packing healthy lunches

Hey there!

Happy Sunday! I hope your weekend has been saturated with love and peace. I love the calm energy of Sundays, and always like to use this day to prepare myself for the week ahead. Part of this prep usually includes listening or watching something that inspires me, journaling my intensions for the week ahead, and prepping healthy food for the week.

I have found making healthy foods easily available is critical for how well I eat through the week. Weeks tend to get busy, so if I don’t have healthy food readily available, I tend to buy quick, not so healthy meals on the go. Here’s my favorite way to prep lunches for the week:

Cook up some grains! Maybe quinoa, brown rice, or try out millet. Generally you cook grains by adding double the amount of water, bring water and grains to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Once  cooked, I’ve been loving adding a Tbs of tahini and apple cider vinegar to make the grains kind of creamy.

Roast up some root veggies. Cut up sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, or any other of your favorite veggies. Put all these on a baking dish/ cookie sheet and sprinkle your favorite spices on top. I love basil and cinnamon and cumin. Then bake until the veggies are tender.

Then make this!

Mason Jar Lunch

IMAG0715

1/4-1/2 cup grains of choice

1/4-1/2 cup legumes (beans, peas, lentils)

1/2 cup or more roasted veggies/ veggies of choice

Top with greens of choice

Bring or top with lemon, vinegar, or oil-free dressing of choice

To put it together: put grains on the bottom of jar, then add legumes for the next layer.  Layer on your veggies of choice. Next top with greens until jar is full. If I use kale, sometimes I just squeeze a lemon or lime right in top, because kale tends to hold up well and not get all soggy. Otherwise, just bring your dressing of choice in a separate container, and pour it into the jar before you’re ready to dig in! Enjoy!

What are your healthy go-to lunches?

Starting the Day with Intension (and Love!)

Hello friends!

I know it’s been awhile, but it’s good to be back!

juicejournal

 

Today I wanted to share a few things that I have been adding to my wellness routine. My favorite thing lately has been adding in a morning routine that I follow/try to follow at least Monday-Friday. This routine is just incorporating a few things that I love that help me to ground myself in the day, and set intensions so I can better complete the things I need to complete that day. If mornings aren’t your thing, no worries! You can always include an evening/afternoon/break routine in your day if that works better for you! I just find if I start my day with gratitude, movement, and intension it sets me up to feel a whole lot better throughout the whole day. So, maybe just give it a shot for a week or two and see how you feel.

waterwithlemon

To start, I like to cleanse my body by drinking water first thing. Just drinking a glass of water within the first 30 minutes of waking up can be awesome. I love to warm up some water on the stove, and then add some lemon to it to fire up my digestive system. It’s just a simple way to re-hydrate after the night, and awaken your body in a pleasant way.

 

Next, I love to get my body moving! This movement can be anything you want it to be. It can be some light stretching right when you get out of bed, yoga, it can be a walk or run around your neighborhood, it can be going to the gym first thing, or it can be just doing some crunches and push-ups before getting in the shower. Just starting with whatever movement feels best for you. This really helps me to fully wake up every part of my body, and feel more energized and productive throughout my day.

After I move, I love to nourish my body with good fuel. Since I like to prep my food ahead of time, I am a big fan of overnight oats or chia seed pudding. That way I can just have it with me and be able to dive right in for some quick, but nourishing fuel. If you have more time, making a smoothie is also super awesome! Check out this blueberry smoothie or this spirulina smoothie by Deliciously Ella if you want some inspiration (P.S. check out her instagram if you want some real great food inspiration, it’s fabulous!).

fitness

Sometimes, I also like to dry brush before jumping in the shower. Dry brushing is just taking a dry brush and brushing over your body in a circular motion, starting from your legs and moving upwards, and then extending from your chest outward. Dry brushing can help with circulation, as well as make your skin glow by removing dead skin cells from your body. You can read more about dry brushing here. My only problem with dry brushing is that it tends to kind of dry out my skin (and my skin is already pretty dry), so to counter that I like to moisturize Almond or Sesame oil after the shower. I usually just take some oil in my hand, and apply it to make skin right after I turn off my shower (while the water is off but I’m still standing there). Just be careful if you use a lot, as it may be slippery. This might not be for everyone, but I find it incredibly nourishing to my skin.

