Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

It’s October and if you’re like me, you’re stocked up on canned pumpkin just waiting to be turned into somethin’ pumpkin spice. These healthy muffins gone pumpkin spice are a huge hit with the whole fam and the recipe is super easy, just the way I like it.

If you’re wondering why my muffins look green, it’s because they are…I add spinach to my baked goods to get extra nutrients into my kids…and myself! You bet I’m taking full advantage of this stage while my kids still think that pancakes and muffins are green! On the flip side, I also add chocolate chips, because it’s all about balance. Here’s what’s up:

Ingredients: (use organic if/when possible, recipe yields approx. one dozen muffins, can be made gluten free and vegetarian)

  • 3/4 can (or 1.5 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs (3 if large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (or any healthy flour)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • optional:
    • 1 or 2 handfuls spinach
    • dark chocolate chips
    • walnuts or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar for added sweetness

Pre-heat oven to 350. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips and/or nuts) above using a high-powered blender (Vitamix is my go-to for lazy mixing.) I recommend reusable silicone cupcake/muffin liners (Amazon) but if using pan, grease with coconut or olive oil spray. Pour batter into individual muffin cups (mix in chips/nut with spoon as desired.) Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: serve with a PSL to really get your fix!

Baby Food 101

Since my life is consumed with all things baby right now, making my own baby food is one of my go-to things to do in the kitchen nowadays. Truth be told: I just throw a bunch of things into my Vitamix and hope for the best (this is how I make most of my recipes, by the way) but I do get asked to share quite often, so here are some ideas and creations I’ve been making.

First of all, I am not a pediatrician or a baby feeding expert in any way. I’m simply sharing what I’ve done with my own children. Before you start solids with your baby, have a conversation with your pediatrician and assess whether or not your child (and you) are ready. Like 99% of baby-related topics, I feel very strongly that feeding is very individualized, so do what’s best for you and your baby.

Personally, I felt very comfortable and excited to start real food with both of my girls, so (with the okay from our pediatrician and my amazing NP sister-in-law who doubles as our on-call 24/7) I started *introducing* solids around four months with small tastes of whole foods, like mashed banana, avocado, applesauce, etc.) Without changing or supplementing her milk or bottles, I’d give her a little mashed banana here, a spoonful of applesauce if her big sister was having some, or a taste of nut butter on my finger. I found that until they’re ready to have actual meals, that tiny tastes and gradual introductions was the best place to start to prevent feeling overwhelmed with yet another thing on my plate…quite literally 😉

Note that I also incorporate some Baby Led Weaning, like giving baby a whole carrot, a slice of apple, or some sweet potato that she can gnaw on to start learning about foods, textures, and tastes. Before they can take an actual bite of something or really chew, larger pieces that they can hold in their hand are best for exploration, motor skills, soothing gums, and minimal risk of choking (never take your eye off a baby or small child eating, just in case.) Although this post only focuses on my pureed food, I’d suggest doing some research on BLW if you’re in this stage as well; I found that a combination of both purees and BLW solids suited us best.

By six months, both of my girls were showing a genuine interest in the food that we were eating and would excitedly grab, taste, chew, (even with no teeth) and swallow properly. So, of course I then committed to only feeding my babies the best quality homemade, organic foods every single day. JUST KIDDING! I am not a perfect mom. I am a normal mom. I also buy the pre-made baby pouches (as my toddler is weirdly obsessed with them) or I’ll utilize whatever I have on hand, like a mashed banana with nut butter, which if you ask me, is a pretty delicious little snack. When I do have the time; however, I love to throw a bunch of healthy foods in my Vitamix and make a week’s worth of baby food. Here are some tried and true ingredients that I often use: (use organic as much as possible and always steer clear of added sugar)

  • spinach
  • zucchini
  • peas
  • fruit
  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • avocado
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • coconut oil
  • coconut butter
  • ghee
  • applesauce
  • hemp hearts
  • collagen
  • bone broth
  • plain yogurt (sheep yogurt or unsweetened coconut yogurt are easier for little bellies to digest)
  • oats
  • squash

*some foods that babies under one should not consume are honey, popcorn, and added salt.

I’ll start with combining all of my veggies and then be sure to add some protein and healthy fats. If it’s too thick, add a little water or almond milk. Every time I make a puree like this, it’s different, but it usually comes out delicious…and I know because both my toddler and I taste test 🙂 Hope this helps to give you some ideas and inspiration! Lastly, this stage often overwhelms parents, but if you approach it with ease and experimentation instead of trying to force healthy foods into your baby, it can be fun for all!

