If you find yourself with a ton of extra apples sitting around after apple picking this fall, this is a great recipe to make…and it’s grain free, gluten free, and dairy free, but not taste free! My kiddos love these for an easy breakfast or after school snack with some almond or peanut butter, yum!
Ingredients: (makes ~8 muffins)
2 apples (I suggest any red variety as they are sweeter than green)
3/4 cup almond flour (or click here for my other favorite types of flour)
1 tablespoon ground flax and/or hemp seeds
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Simply core apples and blend all ingredients in food processor or blender (I did this using my Vitamix) OR grate apples first and mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl for more textured muffins. Pour into non-stick muffin/cupcake pan or use cupcake liners (I use silicone baking cups I got on Amazon for mess-free baking.) Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking muffin consistency with a fork at 30 minutes. Enjoy!
One Healthy Breakdown: that apple cinnamon taste you love, in a healthy kid-friendly breakfast!
Gained about (I don’t own a scale) ten pounds (from overindulging, lack of movement, and seeking comfort in food during quarantine. I was home, with my family, in the cold, rarely leaving the house, eating out of stress and boredom…and actually perfectly okay with it.)
Lost the ten pounds pretty effortlessly (by figuring out a new routine, reducing stress, and re-focusing on my own self-care.)
Gained muscle, strength, endurance, and new peace of mind from prioritizing 15-30 minute workouts and more meditation/journaling most days of the week (95% of the time from home during my kids’ nap.)
This is the ebb and flow of life. Feeling stressed, getting derailed, overeating, skipping workouts, and not feeling our best during a pandemic is not only acceptable, but totally, normal.
It’s when we feel out of control or down on ourselves that it becomes a problem. If you’re in need of some support with the following:
laying the foundation for positive change
boosting your immune system and keeping your family well
feeling more energized and empowered
learning more about food and nourishment
grasping a sense of balance in this crazy world
enjoying whole foods and more creative cooking
Let’s chat. I’m excited and eager to launch virtual nutrition sessions this fall. With a Masters in Social Work, Certification in Nutrition, and as busy mom of two toddlers, I am confident in the practical tools that we will implement together to make you feel better, more balanced, healthier, and happier.
No two people are the same. Therefore, we’ll explore your personal goals (both food and non-food-related) and generate strategies that fit into your life to maximize your wellness. It is when we are able to tune into our individuality, needs, and patterns (both healthy and not, because we all have both) that we can then begin to grow into who we want to be. This takes time, effort, and support, but it’s well worth it. We’ll learn the science behind fueling your body, set you up for success, and welcome long-term transformation. Life should be wholesome and delicious…
…and you deserve to not just survive, but to thrive. Beginning September 15th, I will have space for THREE new virtual clients. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to set up a consultation. THANKS & BE WELL!
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!
Is there anything better than a slightly sweet, perfectly salty, refreshing margarita? I think not. Instead of premade margarita mixes that guarantee TONS of sugar (and a headache) I’ve perfected the super light, but still delicious, margarita. Cheers!
1 can lemon Spindrift sparkling water
1 shot (1-2 ounces) of tequila (my favorite is Casamigos)
3/4 shot lime juice (I like Santa Cruz organic)
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
To start, coat your glass with salt. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt on a small plate or saucer, slide a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, and spin the rim around in the salted plate. Fill about 1/3 of your glass with ice and add tequila, sparkling water, lime juice, and another lime wedge. If you love that salty goodness like me, add any leftover salt right into your glass and mix. For a spicy version, top with or muddle a few slices of jalapeño pepper. Cheers to a low-sugar, low carb, low hangover marg!
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!
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)
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!
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)
plain yogurt (sheep yogurt or unsweetened coconut yogurt are easier for little bellies to digest)
*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!
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
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 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
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)
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!