Recipe: Let me see that Sushi Roll 🎵

Have you ever woken up with an ear worm in your head? For us it was “Tootsee Roll” by 69 Boyz. We took inspiration from that for our lunch and changed the lyrics a bit as we sang “let me see that sushi roll!” throughout the house. The bunnies’ ears perked up as we danced and sang our way through meal prep and it really made the day shine. You can have the same (dancing optional) with this delicious, plant-based meal.

It also doesn’t have raw fish and is gluten-free!

Our secret? Marinated mushrooms with carrots and fresh, juicy cucumber. The combination wrapped inside of a rice-filled nori wrap is a total *chef’s kiss*.

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 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2-3

Equipment: sushi mat and chopsticks, optional but very helpful

Ingredients

2 cups cooked sushi rice (follow directions on package)

3 nori sheets

4oz of baby bella mushrooms, sliced

2 carrots, cut length-wise

1 cucumber, cut length-wise

1 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce, or use coconut aminos)

Pickled ginger, optional

Wasabi, optional

Instructions

Soak and cook rice according to directions; while that’s going, cut mushrooms and vegetables. Place mushrooms in a pan with some olive oil and stir-fry on low, stirring occasionally until they look a bit dry. Add your chosen soy sauce or gluten-free alternative and keep moving mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Lay out sushi mat and a nori sheet on top. Spoon cooked rice onto nori sheet and spread it to cover the sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top uncovered. Place sliced vegetables and marinated mushrooms into the middle of the nori sheet and then carefully, roll the nori sheet with contents, use sushi mat to squeeze roll (this will help the content stick together). Place sushi roll on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, slice pieces that are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Serve the roll on sushi plates or regular ones with chopsticks as well as ginger and wasabi, if desired. You too may “feel a whoop coming on” – enjoy!

The Power of Tidying Up: How a Clean Home can Transform your Life + Mental Health 🏠

During our recent Declutter your Home, Clear your Mind masterclass, we heard feedback and insights relating to how clutter was affecting participants. Perhaps you can relate:

“My purse is worse than my house, and my house is pretty packed”

“Can’t find the stuff I’m looking for”

“I have two extra bedrooms that were supposed to be guest rooms but now they are just full of stuff

It even applies to our body weight! “I’m carrying the burden of my house on my body”

For so many of us living in a home environment that doesn’t support our best selves, our mental health suffers. Our ADHD overwhelm ratchets up, and so often too does our anxiety and depression.

How does an untidy or dirty home affect our mental health?

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just not like yourself lately? It could be time to take a look at your living space. Research has shown that the state of our homes can have a profound effect on our mental health and wellbeing.

Think about it: when you enter a room that has cobwebs, dust, clutter, and dirt, it often leads to the thought of wanting to leave immediately; however, if we live in this place, we can’t ‘escape’. What typically results then are feelings of stress and overwhelm; we don’t like the situation and we don’t even know where to start improving it. An untidy house can also lead to, or worsen, feelings of anxiety and depression…and then…

Distracting or ‘numbing’ techniques come in. We hop on social media to put our eyes on something other than the our field of vision within the house. We might work more to avoid how inadequate we feel about our home situations. Avoiding the home by shopping (which worsens the problem), frequently eating out at restaurants, or socializing late into the night are all coping mechanisms too. But all of these can contribute to fatigue, weight gain, and an even worse home environment.

Because the state of our homes impacts our well-being in so many ways, having this one area of our lives in better order can open us up to our futures, new experiences, and even being *gasp* company-ready for when neighbors or friends come by with little or no notice.

We need to acknowledge that clutter and disorganization can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, overwhelm and a lack of productivity. On the other hand, a clean and organized home can promote feelings of calm, confidence, and relaxation. Here’s a 5-step tidying-up process to follow:

First, assess the state of your home by answering these questions:

  • For those of us working from home, what does a dusty desk full of papers do to our ability to be more focused and productive?
  • How do you feel when you go into your bathroom to use it? Are there yellow rings in the toilet bowl? Is it hard to see yourself through the water stains on the mirror?
  • The kitchen – does having a sink full of dishes or dirty counters have you, yet again, ordering takeout? Do the crumbs on the kitchen floor irritate you and get transferred to the rugs in the others rooms of your house?
  • Are you able to relax in your living room or are the many visible wires, toys, pet hairs on the furniture standing out and burdening your mind?

