Feeling Fat & Tired? ๐Ÿ˜ซ Here’s why…

Back when we did a segment on 10TV on Foods that will Increase your Energy, we first spoke about the factors that pull down energy levels. That’s because kale and other superfoods, such as maca and spirulina, can only do just so much when there are other agents at play.

Why is my energy so low?

Here are some typical energy drains written out as an acrostic:

Fast food

Alcohol

Tired (from not getting enough sleep)

&

Time constraints, stress

Immunity (e.g being sick or having autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and more)

Relational issues at home or work

Eating inconsistently (i.e. skipping breakfast or eating late at night)

Depression

So these factors can make us feel fat and tired. And what do we do when we feel this way? Well, we usually turn to coffee and sugar, which provide a short-term solution but not long-term, sustained energy.

Now that we’ve identified the energy drains, here’s what to do about it. Consider adding in foods that will give us an energy boost, such as:

Yerba Mate – a good coffee alternative which provides caffeine but usually without the jitteriness associated with coffee

Beneficial fats – olives, avocado on toast, nuts and seeds all provide longer-lasting energy. A tip here is to keep nuts and seeds in your desk drawer, work bag or purse so that you always have a better option when you’re hungry and still have work to do or errands to run.

Maca powder – can help with energy, mood, memory and even with balancing hormones. It’s great in smoothies and in our Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls recipe

Spirulina – a blue-green algae that has protein, iron, and B vitamins (all important for energy)

Greens – one of most under-utilized food groups and yet they provide so many minerals and vitamins that give us energy and help us feel great. Kale chips and smoothies are easy ways to include them into your diet.

Chia seeds – they have fiber, protein, and omega-3s. Try our Spiced Vanilla Chia Pudding

Instead of hitting the vending machine for candy bars or nearest coffee shop for an espresso, try these are nutrient-rich options whenever you need a natural energy boost!

5-Minute Weekly Breakfast Meal Prep ๐Ÿฅฃ

When it comes to eating a healthy breakfast everyday, we have constantly innovated new recipes and iterated efficiency ‘hacks’ so that none of us needed to be in the kitchen longer than 10 or 20 minutes each morning. While the mission has been successful, we have doubled-down on this quest. The result? ONE MINUTE each morning is all that is needed for us, and you, to have hot breakfast and coffee!

You might be asking yourself, by what kind of sorcery is this possible? It’s a fair question, as the laws of physics do continue to exist on my stove.

Fortunately, you will not require any spells or incantations for this enchanting breakfast outcome. All you need is five minutes on a weekend to make this magic happen. Here are some tips:

We love a lazy Sunday as much as the next person. To help pep us up for 5 minutes of breakfast prep, we have 1-2 favorite, energizing songs queued up. May we suggest “Si no le contesto” by Plan B or a long-time favorite “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly. Play beat-the-song as you put ingredients together.

It’s a good idea to have all your necessary containers clean and ready. We gathered glassware and lids for this little adventure.

Have a plan. We chose to have our ‘magic potion’ coffee and oatmeal. Basically, you choose what you want to have with your meal items and put the non-perishable ingredients in the containers.

Some ideas for the coffee cup: instant coffee, collagen, protein powder, herbs or adaptogens

For the oatmeal container: oatmeal, chocolate, greens powder, hemp seeds, goji berries or other dried fruit, nuts

That’s it! On the day of, just add hot water and fresh fruit, if desired. There you go, a healthy one-minute breakfast all in less time than it takes to do a drive-thru run. You’re welcome!

Have more time for delicious, semi-leisurely breakfasts during the week or weekend? Check out our other delectable and nutritious ways to start your day:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet

Cherry Almond Pancakes

Great Goji Groatmeal

Enjoy!

The Organized Closet: 5 Steps ๐Ÿ‘—

The state of your home does have an impact on your outlook, thoughts and feelings. Clutter and chaos often cause sense of overwhelm, oppression, and a lack of control. These feelings can spill over from our homes into our careers and lives.