One Healthy Breakdown: bon appetit!

Cookies for Lactation (and not)

With a toddler and an infant, I’m pretty much in the thick of it over here. Some days are harder than others. Do you know what always helps? Cookies.

Ok, now that I’ve got your attention, this recipe is actually for “lactation cookies” No, these cookies will not make you lactate if you’re not a nursing mama and they are delicious and healthy for anyone. The ingredients, like oats, almonds, and brewers yeast, are known to enhance lactation. They are also super healthy foods for anyone and will give you a nice dose of healthy carbs, protein, fiber, and B vitamins, so don’t knock ’em til you try ’em!

…and if you are a nursing mama, the good news is that you can eat these cookies and feel GOOD about it! Not that you should ever feel bad about treating yourself to a cookie or two, but these ones make you feel like a superwoman because you’re helping to feed and grow a human being, so therefor you ARE a superhero!

Ingredients: (yields approximately one dozen small cookies)

  • 3/4 c oats
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brewers yeast
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup OR honey (option to sub for unsweetened applesauce to avoid added sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (if you have it, I’ve made them a bunch of times without as well)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • optional: 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 cup nuts or nut butter of choice, coconut flakes, raisins or other dried fruit

If you’re a baker, you would mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine. If you’re me, you throw everything in the Vitamix (except chocolate chips) because what new mom has time for that? Roll into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

One Healthy Breakdown: just another excuse to eat cookies!

P.S. apologize to the new moms who I promised this recipe months ago. I have no excuse other than motherhood and I think you get it 😉

Baby Sis is Here!

Baby girl #2 is here! Meet little miss Dakota Rae DeMarco, aka “Baby Sis.”

She was born October 15th at 5:15pm; weighing in at 6lbs 11 oz and immediately transformed our family for the better. In honor of her one week birthday, I wanted to share some bits and pieces of my experience this time around. No two pregnancies (or babies) are the same (thankfully, because last time was full of crazy, rare, and pretty traumatizing symptoms, some of which returned and others did not. Thank. Goodness. While this pregnancy was much easier in some ways, it was also much more challenging in other ways…

First and foremost, being pregnant while chasing a toddler is not easy! (hence the lack of posting!) I replaced those glorious warm baths, afternoon naps, prenatal yoga classes, date nights, and other common pregnancy indulgences with the exhausting/hilarious thing called toddlerhood. It was a LOT harder to prioritize self-care throughout the pregnancy and I’m sure it’s about to get even harder…cue the momguilt. Anyone with two kids under age 2 with any words of wisdom, send them my way…please…I need ALL the help I can get!

I must say that (although at times, it felt like I had been pregnant for three years since it wasn’t so long ago with #1) chasing a toddler does make time fly. Ready or not, here she is! Emotionally, it was a little bittersweet for me, to be completely candid. One minute, I’d feel overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement and the next, my heart would break a bit thinking about losing 1-on-1 time with my “big” girl (who really is not so big at nineteen months old.) I worried about how this change would affect her, how she would react to a sibling, and how the heck I would handle two little ones when sometimes one was hard enough. Apparently, I was told by many older, wiser mothers that these feelings are somewhat normal in this situation.

Now that she’s here, (most of) the worries have changed to love and gratitude. I fell in love all over again and already can’t imagine life without baby sis. It’s incredible how you think that your heart has grown to capacity…and then it doubles. Rowan is already the most amazing big sis and I can’t wait to see their bond as sisters and best friends grow. While I realize that it’s going to be tough to balance my time, it’s all worth it in the end. Right now, thanks to help from family (it takes a village, hi mom!) it’s been more doable than I thought and I don’t feel like I’m missing out, rather that I’m incredibly blessed to have two to love.

Thanks for tuning in and thanks for your patience as I learn to navigate life with two (wish me luck!) Thanks for understanding that my family is my #1 priority right now and keeping up with OHH has taken a backseat…hopefully temporarily.