Change always begins with awareness. When we are done distracting ourselves from the state of our house, we can acknowledge that we need help in actually decluttering and cleaning.

Second, start small. It’s essential to lessen overwhelm by focusing on one small area of your home. It could be a single kitchen drawer that gets decluttered or organized, a shelf, linen closet, or even a pantry makeover that can have us feeling much better in almost no time. As yourself if the item serves a useful purpose or brings you joy. If it doesn’t, it’s time to let it go. Consider donating or selling items that are in good condition, and recycle or dispose of anything that can’t be reused.

Third, create routines that work for you. It’s just like diets. What works for your mother, best friend, or celebrity on Instagram is probably not going to work for you. Why? Because your life situation is different, so are your challenges and obstacles. It’s like trying to make a size 6 shoe fit when you really wear a 9. You can probably be terribly uncomfortable for a little while, but eventually you’ll have so many blisters and be in so much pain, you’ll take those shoes off and throw them away. Same with others routines.

Fourth, and most important, a perfectly home doesn’t exist. The more you can release yourself from the chains of perfectionism, the better. A fulfilling, satisfying life awaits you, and you don’t need perfectly clean baseboards to step into a better, more expanded way of living.

Fifth, getting support and accountability can be a total game-changer. Playing ‘beat the clock’ and decluttering items with others, being able to share your challenges and get helpful feedback, as well as individual and group support, can be so helpful in implementing the plans you have in your head.

Does that sound like a dream? Oh, it’s definitely a reality. We’ve created the Chaotic to Clean Home Club so you can start reaping the benefits of a tidy space.

Remember, cleaning and organizing your home is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication. In the Club, we encourage you to set aside time each week to clean and declutter, share successes and challenges, decluttering and cleaning tips, and learn how to set up your own routines.

Joining the Chaotic to Clean Home Club can have a powerful impact on your mental health and wellbeing. By decluttering and organizing your home, you can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. So, what are you waiting for? Start today and transform your life through the power of tidying up!

Recipe: Berry Coulis 🍓

“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” is a typical rationalization for an alcoholic beverage earlier in the day. Similarly “it’s warm and sunny somewhere” is one of our favorite ways to declare that it’s always time for ice cream, especially with a berry coulis on top.

What is a coulis?

A coulis is a sauce made from puréeing and straining fruit, or vegetables. A fruit coulis is often added to desserts, as you’ll see suggested below.

Is a coulis cooked?

It doesn’t have to be – the definition above means that you could just blend or purée the fruit and strain it, keeping it raw. Some like a warm coulis added to ice cream, cheesecake, or baked goods.

Here’s a berry coulis that you can add to vanilla bean ice cream, our plant-based Banana ‘Nice’ Cream, or even to decadent gluten-free pecan brownies. Stay tuned for that forthcoming recipe!

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: about 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 pint fresh or frozen berries (we used raspberries)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup water

1/2 lemon, juiced (optional)

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium-low, stirring and mashing the berries down as they cook. You may also want to use an immersion blender. Cook until the sauce is at desired viscosity or thickness. Strain if you desire the remove the seeds. Otherwise, pour your berry coulis over your favorite dessert(s) of choice to add another dimension of flavor and texture. Enjoy!

5-Minute Weekly Breakfast Meal Prep 🥣

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!

💔 Break up with Sugar + What Happens

Perhaps you’re popping the last bonbons or chocolates of Valentine’s Day into your mouth as you read this. “Okay, yeah, I know sugar isn’t good for me but how bad is it really? Isn’t it just extra calories?”

