Bump Up the Good Days

Last week, I got the opportunity to speak at and attend a wellness assembly at the Bridgehampton High School. The High School and Middle School students and staff gathered for an interactive, multi-faceted morning of wellness, discussing healthy boundaries, learning about (eek!) sugar, fat, and salt consumption, Zumba and movement, yummy just-fruit sorbet, and more.

Sadly, there’s a huge disconnect among today’s youth and all of the many, many ways that we can take better care of ourselves, feel better, and be happier, more confident beings. Middle and high school students (and teachers) are constantly stressed and tired – talk about overworked and underpaid. So, the fact that Hamptons schools are taking an initiative to teach children about self-care, real food, and stress-management is a HUGE achievement. We’re so very lucky to be a community full of healthy goodness.

Not only did I get to attend this awesome school day, I was asked to introduce the theme of wellness and my own holistic view on the topic. This really got me thinking. How do I communicate my whole mission to busy students already balancing a full plate…the day before April vacation, mind you. And then it became very clear how to break it down: wellness is about having more good days than bad.

image(43)It’s really that simple. Here’s how I chose to introduce the theme:

Picture this: you wake up after a good night’s sleep. You know that feeling – you stretch out and maybe a smile forms on your face as you excitedly think about your day ahead. You get out of bed and get dressed for school. Maybe you put on your favorite shirt, sneakers, outfit, whatever it may be that gives you an extra boost of confidence. You have a healthy breakfast – something you love, you know is good for you, and is going to give you energy for the day. You get to school, all of your homework’s done, your work is all organized, you get an A on a quiz, and you’re a beast at practice after school, whatever sport you play. You’re having a gooood day, right? You get home from school and help make dinner. You sit and eat with your family and have a nice talk about your day as you enjoy your home-cooked meal. After dinner, your friend comes over to watch a movie. Before bed, you finish the book you’re reading and promptly drift off into dreamland. Things are just going your way today. You FEEL good. That’s what I call a healthy, happy day. That’s what I call wellness.

Now, picture this: you overslept after staying up way too late studying. You procrastinated and barely got any sleep…again. You rush to get dressed and out the door to catch the bus, putting on the first thing you see. You make it just in time, but your socks don’t match and you have no time for breakfast, so you’ll have to wait ‘til lunch. You get to school and you’re already in a bad mood. The quiz doesn’t go so well, you stayed up late studying but you can’t remember anything! You just can’t focus because you’re so tired, not to mention hungry! That greasy pizza you have for lunch doesn’t sit so well and practice is miserable. You have no energy, your stomach hurts, and you’re having a no good, very bad day. You get home and next thing you know, you’re fighting with your parents because you’re tired and moody and nothing’s going right. You skip dinner because you don’t want to have to sit with your family and you go to bed starving, anxious, and upset.

Yuck. We’ve all been there. We all have good days and bad days – that’s life. The difference is having more good days than bad as a result of the way in which we treat ourselves and our body. Consciously taking care of your mind and body in various ways and living your life in a flow that moves in the right direction. That’s what it’s all about, that’s wellness. Do we get off-track sometimes? Of course, we all do…but, we get back on board and keep moving forward.

Enjoy your good days. Do whatever it takes to get through the bad days, remind yourself that far more good days are just around the corner. Take care of yourself, your body, and mind, and it will do the same for you by giving you more good days. Lots more! If you’re stuck in a rut, that’s what I’m here for, to support you on your wellness journey. Whether it’s a little encouragement to get back in the gym, a family friendly lesson on kitchen staples, a diet overhaul, or help refocusing on goals, we’ll make a plan and get there. Let’s bump up the good days and cutback the bad days. Click here for more info about OHH’s personal nutrition support and wellness consulting.

One Healthy Breakdown: a healthy day = a good day > a bad day –> any day.

Celebrating Nutrition Month in a BIG WAY!

March is National Nutrition Month and timing couldn’t be more perfect!

image(35)See here for why! Wahoo! Couldn’t wait another day to announce this news!

If you’re considering some nutritional support, I’m your girl! Reach out now because I’m happily offering an introductory rate until the end of April. Until then, we’re springing into spring serving up some serious healthy goodness to nibble on:

Here you have OHH’s top 10 nutrition tips to incorporate into your life because YOU deserve to enjoy the taste of eating right and flourish through food. Let’s live that high vibe life full of whole foods and no guilt! Speaking of whole foods, read all about the Whole30 program and why OHH is hopping on board too! No matter if you’re paleo or pale-no, it’s all about the whole foods, leans and greens, and listening to YOUR body.