One Healthy Breakdown: twice the babies = twice the love <3

 

 

Super Green Pancakes

Green pancakes have become baby girl’s favorite breakfast. I was looking for a way to get more veggies into our diet on the mornings when we weren’t in the mood for a smoothie. These hit the spot, so we share a stack of pancakes almost every morning. Greencakes are so simple to whip up, packed with super clean ingredients, and full of healthy nutrients you can feel GREAT about serving every single day! Wonder how long until my babe figures out that not all pancakes are green….shhhhh, don’t let the secret out!

Ingredients: (makes 1 batch – about 6 small pancakes)

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or flour of choice – I’ve also made with oat, coconut, and quinoa flour)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional: 1-2 scoops collagen peptides, fresh or frozen berries, or even chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients and heat up your large pan. I use my Vitamix to blend, Greenpan’s non-stick pan (the best pans!) and Chosen Food’s coconut or avocado oil spray to ensure there’s no sticking – they come out perfectly that way. Just flip, cook, and top with your favorites – we like grass-fed butter or coconut butter, and sometimes, organic maple syrup for a treat.

One Healthy Breakdown: Hope you and your family enjoys greencakes as much as we do!

A Year of Learning & Growth

Hey, guys! Been a while….sorry (but not actually that sorry.) I’ve been prioritizing my priorities pretty much since becoming a mom (moms, you get it) and writing just hasn’t made the cut. Though I’ve missed this platform, I’ve pretty much always have my hands full these days…

so, I wanted to hop on and share some things I learned and experienced during 2017 as well as some goals for 2018. Let’s get started, shall we? Please enjoy my scattered thoughts, just look at is as a glimpse inside my scattered head (moms, you get it.)

So, I mentioned priorities. My #1 has been this little chickadee. That work, life balance thing, though – not easy. On the one hand, I feel SO lucky to have my own businesses and a flexible schedule, but it is hard, guys. Right after having the baby, I jumped back into Hamptons Wellness Week planning and signed on three new nutrition clients…while adjusting to motherhood…with a newborn…and no sleep. In hindsight, not the best idea, but when it rains, it pours, right?!

I actually started to develop some anxiety, between work that had to be done, no time to do it, and the feeling that time was flying by and baby girl was growing up WAY too fast. If I was working, I felt like I was missing out on her…and if I was with her, I felt like I was slacking on work. I know, if you’re a mom you’re probably thinking “that’s your life forever, get used to it…”

Luckily, it passed, but not without teaching me a huge lesson. After finally giving myself a freaking break, getting some sleep, and getting the baby on somewhat of a schedule (which of course changes as soon as you get used to it!) Lastly, learning to accept that everything is different and that that is ok; the world is not going to end if my to-do list doesn’t get done today. While sometimes I want to rush to get 10 things done in the hour while baby naps, I know that prioritizing and getting one task done at a time is actually far more efficient. Some days, the things that used to be top priorities end up at the bottom of the list…and yes, sometimes that means skipping a workout and putting a meal together in 2 minutes that may not be healthiest.

Once I accepted the fact that I could only do one thing at a time, be one place at a time, and that the world would not come crashing down, a weight lifted. All of that hard work paid off, as our 5th Hamptons Wellness Week last June was a huge success and worth every minute of anxiety and exhaustion!

*photo credit: Satin Sky Photo // shameless plug: Hamptons Wellness Week June 2-9th, 2018!*

I learned that hard work pays off. Hard, honest, passionate work. I learned that good things take time, but it will pay off in the end. And if you’re lucky enough to surround yourself with amazing people, you’ll get there sooner, without a doubt. I could not be more thankful for my incredible business partner, Anastasia, who is doing amazing kick-ass work both for HWW and her charity, Wing It Project, in 2018!

On another note, we lost two people in our family this past year. We experienced new grief and were reminded that life is so impermanent. Every single day is a gift and the moments that really matter are those spent with the ones you love. I’ve been reminded to savor it all – both the everyday grind as well as the more special times, like holidays, family gatherings, and celebrations. You truly only get one chance on this world, so enjoy it more, live more, love more, and try, try, try to to live in the moment. Before we know it, the moments pass us by.