Unlike a colossally stressful goal of “clean the house this year”, let’s get a specific result that might just fuel you on the rest of your quest. The goal is not to do everything at once – luckily, closet organization can be completed in just a couple hours. Here’s how:

1. Assess the situation. We’ve had tiny closets, long ones, and walk-ins. Your space can help dictate the amount of clothes that can comfortably fit. It might also inform you of the need for a dresser or to store out-of-season clothing elsewhere. Also, evaluate the amount of clothing and shoes you have. Do you need your formal business attire if your working-from-home situation allows for business casual? Is having 40 t-shirts from every club or run you participated in during your college years necessary or might 20 shirts be enough? Do you live in the same clothes week-by-week and ignore all the stuff in your closet because it doesn’t fit or otherwise makes you feel depressed or guilty? Conversely, do you see some of your favorite items – those that always make you feel sophisticated and composed – hidden among the “great deals” that weren’t or clothing with tags still on them? Release your self-judgement for a minute. We’re not going to focus on our sartorial mistakes or weight gain; we’re focusing on the future.

2. Envision who you’d like to be and how your space might be more welcoming to you. If you take a moment and close your eyes, try to conjure an image of yourself a year from now. What activities are you engaged in? What new, healthy behaviors and thoughts do you have? Then do the same for your closet. You’ve assessed the space and the wardrobe you have at-a-glance. Can you imagine how you’d feel walking into a cleared-out, organized, and colorful closet everyday? How might that influence the start of your day and how you show up at work and in life?

3. Declutter and edit. If you’ve seen our other closet organization articles, you’ll see that we agree with Marie Kondo’s method of pulling *everything* out of your wardrobe. Yes, part of it is the shock and perhaps horror involved as we realize the true need for editing down. The other part is that you can see all of your coats, pants, socks, dresses in one place; this makes it easier to decided how many sweaters are truly needed…or to see that dress we’ve always not liked for some reason *still* hanging out in the closet. It’s time to go!

Use your rational mind and your intuition as you comb through the mountain of clothes. Create three piles: yes, no, and maybe. Pull your most obvious favorites and put them into your “yes” or keep section. The clothing that annoys you, doesn’t fit, or has holes you know you won’t fix goes into the “no” pile. Thank it for its service Konmari-style if you want. The tricky part is that the “maybe” pile might get rather large. Rather than allow ourselves to be confused and indecisive for a majority of our clothing, we limit this pile to 10 pieces. Once the 11th item is thrown in there, we have to move another piece to the “yes” or “no” pile. Give it a try. Depending on how many clothes you are dealing with, this process can take 45 minutes or 2 hours.

4. Organize. As you place items back in your closet, organize by type of clothing (e.g. pants, dresses, shirts), length (shorter dresses to longer ones), and color. This will help you find what you are looking for faster and create a beautiful composition of your clothing. Having the same hangers throughout the closet also help. Or you can do what we did and have separate hanger colors for you and your partner’s sections.

5. Think of this as a continuous process of refinement. As you rotate through the outfits in your closet, you might find that you don’t actually like the way the green sweater looks anymore. Maybe you notice how you’re tired of fighting the pilling of fabric. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to wait until the next closet clean-out to make a change. Keep a box in your garage for donations and every time you encounter a pair of shoes that gives you blisters or pants that don’t look or feel right, release it immediately. Use your hangers to keep you accountable in your shopping. If you don’t have more than 2 free hangers, don’t buy 6 items. Or release another 4 things to accommodate your new and improved clothing purchases. This will prevent your closet from accumulating too much clutter like before.

Want to see our before and after videos? Use it for inspiration to see how you can create a functional, welcoming wardrobe for yourself!

Recipe: DIY Divine Vanilla Sugar โ„๏ธ

Maybe you know the kind of Italian nonna whose recipe doesn’t include the secret ingredient that takes the dish from “bravo” to “bellisimo!” Though we could keep this up our sleeves as well, we wouldn’t do that to you. This DIY vanilla sugar recipe is divine; it ‘blesses’ pretty much any baked good with a delicate, fruit-floral aroma and taste. Beyond making your taste buds sing, some properties of vanilla can help calm and protect your nervous system – which make it perfect for hectic holidays! Just like the DIY 2-ingredient Vanilla Extract recipe, this one is supremely simple. We recommend doing both at once since you’ll get the most out of the vanilla beans.

