Finding Balance in Unpredictability

What a crazy world we’re living in right now. Not sure about you, but my moods have been up and down and all around. Grateful one day, (or one minute) anxious and fearful the next. I’ve noticed that there are a few tweaks that have made all of the difference in the world to my well-being. While we can’t predict what the future holds, we can focus on what is in our control and take this new normal one day at a time. For me, it’s been monumental to maintain some feeling of inner balance by filling up on vitamin-rich foods, helping others however I can, making time for myself, and cutting myself a ton of slack in a lot of areas of life right now.

I’ll preface this post by saying that I acknowledge that in this time of crisis, adding one more thing to your to-do list, starting a wellness routine, or worrying about your diet is insignificant compared to keeping yourself and your family safe. Those of us who have are healthy and safe, have access to food, a safe place to live, space to move, and time to indulge in self-care are incredibly fortunate and we absolutely should not take that for granted. I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to be in the medical field, risking your life daily for the well-being of others. THANK YOU!!!

To all of the mamas out there who don’t get ten minutes to themselves all day, you’re rockstars and I give you MAJOR props! It’s okay if you haven’t imposed a schedule or your child won’t focus on the computer for a 30 minute distance learning session (like in our house.) It’s okay if you haven’t put on real pants in a month and your kids live in their pajamas. It’s okay if you feed your family cereal for breakfast and pasta for dinner. It’s okay if you’re drinking a lot more coffee (and wine) these days. Remember to cut yourself MILES of extra slack and that whatever you can do, it’s enough. One super helpful tool when feeling down is simply to make a quick gratitude list. Although the negatives may come to mind first and weigh heavy, acknowledging what we’re grateful for can shift our thoughts and boost our mood. Health, family, shelter, and food are monumental blessings that a lot of others may not have right now, so if we have that, it’s HUGE.

Gratitude usually works for me, but honestly, sometimes it doesn’t. What always works, though, is finding a way to help others who need far more than we do. Whether it’s donating a meal, coffee, or flowers to hospital workers, (contact your local hospital before because there are strict protocols in place right now) volunteer to shop for others if you are able to, purchase from local small businesses, Venmo someone who is out of work, send flowers to cheer up a friend, check in on your neighbors (via phone), send a ‘thank you’ note/text/email to someone you’re extra thankful for, enjoy a meal with your loved ones, and continue to do your part by social distancing. There are so many ways to help right now; it feels really good to help others and turn negative energy into positive action.

I’ve personally found a new level of comfort in food over the past few weeks. Food can bring us tremendous joy, connection, warmth, and hope. Whether it’s trying a new recipe for yourself or your family, watching a feel-good show with a feel good snack, preparing a comforting meal to leave at your neighbors’ doorstep, or indulging in homemade baked goods, food can bring us extra joy and pleasure that we could all use right now. I’ve found great comfort in warm chicken soup, homemade lasagna, dark chocolate, big salads, banana bread, margaritas, wine, burgers, and more. We’ve also made some pretty creative meals out of shelf-stable and frozen foods, as fresh food has become more of a luxury and grocery shopping has become more of a danger. Pretend you’re on Chopped and challenge yourself!

Food can also make us feel not so great if we’re using it to fill a void or beat boredom. While it feels like we’re hibernating and I am definitely eating and snacking more than usual, I’m still trying to practice mindfulness. The first few days of quarantining, I was constantly snacking out of stress and boredom, and started feeling pretty “blah.” While food can bring us comfort, it can’t fill emotional voids. We’ve all done it – tackled a bag of chips and got to the bottom without feeling an ounce of satisfaction, because that’s not actually what we needed in the first place. I encourage you to find comfort in food, but to practice mindfulness and seek emotional fulfillment through other avenues, like human connection (virtually or with family in your home) indulging in a warm bath, writing in a journal, going for a walk, meditating, reading a book, doing an art project or puzzle, at-home workout, watching an uplifting show/movie, or anything else that brings you joy, peace, and endorphins. And if you have been emotionally eating in excess, forgive yourself and be kind to yourself.

