4-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Benefits of this recipe: pancakes. Protein. Four ingredients. Need I say more???

You know how most blogs make you scroll down for like 5 minutes until you get to the actual recipe? Not this blog. You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Whey protein powder (vanilla, or get creative! I used pumpkin spice protein)

1 banana, ripe (not overripe, that will make pancakes mushier)

2 eggs (medium or large)

1/8 tsp. Baking soda

Optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract

Directions:

Mash banana & eggs together with a fork. Mix in protein powder & baking soda until smooth consistency.

Heat frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pasteurized butter (like Kerry Gold) and when it’s sizzling, add your batter to pan.

Cook on one side until the edges start turning more opaque. Flip, cook for another 2-3 minutes. That’s it!

I topped w pure maple syrup, but you could add peanut butter, almond butter, whatever you have. Get creative!

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Maca Chai Smoothie

I’ve started incorporating Maca powder into my routine since my hormones seem to be all over the place. Maca is touted as being able to potentially balance hormones, support hormone production, and result in some crazy-sweet benefits, like easing PMS & Menopause, aiding in fertility issues, reversing hypothyroidism, and improving libido (bow chicka wow-wow!). The taste takes some getting used to, but I found a chai-flavored one at Whole Foods that I like (see photo below).

Ingredients:

1.5 cups coconut milk or almond milk

1 sliced frozen banana

1 Tbsp. Almond butter

1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Maca boost (see product pic below)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender & blend to desired consistency. Pour in a glass & drink (it’s more fun with a straw)!

P.S. Here is the Maca powder I used (I got it from Whole Foods):

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4-Ingredient Almond Butter Cups


These seriously give me life. If you are following a ketogenic diet plan, these are also known as “fat bombs.” They’re filled with healthy fat & are super yummy! This is how I satisfy my sweet tooth on the reg y’all. Without any guilt or bloating or inflammation. Heck yes, I’ll take it!

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp Coconut Oil

4 Tbsp Chocolate protein powder** (your choice, I used Shakeology bc that’s what I had!)

6-8 tsp. almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice)

3 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut (Optional)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients (except shredded coconut) in Pyrex glass measuring cup or other microwave-safe dish. (You can also heat this on low heat on stove). The reason I suggest a Pyrex measuring cup is because it has a spouted edge to pour from. Otherwise this might get messy. 😉

2. Microwave or heat until coconut oil is melted. Mix everything together until smooth. Stir in shredded coconut.

3. Pour into mini baking cups (I found cute wrappers at Whole Foods) & place in fridge or freezer to harden.

Note: coconut oil is soft/liquid at room temperature. These need to be kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Another tip: I placed the mini muffin wrappers inside a muffin pan in case I accidentally over-poured.

**also, if the protein powder you used isn’t sweet enough for your taste, add a couple drops of liquid stevia.

Enjoy!  Subscribe below to receive updates when I post other amazing, simple, healthy recipes or other fitness & lifestyle tips!

Nutmeal

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Ingredients:

1/4 c. cashews (whole, not roasted or salted)

1/4 c. pecans

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. flax seeds (I used coarsely ground)

1 egg

1/2 c. unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 Tbsp. almond butter

celtic sea salt, “real” salt, or pink Himalayan salt, to taste (just a dash)

Instructions:

1. Blend nuts, spices, & flax seeds in blender until coarse texture.

2. In a pot, whisk your milk & egg together. Then add nut mixture & almond butter.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes or until desired consistency.

4. Top with berries, granola, shredded coconut, more cinnamon, whatever! 🙂

Enjoy!  And for more healthy, easy recipes, fitness & wellness tips, and more, enter your name & email address below! 🙂

Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Ever since I made this recipe from Dora’s Table, I’ve been in love. It is addictive, it’s easy to make, it’s raw vegan, and it goes well on (almost) everything.