I believe I’ve become better at enjoying the moment, especially the simplest ones. My favorite moments in time are actually the moments between the moments – that first morning hug before starting the day or last kiss before bed, watching baby girl learn something new, burst out in laughter, or just smile at one of us. It’s all so precious I want to bottle every moment up and save it forever..if only…

On another note, (related but unrelated – I did warn you this would be scattered, no?) I had the best intentions of envisioning one word to manifest in the new year, truth is, I just couldn’t settle for one. So, I made a whole list of words. Some of my favorites are: savor, grounded, trust, limitless, simplify, play, love, create, ease…etc. Whether one word resonates with you or you want to make a list, I highly suggest writing down your 2018 word(s) and keeping them somewhere visible. Mine are right on my desk, so that every time I sit down to work, I see them. At any given time, one of the words totally resonates with me. And with that, I conclude this random post. Next one will be more succinct, promise 😉

One Healthy Breakdown: welcoming 2018 with open arms…and a little more organization here!

Stay Healthy This Season!

While the holiday season brings much joy to people, it can unfortunately bring stress and sickness, too. Stay healthy this season with these tips from The Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Get Outside Often. It’s easy to avoid going outside in winter. A covered garage can mean going from car to office to car and back home without ever feeling that icy sharpness on your face. Staying inside for days on end can cause people to get sick. Get outside on days when the sky is clear and the temperature isn’t too frigid. Dress warmly, head out, and feel that winter sunshine. Admire how beautiful and clean your world looks when there is snow on the ground. You’ll feel much better after some fresh air…and even better, a good walk!

Keep Up the Exercise.Thumbs up if you have a goal to exercise more! Don’t begrudge yourself if things haven’t exactly gone as planned. We know that it can be harder to stay motivated when it’s cold outside and the days are shorter. Make the most of a beautiful sunny day by bundling up and going for a walk or run. If you prefer to stay inside, head to a local gym or fitness class!

Make the Most of Nutritious Winter Fruits and Vegetables: Eating during winter doesn’t have to be boring or vitamin deficient. Keep carbohydrate-laden foods such as white bread and pasta to a minimum and fill your plate with dark leafy greens, winter squash, citrus and pomegranate, all of which thrive in the chill of winter. These fruits and vegetables are laden with nutrients, antioxidants and fiber, which increase your energy, help keep that winter weight at bay, and help fight cancer, too. For more on eating for the winter season, click here.

Protect Your Skin From the Inside-Out and Outside-In: Cold, dry air quickly sucks moisture from your skin. Combine that with a blasting of hot air from a heating unit and some scratchy winter fabric and your skin can end up being one dry, itchy, scaly mess. Keep moisture locked into your skin with a moisturizer. Lather it on every time you bath or shower, or whenever your skin feels dry. Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and eat foods like berries, which are high in antioxidants and lots of omega-3s (also found in salmon, walnuts, or omega-3 supplements), and consider using a humidifier to help add moisture to the air in a dry room.

Stop a Cold or Flu In Its Tracks: Maybe your throat has become a bit sore or scratchy. Perhaps your nose or eyes are starting to feel a bit congested. If you can feel a change in your health, but it’s still in the early stages, keep some natural remedies on hand to take at the first sign of a cold or flu. Olive leaf, garlic, echinacea, elderberry, vitamin C, and zinc may help boost your immunity and increase your resistance to those nasty winter viruses. For some more natural immune boosters and remedies, click here.

One Healthy Breakdown: don’t let winter get ya down!

*content provided by The Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Foods to Calm You Down

With the holidays upon us, who doesn’t need a little calm? Yeah, yeah, we all know that we should be meditating more…and committing less…and sleeping more…and so on.  Since those things are easier said than done, lets look at foods that combat cortisol, the hormone that causes stress, anxiety, and sadness. Eat more. Stress less. Now that sounds doable.

Wellness Stock Photo by Sash Photography

  • Chia seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Grapefruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Maca
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Shellfish
  • Oranges
  • Dark chocolate
  • Turkey

One Healthy Breakdown: food is medicine

Plant-Based Pesto Quinoa

If you follow me on instagram, you know that I set two goals for the month of September: 1. better meal prep and 2. daily meditation. Truth be told, the meal prep is going pretty well. Why it’s more difficult to find the time to  literally sit still than it is to exert effort into things like shopping, chopping, and cooking is beyond me. Meditation is a work in progress…but at least the meal prep is going well. Hey, nobody’s perfect, right?!

