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!


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

express detox green smoothie

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.

skillet obw

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.


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!

Surprise! Sardines

sardines on grill

Photo source: Pixabay

The term “sardine” has been in use for over 500 years and is thought to have come from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italy where sardines were found in abundance. around which sardines were once abundant. Like most fish, which can be enjoyed fresh, sardines are perishable; this why they are commonly found canned.

Sardines only feed on plankton, which is why they do not contain the high levels of mercury and other heavy metals that other fish often do (this could be a safer fish to eat for pregnant women and older adults). According to the Marine Stewardship Council, they are sustainable fish to eat.

Need some other reason to consider eating these little fish? How about good ole nutrition? Because sardines are a nutrient powerhouse, they can help keep the body healthy and prevent diseases.

Let’s talk vitamins; these fish are a great source of vitamin B-12, which helps improve energy and the functioning of the cardiovascular system. They also contain vitamin D which is important for bone health and mood. Niacin assists in regulating ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as boosting brain health.

In terms of minerals, sardines are an excellent source of calcium (good for those who are allergic or sensitive to dairy, or who are lactose intolerant), iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Protein content – just once ounce of sardines contains 7 grams of protein.

Sardines are a source of healthy fats. These omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. These beneficial fats can also lower blood pressure and reduce risk of blood clots.

Selecting Sardines

Ready to shop? Choose canned sardines packed in water or olive oil; remember to check expiration dates. If buying fresh, the sardines should be firm, with bright eyes and shiny skin. They shouldn’t smell too fishy.

How to Incorporate Sardines in your Diet

Rinse canned sardines under cold water; gut and rinse fresh sardines. Now you’re ready to go!

Like most protein sources, sardines are a very versatile food and can be easily added to salads (like our Mediterranean salad), eaten with mustard and crackers, rolled in grape leaves to make a wrap, or made into a main dish, such as a curry.

Spring Mediterranean Salad


The Mediterranean Diet features beneficial fats, fiber, protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals which help keep us healthy. Many studies suggest that the Mediterranean way of eating can improve heart health. Plus it’s easy to follow at any meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Salads deserve a special celebration this month because they are an excellent vehicle for getting in our greens, veggies, healthy fats and protein sources. They don’t have to be boring either! To help create variety, consider choosing a different protein to add in for your salads (i.e. chickpeas, salmon, hardboiled eggs, steak strips, nuts & seeds). Another idea is to choose a cuisine to inspire you. If you like Greek food, make a Greek salad; or try a Mexican, Italian, or French one.

By getting in a salad on a regular basis, you will be getting more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve digestion, help with weight maintenance, and boost immunity! Here’s an template for a Mediterranean Salad; feel free to add items to make it your own!


Serves 1-2 people
Prep time: 15-20 minutes


2-4 cups of salad greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 sliced cucumber
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olives
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 avocado, sliced or 1/4 cup hummus

2 tbsp olive oil
2tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste


Rinse salad mix and place in medium-sized bowl; add other salad ingredients. To make the dressing, add ingredients into a bottle and shake well before pouring over the salad. Store in the fridge to keep fresh. Enjoy the fresh, juiciness of this salad!

Refuel your Body after Exercise

refuel your body

Thanks to an invitation from Columbus Fit Life to speak at the Arnold Classic, we were able to bring Refuel your Body after Exercise to athletes of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Here are some notes from the presentation:

Nutrition is said to account for about 70% of our fitness results, and it heavily influences the way we look and feel. In undergrad, we noticed that there was a bit of a schism between the exercise physiology and the nutrition majors. The former would tend to justify eating poorly by saying “I can burn this off later” and the nutrition students would say “I eat pretty well so I don’t need to exercise much.” Of course, the dietetics majors won. Just kidding, but they were on to the fact that food – something we eat 3+ times a day – does carry a significant impact on overall health. Also, if nutrition is responsible for about 70% of how we look and feel, it becomes easier to see why the person diligently jogging and profusely sweating on the treadmill everyday, but not making dietary changes, may not be seeing results.