I also love to start off my days with intension, and meditation. If you are new to meditation, I HIGHLY suggest checking out Heather Waxman’s Soul Sessions (you can check out a free one here).

morningdoodle1

Sometimes I like to set intensions for the day ahead by doodling and making a “how I want to feel” list. I list how I want to feel during the day ahead, and then I write out some of the things I might incorporate during my day so that I can feel that way. Action items that can empower me to make those feelings happen. I was inspired to start doing this through Katie Dalebout from The Wellness Wonderland, and you can read more about it in her post here.

And here’s an example of my morning inspiration doodles:

morningdoodle2

If you want more ideas on what to incorporate into your morning routine you can check out this post from The Wellness Wonderland.

And finally, here’s a great smoothie bowl recipe to start your day 🙂

smoothiebowl

Spirulina Cherry Cinnamon Smoothie Bowl

1 frozen banana

1 cup almond/coconut/milk of choice or water

1/2 cup frozen cherries

1 handful spinach, kale, or greens of choice

1 tsp spirulina (optional)

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/2-2 Tbs sunflower seed butter (or nut butter of choice), optional

optional toppings:

1 Tbs raw sunflower seeds

1-2 Tbs hemp seeds

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend and enjoy 🙂

What are your favorite ways to start the day?

Foodie Scenes and Nutritious November

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe we’re already almost a whole week into November? Man, this semester is just flying by.

To celebrate this month, the Nutrition Team is rolling out Nutritious November. A month full of educational movies, talks, discussions, and of course potlucks to fuel your body, as well as educate you on how to navigate healthy eating even when it starts to get difficult as these colder months approach. Stay up-to-date on what’s going on by following our Facebook page, and be on the lookout for various talks and movie nights.

To start things off, I just wanted to share a few foodie pictures of the week.It’s amazing how much more satisfying meals can be if you just take a few moments to appreciate the appearance of your meals before diving in.

Some food highlights from me:

Making homemade Twix bars, from Healthful Pursuit

Stage One

IMAG0503

Stage Two

IMAG0505

Complete!

IMAG0516

Salad and Quinoa Bowls are always great

IMAG0445

As are roasted pumpkin seeds mmhmmmm

IMAG0507

And my newest fav:

Cinnamon Coated Jicama

IMAG0522

Jicama is a root vegetable, that is crisp and refreshing. You can learn more about it here. It makes a really great base if you just cut it up into chunks, you can sprinkle it with your favorite spice. I went with cinnamon for a sweeter snack, but you can also coat it in cayenne pepper, chili powder, or something else if you’re more in the mood for spice.

To cut jicama (definitely be sure to wash it first), slice off the top and bottom. Then remove the stiff outer peel. Cut it in half, and place the half face down on your cutting board. Slice longways first, then dice horizontally for bite-sized pieces (or just cut in the whatever way is most appealing to you!)

After dicing, place desired amount of jicama slices into a little baggie, or tupperware, and add cinnamon (or spice of choice). I just do a few shakes, but maybe start with 1/2 tsp and work up to your desired about. Once you’ve added your spice, shake it up to coat all the jicama pieces. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

I love this because it makes a really simple, portable snack to carry throughout the day. Just grab your baggie of cinnamon coated jicama from the fridge, and you’re good to go!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

If Halloween coming around tomorrow had you craving some sweets, but not wanting to sacrifice any newfound health goals this year, today we are sharing some tasty treats that won’t leave your body feeling depleted.

To start things off, here here’s a recipe from our nutrition educator Katie Mae.

Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Dough-Bites-Pic-1

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cup raw cashews
  • 1⅓ cup raw walnuts
  • 1⅓ cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 24 soaked dates*
  • 2 teaspoons date juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons mini vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine cashews, walnuts, oats, and salt and pulse for about 30 seconds until fine. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add dates, date juice, and vanilla extract and pulse for a few seconds. Using a spatula, push dates down from the sides of the processor and pulse a few more seconds (dates will be chunky).
  3. Add date mixture and chocolate chips to nut/ oat mixture and stir until well combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Run hands under water if you experience dough sticking to your hands. Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving. Extra bites can be frozen.
Notes
* To soak dates, place in a small bowl and add enough water to cover dates. Allow dates to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.
(original recipe can be found at http://www.sproutd.me/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites/)
Other sweet-inspired recipes from around the internet:
(she also has a nut free version)

Soup Roundup

In honor of the foggy, cooler weather, I thought I would share some inspiring soup recipes from around the internet.

IMAG0457

Soup is such a wonderful comfort food. It can be incredibly nourishing, and always seems to fit the bill on a gloomy day. Another great  thing is that if you make a big batch over the weekend, you can put it in the fridge/freezer, and have something to go-to for lunch or dinner all week.

Enjoy!

(my all-time favorite soup to date): Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup from Oh She Glows

Also great Oh She Glow’s recipe: Black Been, Sweat Potato and Red Quinoa Soup 

Cream Of Broccoli soup from Healthful Pursuit

Ginger, Carrot, and Coconut Soup from Deliciously Ella

Sprouted Red Lentil Miso Soup from Culinary Karma 

Have a beautiful weekend!

Pumpkin Oat Granola

Happy weekend everyone!

Hopefully this weekend will greet you with a little love, peace, and fresh air.

To start the weekend, can we interest you in some fall-inspired granola?

{fun fact, Sonoma State used to be referred to as “Granola University,” or at least that’s what I’ve been told}

granola_entrance_sign

I’ve been a little hesitant to share this recipe because I have never actually made granola before, and I wasn’t sure if my recipe would be “correct.”

There’s always this sort of feeling that things need to be made (whether in terms of eating, working out, studying, working, whatever), according to a certain standard. That there’s a “perfect” sequence or recipe or order to things.

The thing is, who makes the order? Why wait for something external to tell you what to make, wear, feel, say, do, talk, or even eat?

yoga mats

What if, instead, you can simply create your own path. Saying “follow your heart” has become kind of cliché, that often it looses it’s meaning.

But, maybe that’s the solution to so many of the problems we may face in life.

Taking the time to slow down, and “tune-in,” just to reconnect with yourself, can reveal a lot. It can reveal things that may be missing in your life, in your relationships, in your workouts, in your eating habits. In everything.

Slowing down, and listening within can be beautiful, it can be painful, it can be slow, or it can be messy, but it is necessary. So this weekend, in the midst of this crazy world, see if you can just take five and slow down. For yourself.

oats

And then maybe make some granola to fill your house with lovely fall scents.

The cool thing about this granola, is that you don’t have to follow it exactly as I have posted it. I created this granola based off what I had on hand, with the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted it to smell and taste like fall. But if something in here isn’t for you, no need to add it. Or, if you would like to add other things, that’s really awesome too. Pecans, almonds, and other nuts, or even chia and flax seeds would be lovely in it.

But, I wanted to keep the ingredient list low, and have something simple and satisfying.

This is what I came up with.

granola

Pumpkin Oat Granola

1 cup rolled oats (use GF if necessary)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2-1 Tbs Molasses, or to taste (or use 1 banana, mushed)

1/2-1Tbs Almond Milk (or enough to make mixture combinable)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 F.Combine oats, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes, and spices in a bowl. Then add peanut butter, molasses, and almond milk. Start with 1/2 Tbs Almond milk, and add more if necessary to make the mixture combinable, without having it too wet.