Anyway, I typically meal prep on Sundays and I usually roast some chicken and a ton of veggies. Last Sunday, I was a little sick of chicken, so instead made a big batch of quinoa to have throughout the week. I didn’t want the quinoa tasting like bland leftovers, so I decided to mix things up and pesto-fy my quinoa….because anything with pesto is delicious, no?! Plus, not that I’m into labels or anything, but this baby also happens to be vegan/plant-based, gluten free, dairy free, and choc-full of all of your macro-nutrients. Yup, you’ve got protein, carbs, fat, and a serving of greens too – all in this one super simple dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, or sub for parmesan cheese if desired)
  • 1/2 cup organic corn

*note: all of my ingredients were organic, but if you’re going to go organic on anything, corn is the most important because conventional corn is so highly GMO. I use frozen organic corn and just thaw it out beforehand.

Cook quinoa (cook however you like to cook your quinoa. I cooked it on the stovetop in 2-3 cups water and a pinch of sea salt.) While quinoa is cooking, make the pesto by combining arugula, basil, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts, and nutritional yeast in food processor (I use a Vitamix.) Toast the other tablespoon of pine nuts, but be sure to watch them because they toast fast! (Truth: toasting nuts usually takes me two attempts because I forget about them and burn them the first time. Don’t do this.)

Turn heat off, but leave pot on the warm stove and stir in pesto, corn, and pine nuts. That’s it! Enjoy for lunch or dinner…all week long!

One Healthy Breakdown: Meatless Monday…and Tuesday…and Wednesday…

 

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

There’s nothing like it in the world; motherhood is amazing, eye-opening, challenging, and completely transformational. Here are a few of the many life lessons I’ve learned over the past six months since becoming a mom to this little baby girl.

1.  Moms are BADASS. Besides the whole carrying a baby (which may or may not go smoothly, see here) for plus or minus 40 weeks thing PLUS giving birth (which is NO joke btw) moms can fit a day’s worth of tasks into an hour and an hour’s worth into 10 minutes…because we have to. What can I say, moms are pretty much superhuman.

2.  Time is better than diamonds…and chocolate…and wine. Time is the one thing that moms always want more of and never have enough of. Somehow, six months have passed in the blink of an eye since this little one entered the world. As they say, the days are long, but the years are short. Time, please slow down.

3.  Something’s gotta give. Priorities change and sacrifice is a must. For me, my #1 priority is baby girl and posting here or on social media, going to the gym, cooking dinner, dog walking, housework, and self care sometimes take a back seat. Do what you can, when you can and try to let go of #momguilt. 20 minute at-home workouts and a dinner smoothie have become quite popular around here. It’s just not all possible to fit in to 24 hours, so, cut yourself some slack; you’re keeping a mini human(s) alive and that’s a pretty big deal.

4.  Moms are flexible AF. I mean yogis are flexible, but moms are flexible-er. Go ahead, try to make a plan, schedule, routine around a mini human and their constant plot twists. And, just when you think you have it all down, everything changes…

5.  Moms are some of the most selfless beings on the planet. They live their lives based on the greater good of their children and family. Although I’ve always wanted kids, it wasn’t until the past few years that I really felt ready to put someone else before myself. It’s not about me anymore and although that’s an adjustment, it’s more than ok when looking at this face.

6.  Mom brain is REAL. If you are a mom with mom brain, have a mom with mom brain, or know a mom with mom brain, cut them some slack. Growing up, I remember my friends rolling our eyes when our moms said something a little loopy, but these days, I can barely put a sentence together or do basic math and it’s only the beginning. The struggle is real, folks.

7.  There’s nothing’ more humbling than cleaning up after a full-on diaper explosion; it will challenge you, ground you, test you, lighten the mood, and force you to live in the moment like nothing else can. It’s astounding how someone so tiny can make such a catastrophic mess.

8.  Worrying is the new normal. It does not stop. What if baby learns to crawl while I’m in the shower and crawls to the top of the stairs and then falls down the stairs and I don’t hear her?  Is that her crying? I think I hear her crying...These thoughts cross my mind all day long and I know that they will every single day from now to first steps to teenage years and beyond.

9.  Whatever you do, do NOT Google it. Ok, so that’s virtually impossible, I’ve probably googled random baby/postpartum questions at least once a day everyday since birth. Sometimes it helps, but most of the time it takes #8 (see above) and quadruples it.

10.  Mom life is the best life. There’s no arguing that. It’s just the best. This teeny, tiny growing human fills up your heart every single day and there’s no way I’d trade the mom brain, worrying, sleepless nights, and messy days for anything on earth. Life will never be the same again…and for that I am forever grateful.

One Healthy Breakdown: moms are the most blessed.