So, there you have it, lots of yummy links and nutrition tips to crunch on! Now pay it forward. If any of your friends, family, or coworkers could use a little help developing a healthier, happier lifestyle, point them in my direction. Send them a link, suggest they sign up for OHH’s free e-magazine, or let them know to contact kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com for one-on-one support. Happy March, indeed!

One Healthy Breakdown: get your nutrition on all month long!

Whole30 Adventures with Teach. Eat. Repeat.

Meet Rachel and Anna of Teach. Eat. Repeat. I’ve been following their Whole30 adventures and just had to share the healthy goodness with you! Not only have these two ladies made huge healthy changes themselves, but they’re also helping others to do the same, all while lesson planning, wedding planning, and meal planning in the hustle and bustle of NYC. Read on for their total Whole30 run-down and healthy onion ring recipe below!

meet usSo, what exactly is this Whole30 and why should we all know about it?? Whole30 is a program that was founded by Whole9 creators, husband and wife team Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. They published an awesome book called It Starts With Food that describes the tenants of the program and how food can literally change your life in one month or less. 99% of their resources are available for free on their website because they want you to take the program and share it with everyone you’ve ever met. We started Teach. Eat. Repeat. to spread the message, the “love and lettuce” as we call it, because of what a difference it’s made in our own lives.

So, what are the Whole30 rules? You can find the official rules here or our own interpretation below (they’re most simply, though regrettably, expressed in a series of “nos,” but don’t fret because there are a whole lotta yes’s to come!)

1. No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave, splenda, coconut sugar, etc. Read your labels and say bye bye sweet tooth.
2. No grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and nasties like maltodextrin.
3. No legumes/soy (sauce, lecithin, peanuts, lentils). They make exceptions for green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas, because you consume more “pod” than “bean,” and the green stuff out weighs the lugumey-ness. You can read the full “Legume Manifesto” as to why.
4. No dairy. The only exception to this is clarified butter or ghee.
5. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
6. No alcohol, not even for cooking. We know, we know.
7. No “sex with your pants on” aka, no making versions of your favorite “cheat foods,” with compliant ingredients (no banana ice cream, date brownies, coconut flour pancakes, eating almond butter straight out of the jar…). If it’s a food or substance that you can’t control yourself around, don’t eat it. 30 days is enough time to let go of bad habits, overhaul trigger foods, and change. your. life.
8. No stepping on the scale or taking body measurements for the duration of the program. It’s about so much more than numbers, people. You can weigh yourself before and after, but we’ve found that no-scale victories are the biggest victories.
9. No cheats, no slip, no excuses. Or you start over.

Why so strict? Go big or go home, folks. Each of the foods on the “no” list represent either a. a potential allergen or b. an immune disruptor. Certain foods could be having a negative impact on your health without you even realizing it. Since your immune system is largely housed in your gut, your body may not be able to completely repair itself and fight off invaders at the same time. In order to discover the foods that may or may not harm your body, you strip out all of the potentially physically and psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. And then reintroduce them, group by group, little by little. By following the 30 days and the reintroduction program, you can see exactly how your body responds to each food. As Melissa says: “imagine you have 10 cats, and you’re allergic to cats. If you get rid of 9 of them, will you feel better?” Maybe? Yes? No? How will you ever know unless you get rid of all 10 once and for all?

With that said, let’s move on to the yes’s. You can eat as much healthy protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat as you are physically hungry for. Ideally, you don’t have to read any food labels because all of the food you’re eating are whole, natural, and unprocessed. Unfortunately, there are hidden sugars in things like tomato sauce, pickles, and canned foods, so it’s important to be mindful of these while shopping.

So, no labels and no alcohol? Umm, how do you do that?! We did the Whole30 program together in October for all of those reasons above. We started for different reasons. Rachel had done one before while living in Miami and lost a ton of weight. When her boyfriend of four years broke up with her, she went on a six-month bender, but one day, enough was enough. Anna started because she wanted to lose a few more pounds before her wedding. In January, we recruited more friends to our team. We needed a team because the shopping is hard. The meal planning is hard. The motivation becomes hard and sometimes, when everyone around you is knocking back fireball shots faster than Pitbull can say “Fireball dunDUNdundundundun,” you need someone’s smile from across the bar to tip your lime and seltzer at knowingly.