It’s about being self-aware and changing your mindset/behavior IF it’s not serving you. If your current habits are making you feel like crap, they’re not serving you. If whatever you’re doing is keeping you sane in this insane time, then keep doing it. Remember that the universal goal here is to survive, not to thrive. If we all come out of this a few pounds heavier, so what? That’s minimal compared to getting ill, being hospitalized, losing someone, and all of the suffering going on around the world.

What’s keeping me sane and bringing me joy is preparing meals that fuel my family, doing an invigorating at-home workout every day (even 10 minutes counts!) working out with family members or virtually with friends, getting outside on sunny days for some vitamin D, getting ample sleep, helping others however and whenever I can, checking in on friends and exchanging hilarious memes about corona and quarantine life, doing simple activities with my children that bring us joy, baking yummy treats for the family, watching comedy shows and uplifting movies after the kids are in bed, living in comfy clothes, and most of all, cutting myself slack.
 
Wishing you WELL xo

One Healthy Breakdown: there’s still so much to smile about!

The BEST Roasted Veggies

Every Monday, I plan to roast up a ton of veggies to have on hand for the week…or at least the beginning of the week because they don’t last long in our house! By the end of the week, the meal prep usually goes to the wayside and you’ll typically find me scrambling to get dinner on the table, in need of an easy, yummy (nutritious) side dish or two that I know my kids will eat. Below you’ll find my go-to’s for crunchy, salty, delicious roasted veggies that are so easy, you’ll make them weekly or daily, just like us!

The Best Root Veggies (Carrots, Squash, Tators, etc.)

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with rosemary, I could eat it on anything…only problem with these roasted veggies is that they don’t last long around our house! These are the best veggie gone comfort food:

Set oven to bake at 400 degrees. Wash and cut your veggies into sticks/’fries,’ or discs (depending on the veg) and place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil (or avocado oil) and season with dried rosemary, sea salt, and pepper. If you prefer sweet to savory, use coconut oil and cinnamon. I always thought that cooked carrots were a little “blah” but roasting them this way is a game changer! Trust me, they’re that good!

Crunchy Green Beans / Burnt Broccoli / Asparagus etc.

Who knew to roast your green beans? Well, you’ll never go back to steaming them after you taste this crunchy, savory goodness. Just put green beans/broccoli/broccolini/asparagus on a cookie sheet on top of some parchment paper and add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast at 375 for about 35-40 minutes. That’s it. You’re welcome!

One Healthy Breakdown: you’ll be poppin’ veggies like never before!

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!

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.

Basil Guacamole Dip and Sweet Potato Chips

Since it’s been a hot minute (ok, a loooong while…blame it on my need to soak up every single waking second with baby girl…and the fact that she lets me get very little else done!) since I’ve posted a recipe, the big come back better be double good…and it is!

A creamy, zesty, bbq-friendly but good enough for a dinner party too chips and dip. If you can’t decide between pesto and guacamole, this recipe is going to be your best friend. Not that we’re into labels or anything, but it also happens to be diary and gluten free and vegan too.

The icing on the cake? The perfectly roasted crunchy sweet potato chips so good that they put sweet potato fries to shame. Not that you’re not already salivating, but allow me to also mention the fact that this is super simple and easy to whip up. In fact, I did it before baby girl’s attention span ran out…which is pretty damn quick! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 small or 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Blend everything together in a high powered blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix) until it’s thick and creamy. That’s it!

For the chips, take 1-2 sweet potatoes (I used one large) and cut into thin round discs. Roast in olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper at 400 degrees until crispy (about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.) Let cool and arrange around your dip.

One Healthy Breakdown: good luck making this one last more than a few minutes!

 

Creamsicle Power Smoothie

Spring is arguably the most promising of seasons, showing signs of growth, vibrance, sunshine, and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, spring also brings about unreliable weather, the peak of allergy season, and those end-of-flu-season germs that have us needing some serious Vitamin C. Ditch the pills and give your immune system a healthy boost with this tasty treat instead!

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange or 2 clementines or 1 grapefruit (peeled)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop high quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut water
  • 1 handful romaine lettuce (optional)
  • dash of turmeric or small piece of turmeric root (optional)
  • ice cubes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with the liquids. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes if you wish. Pour into a glass and enjoy, knowing that you’re feeding your body right.

One Healthy Breakdown: real food cures all most!

