Chia Pudding x3!

As far as breakfast is concerned, I typically have the same thing almost every day.  Two eggs and spinach, scrambled with an ezekiel english muffin and a cup of green tea.  But the past three weeks have been really rough for me, and it has absolutely messed with my meals.

img_3886.jpg

This may be too personal to some, and if so – just skip this paragraph. I’m fairly open when it comes to discussing my personal battles with anxiety and depression, and it is helpful to acknowledge them and to reach out to others who experience this as a part of their lives – as well as those who do not to raise awareness about them. A few weeks ago, my doctor changed my medication, which, as my body adjusts to it, has turned me into a zombie – a nauseous, sleepy zombie. I went from sleeping about 4 hours a night (I know – not healthy) to sleeping about 9 hours a night and napping about 5-8 hours during the day. This left me with no appetite, no motivation to workout, nothing to give – I would come home and immediately fall asleep. Why am I bringing this up?? Because there will ALWAYS be something that throws you off your routine – physically or mentally – there will always be something. There will be things that are completely out of your control, and it’s up to you to see how you can work through it, sometimes in the simplest forms.  For me, it was about finding smaller breakfasts that still pack a punch, that aren’t too filling, but that will wake me up and keep me going through my morning sessions. Was I forcing workouts to happen and making myself eat meals to hit a caloric intake goal?  No. I was eating healthy with what my body would allow at the time. I was moving when my body was feeling up to it – which meant a lot of mobility work and short workouts over the past few weeks. The important thing is to listen to your body, but to set yourself up for small successes for when life is trying to get you down.

IMG_3864

It sounds so silly, but these chia puddings gave me some meal stability in weeks where I felt not at all myself. They were simple to prepare, tasted great, and were the perfect breakfast for my early morning starts! I have been cycling through three different flavors, vanilla, coffee, and peanut butter banana.  I know the texture takes some getting used to (and they absolutely do not photograph very well lol) – trust me – but honestly, give them a try. I tried one brand from a store before and it was repulsive, but homemade is delicious, and these flavors are so so good. Below are the VERY easy recipes for all three flavors.

 

 

img_3866.jpg

 

 

 

(Also…I found these adorable little jars at Marshalls – 3 for $5.99. I was using small 8oz. mason jars, which also work so great – really easy to just shake it all up – these little ones are more of a snack size)

 

 

 

VANILLAimg_3887.jpg

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1T real maple syrup
  • 1t vanilla extract, pure
  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds

    *I top this one with fruit if I’m feeling fancy lol

 

 

COFFEEimg_3889.jpg

  • 1/2 c. iced coffee (I use cold brew concentrate)
  • 1/2c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T real maple syrup
  • 4T chia seeds
  • 1t vanilla extract

 

 

 

PEANUT BUTTER BANANAIMG_3888

  • 1/2 banana, very ripe
  • 1/2 Almond milk
  • 2T Almond butter, or all natural peanut butter (smooth)
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 2.5T chia seeds
    *I top this one with the other half of the banana and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. yummmm.

 

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS (pb banana has a couple extra steps)

  • Add liquid ingredients to jar
  • Add chia seeds, and stir until well mixed (I think a fork works better than a spoon)
  • Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir again with a fork to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Seal it up with a tight lid and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

*PB Banana

Before you do the steps listed above…add the almond milk, nut butter, banana, cinnamon & vanilla (basically everything except chia seeds) into a blender and blend until smooth. Add to your glass jar, then add the chia seeds, stir it up, wait 10 minutes, stir again as directed above, then refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy!

Snack Attack!

On Tuesday morning, I was training my girl Devin, who also happens to be in my current nutrition program. As an interior designer, she is on the road a lot, working on projects, running around, etc, and finding consistency with meal timing and making sure she is eating is sometimes really difficult.  When she said sometimes she goes most of the day without eating, my jaw dropped. So what I wanted to do this week, was to pull together a couple snack options that would be SUPER easy to prep, would be okay with or without a refrigerator, and would be a great pick me up during a long day at work.

Here’s the problem – people get sick of the same old snacks.  Why?  Because they are BORING!  And then it occurred to me while I was hanging out with my best bud Anthony yesterday. He was eating a Starbucks Protein breakfast box, and I was eyeing it because I LOVE those as an on-the-go breakfast or snack. The thing we love about these protein boxes, is the variety of flavor profiles as well as the mix of textures! THAT is why snacks can sometimes get boring.  It’s one singular flavor or texture in the whole snack.  We crave variety, but we put snacks together that do not offer that to us.