Use it as a sauce mixed with pasta. Use it as a salad dressing on top of greens, avocado, red onion, cucumber, and cilantro. Drool.

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

1 Chipotle in adobo sauce

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup canned fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Muir glen)

1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice

Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and enjoy. I find this keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Enjoy!  And subscribe below to get email updates when I post amazing, healthy, easy recipes and other fitness/wellness tips!

Acai Smoothie & Coconut Chia Pudding Parfait


The name of this recipe is a mouthful, and a tribute to the complex flavors and exquisite, refreshing texture in this raw vegan delight.

For the Coconut Chia Pudding:

Whisk together…

2 cups full-fat coconut milk (canned)

1 tbsp. Pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Slowly stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds.  Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

 

For Acai Smoothie:

Blend together….

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 sliced frozen banana

2 tbsp. Acai powder (you can buy this in bulk from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup almond or rice milk

1 tsp. agave nectar to taste

1 tbsp. almond butter or other nut butter

 

Assemble by layering pudding with smoothie.  Top with granola, hempseed hearts, assorted fruit, cacoa nibs, whatever you fancy!

 

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5 Easy Habits to Get Healthier Now

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Tongue scraping

This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that Western medicine is beginning to acknowledge as productive to oral health. Did you know that a coating of residue (including toxins and yucky bacteria) on the tongue is what leads to bad breath? You may have learned to brush your tongue, but I have bad news for you. All that does is push the bacteria around. Tongue scraping eliminates it. Getting rid of the coating on the tongue also leads to greater sensitivity of the taste buds; meaning, your food will be tastier. Wouldn’t it be nice to be satisfied with less food? Less food = less unnecessary weight on the body. We all know this. The process of tongue scraping is so quick and simple, there’s really no excuse to not do it. You simply take each end of the tongue scraper in your hands, start at the back of the tongue, and add gentle pressure, scraping from back to front, rinsing in between. Repeat about 5 times. I’m telling you, your mouth will feel cleaner. You can buy a tongue scraper here.

 

 

Switch to Whole Foods

 

No, I don’t necessarily mean the grocery store. You don’t have to drive to another town to find a Whole Foods market. A whole food means a food that is in its complete form, with no additions. Ingredients: 1. An apple is a whole food. A carrot is a whole food. An almond is a whole food. I like what author Michael Pollan says: “eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” What he’s saying is, avoid stuff with a million ingredients. Actually, more than 5 ingredients and you’re going down a road leading to nothing good. If this is too difficult for you, at least start reading the Ingredients on your box o’ food, and avoid anything with the words “hydrogenated”, “palm oil”, “carrageenan”, “maltodextrin”, and “aspartame”. That’s a solid place to start.

 

 

Drink Organic, Fair Trade Coffee (ditch the K-cups)

 

If you’re like most Americans, you drink coffee. If you’re like me, you have a slight obsession that borders on unhealthy. Nevertheless, we’re not here to judge. Coffee is delicious. However, I encourage you to do the environment a favor and stop using the disposable K-cups in your Keurig. I’m not saying to throw out your Keurig…that would be wasteful. Instead, buy a couple reusable, refillable little cups. Buy a bag of high quality, organic coffee. You’ll find that the coffee will last a lot longer, you’ll save money, and you’ll feel good about helping the planet. You can buy some on Amazon here.

Better yet, get yourself a French press.  You’ll feel like a badass, and the coffee honestly does taste better.  I got this adorable one that I take to work with me – it’s enough for one cup (there are larger ones as well).  Check it out here.

 

Begin a Daily Gratitude Practice

 

Get a cute little journal. Find 5 minutes to yourself either in the early morning or before bed. Grab a cozy spot, a cup of tea, and light a candle. Create a sacred space, and get to writing. Write what you’re grateful for. If you’re having a difficult time and grasping at straws, start with something very basic and primal. “I’m grateful for shelter and warmth”, might be a nice a place to begin, particularly if you live in New England like me, where the winters are bitter cold. “I’m grateful that my body carries me through the day and moves me from place to place.” It might seem silly, but it has been shown that gratitude and joy are directly correlated. This is no coincidence. The more we acknowledge all that we have, the more satisfied and fulfilled we can feel.