Secondly, although training programs for athletes can be similar or even identical, variations in performance exist. Why? It is due to what happens during the recovery phase.

So how do we get the body to regenerate and recover quickly?  You guessed it: nutrition!

And what happens with better nutrition? The body is able to handle a shorter time between trainings and experiences quicker improvement. This is a huge advantage over your competitors.

Thirdly, never underestimate the power of knowing your own body. A former client on her way to living a healthier lifestyle enlisted the help of a personal trainer who told her to focus on getting lots of protein – including from a source that caused her an issue. She noticed her skin breaking out along the jawline more and had to schedule routine facials which she noted were relaxing but not fixing the cause of the acne. After a few sessions of gently recommending that she eliminate the offending food, she gave it a try. Here’s some of what she had to say:

“Had I not consulted Adrienne, I might have spent another $2250 on facials by now. I might still be fighting acne too.

For the record I’ve regained and lost the same 20 lbs. This time I’m fueling myself with great primary food, increasing my vegetables and fruit, seeds, and nuts, and scheduling exercise regularly with built in accountability. I’m hopeful that I’m finding my ideal body weight and that the weight will stay off this time.” Read full review here…

Finally, consider the importance of an overall reduction in inflammation. There are many causes of inflammation and food can be one of them. The foods that you think of as ‘healthy’ may not be healthy for your individual body. A quick way to figure out if bananas, eggs, gluten or gliadin, dairy, wheat, or raspberries are contributing to inflammation is to have a food sensitivity test performed. As with many clients, and in our own experience, you may be surprised.

A reduction in inflammation could result in more flexibility and range of motion, less joint pain and risk of injury, as well as an increase in efficiency.

Bottom line: at the end of the day, if you’re a high performance human being but your diet is not designed for your peak performance, then you may be experiencing lesser results on your rigid diet than you would experience with a more open, but personalized diet can provide. Consider finding a sports nutritionist to help you achieve a higher level of fitness and wellness.

Here are 8 tips to Refuel your Body after Exercise:

1. Drink water. Proper hydration is important before, during, and after exercise. Caution: sports drinks have quite a bit of sugar.
2. Consider having protein after a workout. This is easily accomplished with a smoothie, hard-boiled eggs, or hummus and vegetables.
3. Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. When you are tired or stressed, your body will not perform well during workouts and it will crave energy — usually in the form of sugar or carbs.
4. Plan your meals and snacks. We often tell clients, if you fail to plan, plan to fail. Having foods ready in your workout bag will help prevent breaking your healthy diet.
5. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Eating too much as well as too little can influence your endurance and muscle-building. It could also contribute to acne breakouts. Your integrative nutritionist & health coach will help you sort this out. Experiment. Respect your body’s individuality.
6. Don’t skip meals. Too much time between meals can cause blood sugar levels to drop and not recover well from a workout.
7. Eat more vegetables and fruit. They are healthy and delicious while filling you up and providing important vitamins and minerals.
8. Remember the best food for you needs to be personalized. Factors such as age, being a man or woman, food sensitivities, genetics, or being on a special diet (i.e. vegan or vegetarian) all requires specialized nutrition.




Food Focus: Salads

Salads can be so diverse that they are a fun way to try something new. You can mix any combination of vegetables, toppings, and dressings to make something totally original or you can stick to a recipe. I like to make sure that my salads have a couple of key ingredients to help me get the most nutrients I can. I start with a base consisting of some type of leaf. I try to pick darker leaves like spinach or kale because they are more nutrient dense. Then I choose some vegetables to include on my salad. The key is to incorporate color. Some good ones to include on any salad are tomatoes, onions, avocados, cucumbers, radishes, and even carrots. Next, I add a source of protein. I do this by adding nuts, beans, or a lean meat like chicken or turkey. Finally, it’s time to add the dressing. I like to do an oil and vinegar type salad dressing consisting of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, however this is where you can get creative. Be cautious when choosing a dressing to avoid covering your health salad in an unhealthy sauce. Make sure you check the ingredients in the dressing as well as the fat and sugar content. The fun thing about salads is you can mix any ingredients together to make something just for you.