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Loaf

I just love anything (and everything) with a tangy lemon flavor. Lemon squares, you’re SO GOOD…but you’re SO BAD! This guilt-free, grain-free paleo bread with lemon, blueberries, and very little sugar…now that’s a show stopper. This deliciousness can be made as a loaf or muffins, crunchy on the outside and soft and crumbly on the inside. Does it get any better?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond or coconut flour (or healthy flour of choice)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 or 3 lemons (depending on how lemon-y you like)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside blueberries and lemons. Combine all other ingredients in food processor (I use a Vitamix.) Wash lemons and grate the zest of one lemon into mixture. Cut lemons in half, remove seeds, and squeeze juice into mixture. Continue to blend until batter is consistent and smooth. Add blueberries and stir by hand. Grease loaf or muffin pan with coconut oil and pour batter in, leaving about an inch on top for loaf to rise. (If you have leftover batter, it can be used for muffins or pancakes.) Bake for 35 minutes (25 for muffins!) and check with a fork to make sure it’s cooked through, if not, continue to bake another 8-10 minutes. Once top has started to brown, remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from pan. Refrigerate leftovers to keep fresh. Enjoy this sweet and sour snack!

One Healthy Breakdown: take that sugar-laden lemon bars!

*recipe inspired by Savory Lotus’ Blueberry Lemon Bread

Healthy (to die for) Shortbread

Oh, shortbread. It’s one of those things we don’t see/eat very often, but one bite of that buttery, crumbly goodness and it’s enough to throw all of those healthy habits right out of the window and dig in…hard. Just me?? Inspired by Bulletproof’s Shortbread bars (containing collagen, which is great for skin health, hormonal balance, bones and joints, and digestion) this simple, no-bake recipe is full of healthy goodness and tastes just as good as the real deal. Seriously!

Healthy Shortbread (raw & gluten-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (I use Vital Proteins, but this is optional/tasteless)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt
  • filtered water as needed
  • coconut oil or parchment paper to coat pan

Slightly melt coconut butter and regular butter until soft or liquid and throw all ingredients together into your food processor. Mix until consistent. You may have to stop to collect mixture a few times. After a minute or two, add water by the teaspoon until mixture starts to slightly stick together into a dough (you should not need much water.) Grease a square or rectangular pan or glass container with coconut oil or cover with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Once dough is mixed and consistent, pour into pan/container. With a spoon (or your fingers!) spread and compact dough until it evenly coats the bottom (thickness doesn’t matter.) Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours. Once solid, use sharp knife or metal spatula to cut into the shape of your choice, remove, and devour.

One Healthy Breakdown: do they call it shortbread because it doesn’t last long?? 😉

PB & J Sorbet

This super simple sorbet is easy to whip up any time of day for a tasty treat in as little as three ingredients. If you have a little sweet tooth, you’ll love this alternative to ice cream. No dairy, gluten, or added sugar involved. Basically, think of it like a dessert smoothie…but better. Oh, you may have noticed that I’m kinda in love with anything PB & J…if you don’t feel the same way, just omit the nut butter for a classic berry sorbet.

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 cup frozen berries (I use a mix of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon peanut or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon cacoa powder for a slight chocolatey taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek for protein, coconut for dairy free)

Simply blend all ingredients together until it’s the consistency of sorbet and enjoy! Feel free to add some toppings, like coconut, chopped nuts, granola, cacoa nibs, etc. for a crunch.

One Healthy Breakdown: if you’ve had a bad day, sweeten it with sorbet!

Paleo Strawberry Beet Bars

What looks like a brownie but has zero grains, dairy, chocolate, or added sugar? Another experiment gone right in the OHH kitchen, Paleo Strawberry Beet Bars, of course! These babies are chock-full of superfoods and taste, so much so that even the littlest critics will enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 cooked beets (I used 2 precooked Love Beets)
  • 2 tablespoons goji beries
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 5 whole figs or dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
  • splash of almond milk (if necessary)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a brownie pan with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients in Vitamix or high-powered blender/food processor. Once mixture is blended, pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test with a fork or knife to make sure bars are solid, they may need a little bit more time depending on your pan size. Let cool, cut into bars, and enjoy for breakfast, snack, post-workout fuel, or a healthy dessert all week long!

One Healthy Breakdown: these bars are paleo-rific!