Spread mixture on a baking sheet, and bake for 7-12 minutes. About halfway through baking, turn the granola over ensure one side doesn’t get too crispy.

Enjoy, maybe even spread the granola love with someone you know, or place remainders in a package for a quick snack or breakfast throughout the week (or weekend)

Let us know what you think! 🙂

Reconnecting

Before we even dive into this post together, let’s take a moment, close your eyes and connect with where you are at today. We probably get asked the question “how are you” about a million and a half times a day, but how often do you  respond honestly? Or think about the question? Or, even more so, do you take the time to check in with yourself and truly notice how you are feeling? How can you be honest and aware of what’s going on inside? I know I have a lot of trouble with this. It seems so obvious that we should be aware of what we’re feeling, yet sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in life that you forget to “tune-in,” or “take-stock” of what’s happening.

busy

So, as a means of reconnecting, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to recognize what’s going on inside. Our culture is so attached to the idea that more is better, but there is so much beauty in stillness.

sky

As another means of reconnecting, I’ve been trying to become more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I heard a quote the other day that really hit home with me, “Our body’s are the only thing we truly have.”

Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting to look a certain way, that you loose sight of the amazing vessel you are within. Our bodies are so freaking amazing. They are capable of so many wonderful things. There is so much happening inside: cells, tissues, muscles, organs, all working and functioning in a beautiful symphony to carry you each day. When you start to think about how you can better help all these internal functions, and not worry so much about external appearance, suddenly making healthy food choices doesn’t seem so difficult. When we think about “dieting” as a means of loosing weight, eating healthy can sometimes start to feel like a bit of a chore, something you are doing because you have to, not because you want to.

If you start to think about food as something that is becoming part of you, the fuel which is going to energize and carry you, eating healthy just sort of makes sense. When you eat to support yourself, to support your body’s natural functions and to sustain you, then you can connect with your food and yourself on a deeper level. Then eating healthy isn’t a chore, it isn’t about looking like someone from a movie or a cover of a magazine, or impressing the people around it. Then it is about allowing yourself to become the very best version of yourself. It is about allowing yourself to feel sustained, alive, and beautiful. And every single one of us deserves that.

IMG_20131006_175021

Creamy Berry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1 cup almond milk (you can add more or less depending on your desired thickness, I tend to like really think smoothies)

2 cups mixed frozen berries of choice (I used a mixture of strawberries , blackberries, and blueberries; but feel free to use whatever fruit you enjoy most)

1 avocado

1-2 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

(optional, but really fabulous) 1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

(also optional) a few shakes of cinnamon

Add ingredients to blending (start first with the almond milk), blend until creamy. The cool thing about adding the avocado is that they add a really creamy texture as they blend, but if this idea kind of freaks you out, you can replace the avocado with 1-2 frozen bananas. Another cool thing to try to add in place of the almond milk is coconut yogurt, which makes the smoothie feel really indulgent.

Before you dive in to this smoothie (or your next meal) take a deep breath and think about what you are about to put into your body, and have gratitude that what you are about to eat will be fueling your actions and activities.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! Hope your week is going beautifully.

Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you joined us last Friday for our weekly Potluck, you may have gotten the chance to try out this cookie. It’s free of wheat, dairy, and eggs. It does, however, still taste delicious. We adapted these cookies from this recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows (a really great resource for ahhhmazing vegan recipes!). So, as you’re semester starts to pick up (how can there be midterms already!?) you can make yourself, and maybe even your roommates, a little pick-me up. Perfect for a little home-comfort when life is becoming a little out-of control. What can we say, who doesn’t love homemade cookies?