January 1st is a traditional start date for Whole30. The founders of the program run a big national push for people to start on January 1st, and so by default, you end up with a HUGE online network of teammates. It’s all over their blog, instagram and forum and you connect with thousands of other people who are also committing to this lifestyle. We figured the more the merrier.

How did we feel? This is a tricky one. We’ve felt different ways on different days. On day one, we felt awesome. On days two and three, we felt hungover. On day seven, our pants felt tighter than when we started (wtf?!). On day twelve, we had the most realistic food dreams about tings we don’t even crave in real life (Anna woke up crying because she thought she ate truffle covered goat cheese in the ocean in the South of France with her best friend). But the moral of the story is around day fifteen, we started to feel this unbelievable energy. In our line of work, you have to be on your toes, on the move, and on-stage all day long. Having boundless energy and endless positive things to say to children isn’t just important, it’s the difference between loving teaching and despising life. The energy created motivation to keep going and it’s just continued to snowball.

How do we prepare for a working week on the Whole30? Not going to lie, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of prep, but it’s totally worth it. We both prep a bit differently, but we’ve found what works for us individually and we love making shopping and cooking dates together and with a group of friends, it’s actually a lot of fun.

So, 30 days has come and gone…why are we still going? We feel really, really good, that’s why. We’ve never slept better, had more energy, or been more in control of our food choices. That said, we also haven’t rid ourselves totally of all of our “emotional” food issues, though we’ve come a long way. We still crave sugar after dinner or wake up drooling because we want bacon. We continue the journey towards that elusive thing called “food freedom.” We want to indulge happily and guilt-free when we choose, not when our mind tells us it’s time for a sugar rush. We want to reach a “goal weight,” or have my wedding dress fit perfectly. Mostly though, we want to keep on feeling really good for all of the milestones we have coming up as well as life in general!

FullSizeRender(18)Anna and Rachel just started another Whole30 on March 1st and their experience has convinced me to hop on board this spring as well. If you’re interested in joining us in April for One Healthy Whole 30, stay tuned for more info, resources, and motivation. In the meantime, check out Teach. Eat. Repeat. and poke around the Whole30 site too! Feel free to email talktoteacheatrepeat@gmail.com with any questions for Anna and Rachel! Last, but not least: Whole30 Onion Rings:

onionringsGame Day Recipe: Whole30 Onion Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ coconut flour (Note: if you only have one or the other, that’s totally fine. We like the mix, but it really doesn’t matter).
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooking Spray

What We did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400degrees
  2. Slice the onion.
  3. Mix the flours and spices in one bowl. Mix them around a bit so they’re good and friendly with each other.
  4. Crack eggs into the other bowl
  5. Use one hand to dredge the onion through the eggs and then plop into the bowl with the flours.
  6. When they’re all coated, bake for 20 minutes. Make sure they’re not touching. After 10 minutes, flip the rings so both sides get toasty.
  7. Serve alone, with guacamole or whip up some Whole30 mayo and mix it with Buffalo sauce for a spicy, creamy treat.

Give yourself the touchdown cheer! You just made some healthy onion rings!

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks for the inspiration, explanation, and energy!

One Healthy Mud Runner

Introducing Candace Couper, a childhood friend of mine through horseback riding. When Candace’s posts about paleo recipes and mud runs appeared on my Facebook feed, I couldn’t wait to hear more about her transformation. I could feel Candace’s inspirational energy through her words, enjoy!

10353566_10202324567615865_2086178525415640473_n1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be? How did you get into your profession? How did you get into mud runs?

I’m Candace. I’m from Boston and I currently live in Denver, CO with my awesome dog, Bruin. I came out to Denver for undergrad then ended up staying for graduate school and have been unable to leave.

I grew up horseback riding and have always loved animals. I got into social work during a high school internship. I originally chose the internship because the woman I wanted to work with was a massage therapist (and that’s what I wanted to do at the time) who also worked full time as a behavior counselor at a middle school for high-risk youth. After accompanying her to the middle school daily, I became passionate about helping at-risk youth. I decided to get my masters degree in social work when I learned about University of Denver’s animal-assisted therapy program. I thought it would be a great opportunity to combine my love of animals with my passion for helping people (and it was!)

