocado on top)

Feel free to change this experiment to fit your diet with vegan, gluten-free, or other appropriate options. If you’re diabetic or worried about becoming so, consider checking your blood sugar after each of these meals and noticing any differences in daily measurement.

On each day, you’ll want to record the food you ate, how you felt (physically or emotionally, i.e. “felt energized!” or “started getting heartburn”) a few minutes after eating and then again 2-3 hours later (i.e. “had tons of energy and was productive but then dropped, craving coffee” or “felt really full, almost forgot to eat lunch!”)

Your job, as a breakfast experiment scientist, is not to negatively judge yourself or your food choices. Objectively recording the information can assist you in making connections between what you’ve eaten and how you feel – both physically and emotionally.

This exercise may reveal digestive upset or an intolerance to certain foods. A food sensitivity or allergy may impact your level of inflammation and symptoms. Contact your integrative nutritionist to discuss what you discover and to get the support you need to experience a higher level of vitality and wellness!