Best of all, feel free to enjoy the dough, no salmonella to fear here! Enjoy!

gluten-free-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies-8381

Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 flax egg ( 1 Tbs ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tbs warm water, set aside for 5 minutes to thicken)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (look for one with little to no added sugar or salt if possible)

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

3 Tbs Agave (can omit for more brown sugar, or for another liquid sweetener, or an extra banana)

1 banana, mushed (preferably ripe)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup oats, blended into flour (or 1 cup oat flour)

1 cup almonds, blended into flour (or one cup almond flour/almond meal)

1/3 cup chocolate chips

1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2). Combine ground flax seed with warm water in a small bowl, set aside for at least five minutes to thicken. The consistency should become gel-like, similar to an egg.

3). Combine peanut butter with brown sugar, agave, vanilla extract and banana using either an electric mixer, or blender, or really good arm strength, and blend until combined.

4). Place oats and almonds in blender and grind until a flour-like consistency forms. Time may vary depending on blender, be sure to use a high-powered blender, the almonds might harm one that isn’t powerful. Otherwise, skip this step.

5). Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour, and almond flour one ingredient at a time to the wet mixture. This might take some time to mix everything together. Add the flax-egg , and mix well. If the dough seems too dry, add a little almond milk to thin everything out, or even add another banana if you would prefer.

6). Fold in chocolate chips.

7). Shape dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. If the chocolate chips are having trouble sticking to the dough (which is common), simply press them into the dough with your fingers.

8). Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown. The cookies with be pretty soft, allow them to cool 5-10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring them off.

9). Enjoy! Share them with your friends!

cookie dough

What is your favorite kind of cookies??? Is there a recipe you would like to see transformed to a vegan, or whole-foods version? Let us know!

Creamy Potato Curry

If you joined us last Friday for the Nutrition potluck, you had the opportunity to taste this amazing dish (created by our Nutritionist, Katie Mae). If you enjoyed it, and wanted to try making it at home for yourself and your friends, here is the recipe! We will try and share some of the recipes that are brought to the potlucks, but if you ever would like to see a recipe please do not hesitate to ask! If you happened to miss us last Friday, we will be having a potluck every Friday evening at 5pm upstairs in the Rec Center, you are always welcome to join!

This dish is perfect for filling the space for home-cooked comfort food, which may begin to start sounding quite appealing as the semester gets busier and the weather cools off. Without further ado!

Creamy Potato Curry 1
Creamy Potato Curry
Serves: 6
Ingredients:
2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
12 medium potatoes, chopped (you can keep skin on)
1½ yellow onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 cauliflower head, chopped
½ cup unsalted cashews
1 cup water
10 kale leaves (any type)
2 cups green peas
1½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 15 oz can, no-salt added, rinsed)
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot with the lid on, bring vegetable stock and potatoes to a boil.
  2. Add carrots and onions and reduce heat to medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices and cauliflower and continue cooking covered for about 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, grind cashews in a coffee or spice grinder. Stir ground cashews and water into potato mixture until well combined.
  4. After 45 minutes, add kale, peas, and garbanzo beans to stockpot. Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are completely cooked and kale is tender.

 

Original Recipe can be found at Sproutd.me 

Overnight Oats

As college students we are often notorious for not being the greatest morning people. Yet, still some of us have early morning classes and full days scheduled. Sometimes along the way simple things like breakfast can get lost in the midst. One solution that has proved valuable to me is prepping breakfast the night before. That way when I’m running out the door in the morning, I can just grab breakfast from the fridge and go, no extra stops or extra money spent.

overnight-oats

[Source]

Vegan Overnight Oats:

1 banana, mushed (Optional, but adds natural sweetness)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free if gluten sensitive)

3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but wonderful)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (or to taste, or optional, of nut butter of choice)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or container, set in fridge overnight. In the morning eat as is, or add toppings of choice. Good toppings might be fruit, crushed nuts, flax seed, etc.

Other great overnight oats recipes:

http://ohsheglows.com/2010/04/08/easy-vegan-overnight-oats/

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/08/09/basic-chocolate-oatmeal/

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! What’s your go-to breakfast food?