We might sprinkle this highly-valuable vanilla sugar into our gluten-free cinnamon bun recipe, Banana Nut Bread, or on top of the Anytime Warm Apple Crisp. Use it as a substitute for regular white sugar and your coffee, tea, cookies, brownies, and other holiday baked goods will have everyone asking for your secret ingredient. It’s up to you whether you tell them ๐Ÿ˜‰

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: 5 minutes

Yields: 6 cups

Ingredients

6 vanilla bean pods

6 cups organic granulated sugar

Instructions

Using a knife, carefully slice a vanilla bean pod length-wise. Scrape the inside seeds of the bean into a small glass container. Remember, you can reuse the beans to make vanilla extract so put them aside to save them if that’s your plan. Put the granulated sugar into the blender/food processor/coffee grinder to blend the vanilla bean with it. When the seeds have broken down and dispersed in the mixture, your job is basically done! You can enjoy the sugar immediately or reap the reward of getting the best flavor by waiting for a few weeks.

You can store the sugar in any container youโ€™d like. We use hinged, glass Mason jars to store the sugar, making sure it’s tightly sealed to keep it fresh. These containers also make it easy to gift some divine vanilla sugar to anyone who likes to bake or add sweetness to their coffee or tea.

Your Exercise Plan for Winter ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ

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.

In just a few short weeks, the holidays will be over and New Year’s resolutions will have people flooding into the gyms and eschewing sugar. For a short while. Most of us know reasons why our resolutions fizzle out not long after the champagne celebrations and the Times Square ball drop. One, we’ve overloaded ourselves with drastic changes and, two, we didn’t even give ourselves a stretch or running start. Hopefully we will inspire you to start now with bringing exercise into winter.

Express yourself

What do you like to, not should, do? What forms of physical activity do you enjoy engaging in that get you into a state of flow or make you feel the best?

Think back to toys, games, sports and activities you enjoyed in your youth. Did you enjoy softball, kickball, soccer or tennis? There are teams and leagues for those activities in most towns.

What about swimming, street hockey, playing tag, or spending hours bicycling on your own or with friends? There are elements of each activity you enjoyed that can be brought back into your present state.

For example, ballet as a youth might have turned into dancing at clubs or bars and now could further morph into salsa, ballroom, or even Irish dancing.

Flying solo? It’s adventure time! Perhaps you loved ‘field day’ at school; you may not find it fun to potato sack race by yourself, but that’s what Meetup groups are for! You can find others who enjoy the same activities you do, like hiking combined with mushroom hunting, even if they are relatively obscure.

If you enjoyed martial arts when you were younger, you might enjoy taking it back up and going to classes at a studio, or you might want to consider practicing punches on a boxing bag.

Equipment needed

Indoors

These should all be easier to obtain after the buying sprees of 2020, thankfully. Check out your local buy/sell/trade groups or even Ebay for some secondhand equipment. If you want brand-new, consider what you truly need and where to start.

For example, since we aren’t traveling to our Pilates and barre classes during potentially hazardous weather, we have obtained the bands, ball, and mat needed to do the activity.

Like biking? We’ve put our bike on this stand for the third year in a row and have it set up in front of a TV so we can run YouTube videos and pretend we are riding through Europe. Do what you need to do to make life fun and get the exercise done.

Yoga is probably one of the most accessible, least equipment-heavy activities. A simple mat, a YouTube video (we like Yoga with Adriene), and maybe a cute bunny or two is all we need.

Ready to walk around with better posture and stronger bones and muscles? Look into equipment like the ones we use in our home gym area: free weights (2lb, 5lb, and 10lb) and these adjustable free weights, a medicine ball, more resistance bands/cords and this beastly Power Tower.