How Sugar Harms our Health

Unfortunately, added sugars in our diets are way more deleterious to our health than just giving us extra calories. They can actually cause nutrient depletion, contribute to excess body fat and weight gain, cause a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride, low mood, energy bursts + slumps, disruption of a healthy gut microbiome, feed abnormal cells (e.g. cancer), and so much more.

How to Reduce Sugar in our Diets

Every meaningful change starts with awareness.

  • Learn about how much added sugar the average American and you eat (don’t be fooled – one of our vegan clients ate mostly healthy food but also managed to get in 117g of added sugar into a single day!)
  • Educate yourself about how the body processes sugar and its detrimental effects.
  • Figure out how to identify the many names for sugar in the ingredients lists of the foods you eat.
  • Check your foods (and your children’s and pets’) for hidden sugars.
  • Get guidance from a nutrition expert who can help you break your addiction to sugar and support you on your wellness journey.
  • Tools & Resources to Reduce Added Sugar Consumption

    We understand how hard it is to break up with sugar – it was one of our first loves! After deep-dives into educating ourselves and seeing the effects of poor diets, including too much added sugar, in hospitals and clinical practice, we committed to taking control of our own sugar intake and helping others do the same. It’s not easy but it is doable.

    Fortunately, we have two options to further both your education + implementation around breaking ties with sugar and gaining better body composition, weight loss, digestion, heart health, better skin, naturally elevated energy levels and more!

      1. Join our Sugar Busters Masterclass on Thursday

      1. The ’25’ Sugar Detox Challenge is where we have 25g or less of added sugar for 25 days. We have group and individual sessions to help you achieve your best results. Starts on Sunday!

    What Happens when you Stop Eating Added Sugar?

    A variety of good things! Here’s what some people have experienced through our programs and work together:

    “I was already eating well but having a layer of junk food on top of it! By paying attention to sugar intake and assistance in reducing it, I have lost 18.6 lbs in two months!” – Bobbie A., Columbus, OH

    “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….

    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)!” – Steven (full success story here)

    “The individual calls focused on one area and the chance to ask questions one-on-one. This helped me feel accountable and made me think before I ate something. Despite the fact I could have put more effort into it, I did see improvements and lost 7lbs!” – Jane V., Columbus, OH

    “Weight loss of 5lbs, pants feel better! I’m in control and am seeing results.” – Erin D., Columbus, OH

    “There are so many sources of hidden sugar in the foods than I ever knew! I would recommend this program to everyone, especially moms.” – L.B., Columbus, OH

    “I started the challenge because of all the sugar I eat (I love candy). I have had none during this challenge and my whole body feels better. I feel more alert and love seeing how little sugar I can eat. Even more than losing weight, I love the mental focus & overall better health that I’m experiencing during this detox”- Jan R., Columbus, OH

    There are only a few questions to ask yourself at this point:

      1. What’s your current sugar consumption and health like? What will happen if you don’t make any changes and continue on this path?

      1. What do you believe is possible for yourself – how you’d feel, look, focus and produce – if you broke up with added sugar?

    You can change the trajectory of your life right now, with your very next meal or snack. Start with reducing added sugars to win big!

    💀 Don’t Diet in Winter: Why

    It’s been at the top New Year’s Resolutions for at least the past 50 years: “lose weight” or “improve diet.”

    At first glance, these goals seem health-promoting and socially acceptable. What usually follows though is a rather rigid set of rules around eating: what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, what to avoid. This is popularly referred to as a diet and, it’s the worst. Especially during winter. Here’s why:

    What’s wrong with dieting?

    Anyone who has followed these rule-bound ways of eating will probably tell you two things: yes, they are losing weight and how many days left until they can come off of the diet. This points to a few problems with a restrictive diet:

    1. The most popular diets are built primarily on deprivation. And absolutes. There is solemnity to the rules, as if divinely written onto tablets like the 10 Commandments rather than one person’s opinion written on paper. As long as you follow the rules of the diet, you’re a saint. Otherwise, you are one of them, the sinners and failures of the world.