 

Incorporate Yoga into your Life

 

If you’re a seasoned yoga, or know the basics, try to fit 30 minutes in a day. No need to go to a yoga class, or pop in a DVD. Just roll out your mat and flow through 10 sun salutations, surya namaskar A (see photo below for instructions). If you have no clue what I’m talking about, click the menu at the top of this website and go to “private yoga instruction”, and schedule a session with me (if you live in CT). Even if you don’t live nearby, feel free to email me and I’ll give you some personal recommendations. So, 10 sun salutations, followed by 10 dirgha breaths, followed by 10 minutes of nadi shodhana, and finally, 5 minutes of meditating on the breath.

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Sat Nam,

Steph xo

Shake your Asset

  
Let’s get honest, because candor is a trait I really respect and admire. We could probably do with some more “real talk” in life, right? I’m about to share something important with you. Skip ahead to the end of the blog post if you’d like the specific “action item”. 

The more I am myself, the happier I become. Even if it requires some painfully uncomfortable moments. Lately, I’ve gotten stubborn as hell, dug my heels in, and began to swim upstream, against popular opinion. To me, it’s better to stand up for something you truly believe in, and be honest to a fault, than to be a sheep. I get it – we all want to belong. And sometimes we unconsciously believe that belonging requires agreeing with others, even if it’s not what we believe. 

Well I’ve done that for long enough. It didn’t really get me anywhere, at least not anywhere I actually wanted to be. It got me stuck in a job I don’t enjoy, where I don’t feel my purpose is being fulfilled and my gifts are going unused. For a long time, I chose the easy option, which was to be a chameleon and literally blend in, nodding and smiling with the notions put out into the world by whomever I encountered, particularly those who were my superior in jobs. But on the level of humanity, we’re all the same. No one is better than another. And if we believe they are, it’s only because we make it so. For example, if I believe that someone who holds an executive position, or has a doctoral degree, or drives around in a Range Rover is somehow better than me, that’s how I’m going to act around them. But you see, I don’t subscribe to that belief anymore. I have taken those materially “successful” people down off the pedestal where I put them. Feeling inferior is my deal; that’s on me and no one else. 

We all have assets. My assets are not necessarily any different or better or worse than yours. Everyone has strengths. Successful people acknowledge, list, and imprint their assets on their minds and hearts. They know that those assets are their tickets to success. They’re what they pull out when it’s time to move past resistance and dynamite through the obstacles in the way of their goals. They don’t reinvent the wheel. They know what their strengths are, and perhaps more importantly, what they are not. Instead of having a pity party for all their weaknesses, they say, “well I may not be the most organized person ever, but I have kickass resolve and thrive under pressure.” They shore up support from their beliefs about themselves. 

These beliefs are not always inherent. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of effort to recognize the strengths that will carry us to success and allow us to dream bigger than we’ve ever allowed ourselves. We can blame parents, or the school system we went through, or media, or the government. But ultimately, we are responsible for exercising the muscles of our thought patterns. If you’ve heard of muscle memory, then you know that when we start doing pushups, they become easier over time, even if we take a long break from doing them. The neural pathways function similarly. When we have a thought response that persists over and over again, it can become almost Pavlovian. We have to be aware of destructive thoughts, and replace them with another thought, over and over and over until that placeholder becomes permanent…the new normal.

Meditation can help shed light on what exactly we’re thinking, and how this can be potentially damaging. Our thoughts might be the gremlins that are holding us back, and limiting our imagination and its ability to dream up and manifest our best life. When we learn to control them, they can be the stepping stones to a life better than our dreams.