Want more fun? If your ceilings are high enough and you have good balance, consider an indoor mini-trampoline (it’s on our wish list from Santa this year too :)).

If you have a partner, kids, or friends who will play, a ping pong table is pretty great.

A gym might be the place to join when you are looking to swim indoors or to lift a number of heavy weights and don’t want to fill your basement with stuff that will gather dust.

Outdoor protection and gear

Protect your core temperature (no pun intended) with an insulating shirt for cold weather. We’ve had this one for over a decade and it fulfills the duty for which it was intended. This is the men’s version.

If you want a soft, warm hat that shows you have a sense of humor about winter, our sister site CraftyBeavers is the place to go.

Ice and snow grips are worth having for your shoes, especially if you plan to walk or run during the winter months; this is the one we have. It has saved us from falling and injury; well worth the monetary exchange.

If you want to be able to pause or play a podcast on your phone, try these mittens that open into fingerless gloves so that your entire hand doesn’t freeze.

Need extra warmth? Call upon the trusty air-activated hand warmers or some rechargeable ones.

Remember sunscreen! Just because it’s cold and cloudy doesn’t mean we can’t have our skin damaged by the sun’s invisible radiation rays.

Or, try a thermal fleece breathable balaclava or ski mask which will help protect your skin from UV rays and the cold.

As you can see here, there are plenty of options to keep our hearts and bodies healthy! Keep in mind that you can slowly build up your equipment. Just start with picking one or two items that will help you achieve your goals.

Winter is not the enemy of our exercise, we just have to adjust to the season. A truism the Nordic people like to share is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Now that you have an idea of the most suitable type of exercise for you as well as the equipment required to perform the activity and protect yourself from the elements, you’re ready – half the battle has been won! Start now; don’t wait for January 1st.

๐Ÿ’ My Precious: Pomegranate

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you probably got the movie reference from the title and ring emoji alone. Gollum, a rather unfortunate-looking character, is so completely obsessed with the Ring that he calls it “my precious”.

Unlike Gollum, we are less passionate about rings than we are about the ruby-red pomegranate seeds that become available this time of year. The fruit is supremely scrumptious and it offers a whole host of benefits to your body. Let’s explore:

When are Pomegranates available?

The pomegranates in the United States tend to come from the warmer parts, such as California. The fruits need the hot, hot heat (not the band) in order to grow well. The delectable fruit becomes available to us starting in late September and extends through November. Fortunately, because pomegranates do well in storage, you should still seem them available in December and possibly into early January. In summary, it’s available now so run and get yourself some!

Nutritional aspects of Pomegranates

These juicy fruits pack a flavor and nutritional punch! They are a great source of fiber, which can help with constipation, weight loss, and balancing blood sugar.

Pomegranates have vitamins and minerals, including: calcium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. This fruit also has antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties which can help the brain and urinary tract, boost physical performance, benefit the cardiovascular and digestive systems, and assist in disease prevention.

What ice cream can’t do, pomegranates can!

How to use and eat Pomegranate

You could eat the seeds themselves as a meal or a snack. We like to have it as a breakfast on its own, with nondairy yogurt, or with the Amaranth for Breakfast recipe (subbing the fruit in for the strawberries).

Pomegranate pancakes are also really good and they have a bit more crunch than blueberry pancakes.

For lunch or dinner, some like pomegranate in their salads or in a rice pilaf.

For dessert, we’ve even put pomegranate seeds on vegan cheesecake and made a syrup out of it.

You are only limited by your imagination.

Let us know – after having fresh pomegranate seeds are you too calling them “my precious”? How do you like to eat yours?

Ready to Banish the Bloat?! ๐Ÿคฐ

If you’ve felt five months pregnant with significant bloating and discomfort, you’re in the right place.