I got into mud runs in May of 2013. I had done a few fun runs and 5ks previously and decided – on a whim – to enter the Rugged Maniac. I thought it would be a fun way to keep myself motivated. I thought I was in pretty good shape as I was running quite a few miles several times a week and riding at the time. However, Rugged Maniac kicked my butt. I was so sore afterwards that I couldn’t move for a week and was covered in bruises. Then, I happened to see a deal at Fitness Together (a personal training studio) for introductory sessions and I decided to go for it. I haven’t looked back since! This was the start of a complete lifestyle change for me. I’ve learned so much about exercise, nutrition and all around being healthy. I’ve lost quite a bit (weight, body fat, bad habits, etc.) but have gained so much more (strength, empowerment, courage, self-confidence, and more!) I’ve since participated in eight fun/mud/obstacle runs including the Tough Mudder!

9201924_race_0.5178423625966894.display2. Is there any overlap in your profession and your values for health, wellness, and challenging yourself? Do you ever combine the two? In what ways?

Yes! I’m currently working for an after school program focused on movement, nutrition, and mindfulness, which overlap quite a bit with my own core values. Within the social work profession, I am personally very interested in alternative therapies. I’ve utilized equine-assisted therapy, community agriculture, and food justice work with at-risk youth. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for health with my profession by using fitness as a form of an alternative therapy. It’s one of the best methods out there!

3. What is your favorite workout? Favorite weekend activity?

I go back and forth; I was doing a ton of HIIT, (high intensity interval training) which is great for cardio and strength in one and utilizes very little equipment. While HIIT is a very effective workout, I recently switched back to strength/weight training. My original goal when I first joined the gym, and committed to changing my lifestyle, was to get stronger, which is one of the many benefits of weight training. My favorite weight training exercises are squats and deadlifts. I love the feeling I get after a hard weight training session – I feel accomplished, strong and confident.

My favorite weekend activities are hiking and walking my dog. There are so many great hiking areas close to Denver. This past summer, I spent most of my weekends training and doing Mud Runs, including the Manitou Incline and hiking my first 14er (we actually did two/three in one day!).

4. As a young woman, hard worker, and athlete, how do you maintain balance in your life?

Balance has been one of the hardest aspects for me, especially while I was still in school. However, I’m a firm believer that if something matters to you, then you can make some time for it…even if it means going to the gym at 6am on a Saturday. Combining multiple aspects of my life is another great way I’ve found balance. For example, when my family came out for my graduation, I convinced some of my family members to do a mud run with me which was super fun!

5. Any great healthy/balance tips for other young woman?

Keep it interesting and find what you like! This applies to everything – fitness, nutrition, work, and your personal life. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing or if you’re bored, you’ll become miserable and less likely to stick with it. Figure out what works for you, (I like working out with a trainer and prefer to work out by myself. Some people work better when they have the support of a buddy or group classes) do it for yourself no one else, keep healthy snacks on hand, (I keep a bag of washed baby carrots in the door of my fridge so even if I’m mindlessly snacking, I am more likely to grab something healthy.) and be patient – with the process and with yourself.

6. What food items do you always keep in your house?

There are so many food items I always have in my apartment – being prepared makes cooking and eating healthy meals so much easier. I always have a wide variety of fresh and frozen produce (frozen is great for emergencies and frozen fruit is one of my favorite desserts.) I always have some sort of precooked protein on hand for nights when I don’t feel like cooking or I’m short on time. Other things I always have are eggs, chicken, nuts, and homemade snacks.

10629590_10202906037232242_5330012433469019646_n7. What is your favorite indulgence?

I’m a huge chocolate hoarder, especially when it comes to dark chocolate.

8. How do you make health a priority in your life?

Being healthy is somewhat of a new priority for me. At first, it was really difficult to stick with it, but I’ve discovered that being healthy really is a lifestyle. Meal prepping has been a huge help when it comes to eating healthy. In terms of fitness, thankfully, I live in a great place that emphasizes living an active lifestyle and a lot of my friends enjoy being active as well. That makes it easier and more enjoyable to make health my priority.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about mud runs?

There are so many things about mud runs that I love. I love the physical and mental challenge. One of my favorite aspects, though, has to be the camaraderie. Every mud run I’ve done has focused on helping out fellow participants; there is always someone to lend a hand if you need it whether it be a fellow participant or a volunteer. Participants at mud runs tend to be so supportive and encouraging of one another, which lends to an amazing environment.