So this week, I decided to make a few different snack box options.  Now, I am a bit of a img_3450.jpg
Tupperware hoarder.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  I have found some amazing deals at Marshalls for containers with little compartments in them (see below), which I LOVE for these snacks – keep things a bit separated.  If you don’t have these, no biggie, but I do have a little tip for you. Those little salad dressing containers or small Tupperware things that would be great for PB or dip are a rip off (about $4-6 for two of them).  However, if you get one of the extra small glass jars of baby food, it’s only about $1 each, it holds the perfect amount of dip, or dressing, and you can reuse that over and over again.

These could not be any easier to prep or put together.  So I present to you:

BREAKFAST BOX:
Plain Greek Yogurt
Strawberries
VT Cheddar Cheese cubes
Cucumbers
Raw Almonds

img_3452.jpg

 

AFTERNOON PICK-ME-UP BOX:
Apple Slices (I used Gala Apples)
Hard Boiled Egg (sprinkled with black pepper)
Celery
Teddy’s Unsalted All Natural Peanut Butter
Flax & Whole Wheat Pita Bread triangles

img_3455.jpg

 

THE DOUBLE SNACK BIG BOX:
This one is really a couple snacks in one box, but a great option to pack with you for a day at work!  

Carrot Sticks
VT Cheddar Cheese Cubes
Red Grapes
Hard Boiled Egg (sprinkled with black pepper)
Cucumber
Nut-Thins (Brown Rice, Almonds & Chia Seed flavor)
Hummus

img_3456.jpg

 

So while this isn’t actually a “Recipe”, I hope you find new ways to prepare yourself for success with your health & nutrition goals throughout the day.  Good Luck!!

ENJOY!

Breakfast made simple

We are back at it – posting weekly recipes, partially fueled by Hannah’s most recent ProCoach nutrition cohort that started this past week, but also because we have admittedly been less than consistent here. So, we are starting by posting a recipe up each week, and building from there. The goal with these recipes is not to give you the most extravagant meals you have ever seen, but to bring to you simple, healthy recipes that will set you up to succeed with your daily meal planning. Some will be “meal prep” style foods, some will be side dishes, crock pot dishes, soups, some will be veggie prep ideas, breakfasts, desserts, you name it, anything goes. So here goes entry #1, and we look forward to many delicious meals in the months ahead!

When clients reach out  to us about their nutrition, one common theme has to do with breakfast. Either they don’t know what to eat in the morning, or they feel that for some reason breakfast takes SO LONG to make that they just don’t have time in the morning.  There is always something that keeps them from starting the day out with some food in their belly.

IMG_3184

The truth is, breakfast is probably the fastest and easiest meal of the day, and you will hear us say this over and over…keep it simple, and set yourself up for success! If you google “quick healthy breakfast”, this will probably be one of the first things that pops up, which is one of the reasons why we wanted to start here. Egg muffin cups LITERALLY take about 5-10 minutes to prep, pop them in the oven, and you have breakfast for the week.

I did three different flavors since I get bored easily from eating the same thing every day, but have fun with it, mix it up with colorful veggies, add a little cheese, throw some meat in there with the veggies if that’s your style. I chose the following three:

Spinach & Pepper
Mushroom & Scallion
Tomato & Basil


INGREDIENTS:
(yields about 8 egg muffin cups)
6 eggs
milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as an alternative to regular milk)
your choice of vegetables, meat or cheese
salt & pepper (to taste)

RECIPE: 

  • Preheat oven to 375 & spray muffin tin with cooking spray then set aside – only spray 8 cups unless you add more egg to fill the rest of the spots
  • Chop up all veggies/meat you intend to use into small pieces, including greens.
  • Combine eggs & milk (as if you were making scrambled eggs), salt & pepper into bowl, and whisk it up.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly into muffin tin to about the half way mark
  • Sprinkle ingredients into each egg cup, I like to go a bit heavy on the veggies, but if you like an eggy muffin, then do it up! The muffin tins should be about 3/4 full once ingredients are added.
  • Bake the egg cups in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are solid.

IMG_3187

Store in an airtight container, or divide them up into ziplock bags for an easy grab-n-go breakfast! I will usually warm them up a bit in the morning. These are a savior on many  rushed mornings. The pictures don’t do them justice, they are absolutely delicious!

I hope you enjoy them!  Comment here with different ingredients you have tried!

 

-TCU