Though we all might joke about “food babies”, we know how uncomfortable and even painful bloating can be. Clothes start to constrict around the abdomen and kill self-confidence. The over-stretched gut drives you to distraction and zaps you of your energy. As you switch to comfy clothes and sit on the couch, you wonder if certain foods are to blame. Or maybe it’s over-indulging. Maybe you don’t have a clue and you just take some probiotics and wait it out for the next few hours. Then this situation repeats itself within days or weeks. You’re confused about the cause and frustrated with how the bloating never seems to stay away for long.

Here’s the kicker: bloating isn’t just a superficial issue of looking good in your clothes. It can be a symptom of an underlying health condition and can lead to more serious issues.


It doesn’t have to be this way! Imagine that you can…

  • Wear your clothes comfortably with a flatter stomach and a powerful confidence, knowing that you know how to prevent and solve your bloating.
  • Experience better energy and leave discomfort behind!
  • Learn strategies to help you through the holidays AND daily living.

Introducing the Banish the Bloat program!

You’ll learn how to eliminate bloating, even if you’re unsure of where to start. You’ll have a way to identify your problem foods without eliminating all your favorite foods or pure guesswork. You’ll get a customized guide to track your meals and patterns so that you know what contributes to your bloating.

In addition, we’ll guide you on the foods to add and subtract, evaluating for food sensitivities and intolerances, eating tips, gut-healing items, and lifestyle factors that can prevent bloating.

How it works:

The 5-week Banish the Bloat online group program begins right after Thanksgiving with the first module arriving by Saturday, November 26th so that you can review and do your first action plan over the weekend.

Modules are provided a few days before each live Q + A call so that you have time to review the material and do the practice assignments. The dates of the calls are as follows:

Tuesday, November 29th at 7pm EST

Tuesday, December 6th at 7pm EST

Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm EST

Tuesday, December 20th at 7pm EST

Tuesday, December 27th at 7pm EST

Recordings will be made available.

This is the first time we are offering this problem-solving program in an online format and it’s the only time that it will be offered at the low rate of $97.

Ready to solve your bloating issues for good? Join in by clicking here. Have questions? Schedule a time to talk.

Be proactive & gather the tools and guidance you need to improve your gut and banish the bloat through the holidays and beyond!

Recipe: ๐ŸŽƒ Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

We are well aware that anything pumpkin spice related is “basic white girl” so we’ll spare you both in the name of this delicious smoothie and with photos of us throwing leaves in the air for Instagram with the #thankful.

A note about this recipe: like some of the other frozen banana recipes, the reason we like to use them this way is due to the ice crystals and creamy texture they impart. Remember to peel your bananas and then stick them in a baggie to freeze for at least a couple of hours.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2; makes about 5 cups total

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 bananas, frozen

1 can of organic pureed pumpkin, 15oz

1 scoop protein powder (we used banana cinnamon pea protein from Truvani)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tbsp organic maple syrup

2 cups cashew milk

Dairy-free whipped cream (optional)

Instructions

Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until contents have creamy texture. Enjoy with some dairy-free whipped cream on top, if desired.

10 Healthy, Plant-based Fall Snacks ๐Ÿ‚

Maybe it’s all the autumn activities or just the season of our lives, but we’re probably not alone in feeling like a squirrel on a sugar-high. Scattered. Busy. Trying to maintain a mental map of the yards where we hid our nuts. Okay, maybe not the last one.

Still, the increase in activity, even if just shopping on Early Prime Days, tends to lend itself to eating more snacks. And that’s okay. Let’s try to have some that land on the healthier side of the spectrum. Here are healthy, plant-based fall snacks that run the gamut from no-bake and about 10 minutes to delicious, baked goods that might have you salivating at the ding of the timer after 45 minutes of somewhat patiently waiting at the oven door.

Gold Mine Pudding

Celebrity Couple! Choco-cado Cookies

The Anytime Warm Apple Crisp

Gluten-free Cashew Coconut Bread

10TV Recipe: Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls

Just another Mochi Monday

Chocolate Chunk Tahini Cookies

โ€˜Nachoโ€™ Average Nachos

Death-by-Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Roasted Root Vegetables

Enjoy!

Recipe: Blueberry & Peach Compote ๐Ÿ‘

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.