10. One Healthy Breakdown: Candace is one tough mudder we can all learn from! Whatever we’re working through in our lives, put health and yourself first!

Feeling Fresh & Clean Ending 2014

One engagement, wedding, and honeymoon behind me and I’m ready for a reset, both mentally and physically. The dress fittings have come and gone and life goes on, my friends! Real life is calling and there’s no time like the present. I know you can all relate. If it’s not a wedding, it’s a birthday, a vacation, or another reason to celebrate. There will always be an excuse to sip champagne and eat cake, but it’s about living in moderation and maintaining a healthy body and mind that keeps us stable. Instead of heading into January with holiday bloat and gloat, let’s skip the New Years anticipation and just feel better today. Personally, I feel my best when I’m treating my body and my mind right.

Living a healthy lifestyle is like balancing a scale, the middle point between extremes. Though I didn’t really diet for my wedding, I was definitely hyper-aware of what I put into my body and how I targeted my workouts. While that’s one side of the spectrum, the other was my honeymoon indulgence in all things good and carby; pasta, pizza, wine, dessert, and more wine. While both practices were right for me at the time, (no shame in that!) but I’m excited to find the happy middle that is real life again!

Vintage Balance Scale If you’re in a need of a few small changes, a little reset, and balancing out the scale, join me in the following practices. Let’s do this sans the juice cleanse, starvation, strictness, supplements, or labels. Just some good old fashioned healthy fun to feel good inside and out.

1. Eat clean, lean, and green, whole foods, and indulge mindfully. It’s no surprise that whole foods are the way to go and that fresh fruits and veggies should be at the top of the pyramid. As the seasons shift, our bodies naturally crave more comforting, warming foods. Satisfy these cravings with soups, autumn staples, spiced smoothies, lean protein, whole grains, herbs and spices, and healthy fats. It’s not rocket science and there’s no magic diet involved (thank the lord!) Indulge moderately, chew slowly, and be aware of portion size. Don’t restrict yourselves of your favorite pleasure foods (for me, it’s red wine, nut butter, and dark chocolate) and don’t beat yourself up for indulging, but do avoid processed food and too much of a good thing.

2. Move your body every single day. It’s that simple. I’m all about switching it up, trying new things, and enjoying exercise. To me, a healthy, balanced life includes some grueling workouts that challenge, push, and exhaust as well as less-demanding days to rest, stretch, and recharge. Regardless of what it is, your favorite workouts/classes should be a priority on your calendar. Make it happen, walk more, and treat your body with love, it’s carrying you through life and you won’t get very far without lots of movement.

3. Sleep. Thoughts of our honeymoon are full of amazing memories, sites, and meals as well as physically and emotionally feeling like a  million bucks. No, it wasn’t just because I was on newlywed cloud 9. I slept. A LOT. Sleep is the fuel that charges our bodies to run efficiently and stay healthy, both physically and mentally. 8+ hours – make it happen.

4. Take time for yourself and give yourself permission to RELAX, every single day. Whether you practice daily meditation or not, it’s crucial to take ten minutes a day to breathe, connect with yourself, reflect, refocus, set your intention for the day, do some yoga, and completely relax. Like sleep, this simple practice can make your entire day, week, month, life better all around.

One Healthy Breakdown: It’s really that simple, folks. Let’s commit to feeling fresh and clean heading into 2015!

Food Guilt Be Gone!

Kiley’s Intro: Eating my way through Italy has me thinking a lot about food guilt and lack thereof. Everything tastes better here (of course it does, it’s all fresher than fresh, drizzled with olive oil, accompanied by wine, and followed by gelato!) Italy is pretty much foodie heaven and the focus seems to be on taste, pleasure, and indulgence instead of calories, weight-loss, and diet. What a refreshing change of pace.

FullSizeRenderAs a culture, we tend to infuse shame into indulging in culinary delicacies. We’re taught that sweets, carbs, and alcohol are “bad.” Therefore, instead of feeling happy after a pleasurable meal, we resort to guilt. Shame on us!

Fueling our bodies with nutrients is essential, but eating mindfully and satisfying cravings are also crucial for overall good health. So, how do we make this transformation and rid the guilt? Elise Museles’ (of Kale & Chocolate) provides us with some insightful tips on slowing down, eating mindfully, and replacing food shame with enjoyment…a concept the Italians have down pat!