I will crack this code, mark my words. There is no Earth-rule saying that in order to live on this planet, you have to be limited to a life you don’t enjoy. Everyone is worthy of EXTRAORDINARY.
There you have it. Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, and write down your strengths. You may want to meditate on your breath in a sacred space to clear the clutter in your mind. You might also find it helpful to ask someone who knows you well, “what do you think are some of my strengths?” Reflect on their response, or whatever you wrote down. Be honest with yourself. Are there ways you’re acting that are actually opposing your beliefs and limiting what you’re capable of? If after reading your list of strengths you feel like you aren’t using them, make it a point to pick one and capitalize on it. Maybe a strength of yours is chatting people up, even if you don’t know them. So go out of your way in line at the coffee shop or grocery store to genuinely compliment someone and spark up a conversation. Maybe you have an artistic talent that has taken a backseat to the reality of the “steady paycheck”. Pull those strengths off the back burner and cook up something different, that actually uses your creative marrow. You might find that this recharges you, and powers other aspects of your life.

It is Real

Let’s have a little chat about depression. Oh no, you might be thinking, not this again. Yes, this. Why? Because we need to talk about it! If you have ever been, or have known anyone who has ever been depressed, you know how serious and life-altering it can be.

Let me tell you a little bit about my experience with this beast called depression. First of all, I’ve always had it. My earliest memories conjure thoughts and feelings of guilt, separateness, and lethargy. I haven’t been consistently miserable forever, but I can say that for a majority of my life, I was confused. I felt out of place in almost every social situation, even if it was just with family.

Once my chronic dullness and lack of happiness had a name, like an actual diagnosis, it got worse for me. I remember wishing that there was something “real” wrong with me, something tangible or physical that was responsible for my lack of energy and enthusiasm for life. If I had cancer, I thought, there’d be something to tell. People wouldn’t bug me to “just smile” all the time. I wouldn’t feel so wrong for simply living, and being me.

One of the odd qualities that can accompany or be a part of depression is paranoia. I had social paranoia like no other. I would walk down the halls of my high school between the milling, giggling, shouting bodies, and want to crawl deeper into my sweatshirt. If it were plausible to disappear, I would. And many days, I found a way to. I cut class constantly. It’s a wonder I even graduated (after summer school to make up gym classes I missed).

I was a bright girl. I just couldn’t take being around a lot of people. My breathing would be severely shallow and restricted, many times I suffered silent panic attacks. When you have depression and anxiety, all you want to do is get the hell out of anywhere you are.  But the trouble is that everywhere you are feels like Hell.

Coping with depression is difficult enough. I was pumped with medications since age 15. Most made me feel worse.

But the most painful part was the disappointment I felt everyday from my father. He still doesn’t accept depression as a real illness. He subscribes to the belief that you can control how you feel with positive thinking, and prayer. I won’t say that those things don’t help, of course they do, for many people. But because my father couldn’t accept my depression as real, I also couldn’t accept it as real. I’m not blaming him for anything. I’m just explaining how I processed those feelings. I felt so rejected and unloved. All because of genetics, and chemicals like hormones in my bloodstream and neurotransmitters in my brain that I.  Did not.  Have.  Control over.

I still struggle with the concept of my depression all the time. However, for the sake of others who are suffering, I believe and know with all of my mind and heart that it is real.  Just like cancer.  Just like diabetes.

If you have depression, try not to take it personally when people offer you advice to Peter Pan and “think happy thoughts”.  I’m sure they mean well.  Just begin to offer yourself the facts.  If you need evidence-based research to make it real for you, there are tons of studies out there.

Just make it real. Because it is. And you deserve to acknowledge that it’s not your fault.  You are just as worthy as every other human being on the planet.  Also, you are not your depression.  Say it out loud: “I am not my depression.”

Thank you for letting me share. More to come, because this is so important for not only my healing, but for the countless others who have depression and anxiety.

 

xo Steph