    2. Diets are often crazy-making in all their rules and even choosing the right diet (as many are contradictory). Is it okay to eat 1/2 cup of brown rice per day or should you be grain-free? Is the paleo diet better than a vegan one? Confusion abounds before even starting.

    3. It’s not intuitive or customized at all. For example, most diet books will tell you to eat something specific, like half of grapefruit with a piece of whole-wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast. It completely ignores the fact that you might be on a medication with which grapefruit interferes, that one of your kids is allergic to peanut butter, and that you are gluten-sensitive. So, is that a “healthy” breakfast? Maybe for someone else, but not for you. Following the diet’s recommendations might just cause more issues than it solves. Also, it usually encourages using willpower to deal with cravings rather than learning how to sate them.

    4. We are often dieting for the wrong reasons. We think being thinner or leaner will automatically improve our lives, but we haven’t even addressed our thoughts or the areas of life we want to improve and how to get ourselves to step into the next version of ourselves. Confidence can, and does, come from many other aspects of life that don’t involve squeezing yourself into a smaller size.

    5. Lastly, they are not sustainable. Diets don’t work. Once our days of waiting for the 3-day raw juice cleanse or 30-day paleo diet have come to an end, we often slip right back into our bad habits of late-night snacking, sweet treats, having “cheat meals”, or rationalizing stress-induced overeating.

    What’s wrong with dieting during winter?

    This has got to be one of the absolute worst times to introduce a cold, low-fat, crash diet.

    Among the many mistakes of dieting discussed above, the added the layer of this season can cause things to go south pretty quickly.

    From an Ayurvedic perspective (here’s a primer), there’s an ancient, time-tested and rather intuitive way of eating and caring for your body in each season.

    If we look at what the earth produces in each season, it gives us a clue as to what we should be eating to maximize our health. Spring is a wonderful time to have salads, greens, berries and sprouts. Summer is when we can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables being offered by our gardens and farmers markets. Fall and winter is when the squashes of the season, nuts, meat or plant-based proteins, hearty grains, and root vegetables are best. Cooked, warming foods are key during this cold and dry season.

    People generally, in their quest to cut calories, often decimate the fat in the diet. On the face of it, this change makes sense – fat has more than twice the amount of calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein. However, what is often not taken into account is that during the winter season, our bodies need healthy fats to help protect our skin and lubricate our joints.

    This is simultaneously an old and new way of looking at how best to fuel our bodies with nutrition. Though we all often act like every day of the year is the same, especially with foods being available year-round in grocery stores and our with temperature-controlled environments, the fact is that we need to live in concert with winter.

    The antidote to winter’s cold and dryness is eating warm, nourishing, oily foods. That’s why you’ll find you’ll find the recipes for meals and beverages that support your body’s detoxification processes in our Express Detox: Winter Edition masterclass.

    The Organized Closet: 5 Steps 👗

    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!

    Your Exercise Plan for Winter 🏋️

    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.

    💍 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?

    4 Beverages for Cozy Weather

    The weather here in the Midwest likes to engage in a bit of trickery. Last week, it was sunny and in the 70s and this week, well, it feels like winter. It’s time to pull out the hats and coats as well as the ingredients for making some warming, cozy beverages. Here are some recipes to fit the season:

  • Our Dairy-free Hot Chocolate was a staple recipe nearly every evening last winter. Whether we were reading a favorite book or magazine or watching holiday movies and the Great British Baking Show, hot chocolate was by our side.
  • For those who don’t want to have to choose between hot chocolate and coffee, we have a most excellent collaboration between the two: 5-spice Hot Choffee (choffee being a portmanteau of hot chocolate and coffee)
  • Celebrate with some Peppermint Eggnog! The egg-less, vegan version is included too.
  • Make yourself the Perfect Cup of Tea and head over to cuddle up on the couch. Increase your knowledge of teas and check in with yourself about which one you need.
  • Whichever beverage you choose to warm yourself up or celebrate with, enjoy!