Does this sound familiar…

I feel GUILTY when:

Indulging in unhealthy foods
Eating when I’m not really hungry
Making poor food choices
Indulging in comfort foods
Munching on sweets
Looking in the mirror

MP900182704And that guilt you feel? It puts your entire life on hold. Not to mention that it serves no useful or forward moving purpose.

Guilt zaps every ounce of energy you have. It drops you into an endless array of stress and pressure. It forces you into a constant battle between your body and your mind.

The minute you introduce guilt into your world, your inner critic becomes the loudest voice in the room. Suddenly, your mind turns into an evil villain – spouting harsh judgments that you instantly start to believe.

Here’s what I know:

Paying attention to your inner critic won’t help you lose weight.
Hating your body isn’t going to get you any closer to looking like a million bucks.
Always thinking “I should” do something will lead to nothing but stress and disappointment.

Are you ready to take the power away from the voices in your head and put it back in your body? Here’s how: you need to show your body some respect by learning to listen to it. Your body is smart. It has a lot to tell you … if you really tune in.

Going through life at warp speed and focusing on your never-ending to-do list, pushing and pushing to get everything done…will never rid you of guilt. Why? Because you’re too busy being a human doing rather than a human being, which prevents you from tuning in…and keeps you from making choices that are in alignment with what your body really needs.

Think about it. If you’re in go-go-go mode:

How can you really know if you’re hungry?
How do you notice the signals that you’re full or satiated?
How do you understand what your cravings really mean?
How do you experience a pleasurable meal and savor all the goodness?
How do you take in all the sensations when you barely have time to chew?

What’s the result of not listening to your body? Oftentimes, a big old serving of guilt.

Your ultimate goal is to find ways to slow down so that you can be more intentional and mindful to create the space to listen to your body. Instead of eating your meal mindlessly while standing up, try sitting down and noticing the smells, the flavors, the tastes and textures. Instead of beating yourself up for wanting the chocolate chip cookie, try paying attention to why you might be having cravings.
Instead of assuming that you need to finish your plate and then feeling uncomfortably full, try putting down your fork and checking in with yourself mid-meal.

guiltOne Healthy Breakdown: When you tune into the wisdom of your body and allow your actions to follow suit, you’re much more likely to make guilt-free choices with food… and beyond.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

Crunching Cravings

Thanks to Elise of Kale & Chocolate, for sharing her chewy story on One Healthy Hamptons!

Recently, one of my awesome clients came to me with a situation:

She nourishes her body regularly with vibrant, nutrient-dense meals. Fitness is a fun part of her daily regime. When it comes to her health, she feels better than ever.

Except…

photo(194)Every night, during family time, her husband heads into the kitchen to pop a huge bowl of movie theater popcorn. You know—that caloric bomb swimming in salt and mysterious bright yellow butter.

And, every night, that bowl of popcorn would seep into her senses. And before she could stop herself, her hand was digging in—over and over.

I knew this smart, savvy, health-conscious woman wasn’t actually craving that kind of popcorn. She usually makes the right choices, and truly prefers whole foods over processed & fat-laden options.

So, what was she really craving?

Together, we dug deep and went through a roadmap to discover her cravings, peeling back the layers and looking for any emotional triggers, too. We still couldn’t crack the crunchy code.

She filled up on nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast. Lunch was usually a big vibrant bowl of veggie or lentil soup, and she was enjoying dinners that included some combination of fish (or other protein), sweet potatoes and sautéed leafy greens.

She told me that when the popcorn appeared each night, she wasn’t hungry. She felt satiated, and noticed that her energy levels were sky high. So, what was ultimately the problem?

She was missing the CRUNCH. While her meals were nutritious & delicious, her smoothies, soups and softer foods weren’t cutting it with her urge to crunch.

Craving the crunch is quite common. When we’re stressed from a long day, we subconsciously clench our jaw. Chewing a crunchy food in your mouth releases this tension. And when you don’t satisfy your need for crunch in your meals, then you’re much more likely to turn to the less healthy options in between. (Hello chocolate chip cookies!)

When we think of balancing our meals to prevent cravings, the “protein-fat-carbs” macronutrient trifecta is at the top of our minds. (And it should be for steady blood sugar levels.) But, we don’t often consider the importance of balancing texture to keep us satisfied & satiated.

In the spirit of recognizing our craving for crunch (minus the calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient chips, popcorn & pretzels), here are my favorite ways for you to munch & savor crunch as part of your meal or for a mid-day snack.

Crunchy Meal Toppers:

For a creamy smoothie or an extra thick smoothie bowl, top it off with nuts, trail mix, homemade granola, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut chips or chopped up apples, pears, or frozen fruit. (If you haven’t checked out Breakfast Criminals yet, you should! I’ve been totally inspired to step up my breakfast game with some pretty creative smoothies & toppings.)

For a satiating meal of oats or quinoa, put walnuts, almonds or any combo of nuts and fruit to add more texture.

For beautiful salads in a bowl or mason jar, think about including the crisp vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, celery, jicama, and broccoli. Then, sprinkle some kale chips, nuts, seeds or roasted garbanzo beans as a finishing touch.

For that piping hot bowl of soup that will warm you up from this inside out, pair it with flax crackers or a side of carrots & cucumbers.

crunchy-wideCrunchy Standbys:

Kale Chips (or sweet & spicy here)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Nuts—almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios
Trail Mix
Roasted Chickpeas
Raw veggies
Apples, pears
Frozen grapes
Homemade Granola
Cacao nibs
Chocolate (Keep it in the freezer for that extra snap when breaking off a square.)

Just in case you’re curious, my client now happily enjoys a crisp apple and a handful of almonds while her husband still eats his popcorn. She feels amazing and completely satisfied.

One Healthy Breakdown: A little crunch goes a long way.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

Labels Shmabels

I often get asked what I eat. “What are you? Vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo?” Nope. Nope. Nope. I guess I’d say I’m just a “happy, healthy eater.”

1620486_482742691837906_61031964_n*this may or not be me, happily eating

Yup, I love food, talking about food, learning about food, cooking food, and, most of all, eating food. We’re constantly learning about how food affects us – it’s an exciting time for the science of nutrition. Food is everywhere and keeping up with food trends is a full time job.

Pick up any food-related magazine or book or browse the internet for 5 minutes and you’ll get 17 different dietary suggestions…all negating each other. Gluten free or dairy free? Juice or smoothie? High carb or low carb? Plant-based or protein-packed? Paleo’s in, vegan’s out. Or is it the other way around? How do we know what rules to stick to and what rules to rule out?!

What if there were no rules? No labels? If there are no rules, there’s no restriction. There’s no bad vs. good or one size fits all…because there isn’t.  There’s only food and how it makes us feel. Every single one of us is SO DIFFERENT that there are no generalizations when it comes to food. Genetically, we are different. We live different lifestyles and have different goals, cravings, needs, bodies, and beliefs about food. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa and foods that make me feel good may make you feel not so good and vice versa.

One Healthy Breakdown: Do eat what’s right for you; what makes you feel healthy and happy.

Carrot Cake Recipe Roundup

MP900049619Mmmmmmmmm, is there anything tastier than a big bite of carrot cake? That sweet and sour combination that basically melts in your mouth? Carrot cake isn’t something we see often, but it’s definitely something to be savored. (pause – if you haven’t yet tried it, drop everything, go directly to The Palm and order the carrot cake and nothing but the carrot cake. You can workout double tomorrow, it’s worth it. Trust me.) Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk healthy carrot cake that doesn’t mandate a double workout. So, here I bring you the carrot cake recipe roundup. Get your shredder ready, folks, it’s going to be a good Easter.

1. Carrot Cake Muffin Cupcakes: they’re healthy enough for breakfast!

Bran Muffin

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat 12 muffin tray with coconut oil.

Mix the following dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (or flour of choice, can also sub for vanilla protein powder)
  • 1/4 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut and/or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon stevia/sugar/sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

In separate bowl, combine:

  • 3 eggs (or vegan substitute)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, coconut (non-dairy) yogurt, or applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients, combining slowly, until mixture is consistent. Pour into cupcake/muffin holders until about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until solid, but moist. Let cool. Delicious and nutritious enough to be eaten plain, but of course what’s carrot cake without that deliciously rich, tangy frosting?! For the frosting, combine 1 cup plain Greek (coconut, or yogurt of choice) with 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. Top “muffins” with oats or “cupcakes” with frosting and more nuts or shredded coconut for an extra treat. Devour accordingly!

2. Carrot Cake Pancake for One: The perfect spring breakfast!

photo(167)In a bowl, mix:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted pecans or walnuts
  • 1 large carrot (grated/shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Splash of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon plain Greek or coconut yogurt (or sub with 1/2 mashed banana or 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Mix well. Grease pan with coconut oil. Pour whole or half of mixture into pan. While waiting to flip, in separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons plain yogurt of choice with 1 teaspoon maple syrup and dash of cinnamon. Make two smaller pancakes and spread frosting between pancakes as shown or dallop on top of one larger cake. Whatever your heart desires. Pancake should be crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, just the way we like it.

3. Delicously Orange Spring Smoothie:

In blender, combine:

  • 1 large handful romaine lettuce
  • 2 large carrots or 8 baby carrots
  • 1 small piece tumeric (superfood!)
  • 1  frozen banana
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup, or 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 cup almond milk

One Healthy Breakdown: Tis the season! The carrot season. Live it up.

Flourishing Through Food with Tapp Francke

It was 12:29pm when Tapp Francke (local registered nutrition counselor and founder of TappsTips.com) and I realized that our one-hour session had run a little longer than planned…by 29 minutes to be exact. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of Tapp’s wealth of knowledge on all things food.

me with breakfast shakeSkilled artist and photographer, Tapp Francke’s journey into nutrition counseling began while pregnant with baby #1. Her desire to contain baby innocence lead to a search for “pure” baby products. After examining countless labels, (at the health food store, mind you) Tapp concluded that there weren’t any “pure” baby foods on the market that met her standards. As a loving first-time mother, she wasn’t about to feed her perfectly healthy baby something she wouldn’t even eat herself. And so her journey began with making her own baby food. When her baby grew, so did her curiosity and she went back to school to learn how to empower herself, her family, and others to flourish through food. Now, Tapp balances life as a nutritionist, artist, mom of two, wife, and chef for her clients and family. While she wears many hats daily, talking to Tapp is surprisingly calming, soothing, and totally intriguing (hence those extra 29 minutes.)

Capture

My convo with Tapp kicked off with normal bodily functions. First things first – I gave a run-down of a typical day in my diet. Though I was expecting critiques throughout, Tapp’s response was instead: “and how are you feeling?” Life’s everyday processes, as Tapp states, are the “basis of health.” If your body is running smoothly, you’re probably fueling it right. If not, you’re probably not.

How refreshingly simple is that? Tapp’s mission is to spread awareness, most of all, that we should not put up with life as we know it. Most people live day-to-day feeling mediocure, blah, tired, sick, bloated, moody, in pain, etc. Instead of putting up with it, we can find out why we feel less than perfect and change! Tapp’s mission is simply to help people feel their best day after day. If we learn to fuel and heal our body naturally, like Tapp and her family do, we too can flourish through food.

In order to do so, it takes some “digging,” a process Tapp associates with the job of a detective. Once Tapp gathers all of the facts from a client about their diet and bodily processes, together, they follow the clues, eliminate the mysteries, and pinpoint the ‘culprit.’ There’s no better way to identify our sensitivities than to rid them from our diet and reintroduce them with awareness of results. Case closed.

As much as I learned from Tapp about nutrition, (a LOT) the most valuable lesson was a simple, yet profound, reminder of self-awareness. Awareness of how foods make us feel, awareness that we can feel better, awareness of the power of food, the quality of the foods we choose, ingredients in our fuel, and how they affect us individually. Education is huge. Research is huge. But nothing beats awareness.

Chatting with Tapp also gave me a renewed perspective (aka awareness) on why I do what I do. Even in a world of fast food, disease, obesity, malnutrition, overmedication, contradiction, and a food & drug administration built on money, not health, Tapp remains confident and hopeful as the minority. Although we can’t change the system from the top down, we can create change from the ground up through word of mouth and spreading awareness, individual to individual. Not only is it the goal of One Healthy Hamptons to spread health throughout the Hamptons, motivate and connect people, but also to encourage YOU to create small windows of change. Creating change throughout small groups and communities is what adds up to larger transformations. Together, we’re pretty powerful, huh?! What can you do? Be self-aware and spread the word of health. Tell someone you know about One Healthy Hamptons, try out Tapp’s nutritious recipes, or better yet, chat with her yourself – just email Tapp@tappstips.com to set up a consultation. Trust me, you’ll learn…a LOT!

One Healthy Breakdown: Thanks, Tapp, for being an amazing Hamptons resource and reminding me of these simple super powers. And thank YOU. If you’re reading this, you most likely care too and you will be part of a healthier future.