Read, Taste, and Listen: Some of My Favorite Things (July 2019)

As of recent, I started to do a weekly email blast to my co-workers where I put out articles, videos, podcasts that I listened to and would help make us better coaches. So far it has been a wonderful way not only to keep up with the latest research but also to broaden my horizons. I thought I would do the same on here but keep it fun!

Read.

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I have been reading a lot about sleep and stress as of recent because I have found it fascinating. As someone who can be prone to burnout (I tend to take the hardest day on possible all. the. time.), I find the second article helpful for me as of recent.

Best time to drink coffee if you are stressed or anxious? After 9:30 AM is best for those who wake up at an average time of 6-7 AM because between 8-9, cortisol levels are the highest.

What if What’s Missing From your Life Is..Boredom! I have noticed as of recent there is so much power in just laying still and not having my brain focus on a million things. As someone who works out in the morning, works full time, takes care of a dog, side hustles, makes dinner, and does not stop until the end of the day, I related to this a lot. As someone who counsels people in Silicon Valley tech industry, I know I am not the only one who needs to take a brain break.

Smash the Wellness Industry: This article is wildly popular in the RD community right now! This is a piece by a novelist who rejected diet mentality to find better body acceptance and settled into healthier eating habits. One of the parts of the article resonated with one of my sessions from the week:

"Occasionally, when I’m stressed, I comfort myself with food, and my dietitian assures me that’s an acceptable kind of hunger too. Emotional eating is a coping mechanism. We’re told it is an unhealthy habit, one we must break, but that’s another wellness lie. It is not vodka in our morning coffee. My binges stopped once I stopped judging myself for wanting to eat the foods “wellness” vilified, sometimes for reasons other than physical hunger."

If Your To-Do List Ruining Your Life? A Daily Strategy For Getting More Done: I find that in stress management coaching, I talk about the best ways to utilize time and the second is one I go into detail about. More to make your to-do lists smarter and more specific.

Taste.

New products I have tried, meals I have made and recipes I want to try. Here are some!

PaleoPro Power Coffee. Received this to try out and I surprisingly like it. It contains coffee, red beet powder, collagen and MCT powder. It is not so sweet and nice to add to cold water. I noticed it gives me a good energy level when I am strength training in the morning. I tend to exercise fasted so this is great when I really need a boost.

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Healthy Cobb Salad while at CoffeeBar in Truckee. Truly a macrobalanced and tasty meal. This salad has black beans for fiber, turkey + egg for protein and avocado and bacon for fats. It also come with an avocado aioli. Washed it down with an unsweetened hibiscus tea. If you are in Truckee, you should go here for amazing coffee and food.

Summer Cobb Salad at CoffeeBar in Truckee.

Summer Cobb Salad at CoffeeBar in Truckee.

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My twin sister Cristina makes some of my favorite food so it would be very important that I highlight some amazing dishes she made this 4th of July. On the right: fresh peach, nectarine, basil, and burrata salad. On the left: a fresh, creamy cheese topped with grilled summer squash, nuts, cilantro and pepper.

Some recipes that look delicious..

Strawberry Quinoa Salad with Burrata and Fresh Herbs.. you can make this even healthier by swapping burrata for feta.

Summer Nicoise Salad… Totally satisfying summer salad.

Gluten free CBD Chocolate Brownies.. I am really into brownies lately as well as interesting in getting CBD into my life more.

Listen.

I listened to a wonderful two part series on the Podcast: TRAINED by Nike. Nike advisory council focuses on very similar domains as I do in my coaching role which is nutrition, exercise, recovery, mindset and sleep. In January, they did a two part series on goal setting in these areas and I found that they were spot on and gave me some good tips beyond the basics. An awesome listen to those interested.

How to Make Your Goals Stick Part 1: Nutrition, Mindset, Exercise

How to Make Your Goal Stick Part 2: Sleep and Recovery

I am very lucky to call Jessi Haggerty one of my friends and I love her podcast, The BodyLove Project. She had on her show, Tally Rye, who discusses weight inclusive fitness. Fitness is a huge part of my life which has had a great influence on me as a person but when I first started it was all about how fitness could change my body on the outside and not on the inside. Tally explain how fitness should be based on how we feel and not just changing our body. I applied this to my training recently when I have been focusing on challenging myself and the weights I use.

Tally Rye on Weight Inclusive Fitness

I added this podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert (eat.pray.love) where she discusses that passion is not always what we need to be successful- rather curiosity is. I have been so lucky to be driven by passion to be a registered dietitian but even in my own career, I have questioned what I do by being curious which led me to the role of being a health coach. Definitely worth the listen.

Elizabeth Gilbert- The Curiosity Driven Life

It has been so fun to get back to writing for my blog again. Hope to write more often!

Fiesta Chicken Sausage Bake + Changing Strong Habits

Fiesta Chicken Sausage Bake + Changing Strong Habits

Probably the strongest habit I have ever witnessed is my husband’s breakfast regime. Ever since we was young, he would have three homestyle Eggo waffles with syrup and even cut into small squares down to a freaking science. When we first started dating, I noticed this was HIS thing. When I asked multiple times if he every got tired of having the same breakfast every morning or got hungry quickly, he would give some kind of answer that led to no. This was all he knew. It had gotten him this far and it was hard turning back. Until, most recently, we discussed his goals going into his physical exam and one of them was reducing LDL cholesterol. He also was noticing he was getting hungry every mid-morning. He asked me if there was something he could add in that was easy and efficient as his waffles. What we came down to was an egg bake. So weekly now, he cuts himself a square of an egg bake with eggs, another protein like sausage or bacon, veggies and one can of black beans. It can be done in thirty minutes and he loves it! So one thing is for sure, if Derryk can learn new ways to change up his breakfast, you can probably break that long learned habit and replace it with a healthier one.

New Direction and Back to Blogging

New Direction and Back to Blogging

…And I am back to blogging. This year has been a very busy one. I started a new full time job in February, continued to coach clients after work, started contributing to Class Pass’s amazing blog The Warm Up, and oh yeah- planned a wedding! My brain was at capacity and I had grown a little tired of social media, seeing the same dang food recipes from health bloggers, and wanted a little bit of my life back. As of late, I became revived to start blogging with the hope of providing more than just health inspired recipes.

Bacon Braised Greens + How to Make a Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

Bacon Braised Greens + How to  Make a Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

It has been quite a bit of time since I have added a new recipe and I am so sorry for that! Honestly, the last couple months have had it's great times and also kind of stressful times. I celebrated my thirtieth birthday, Derryk's birthday, Valentine's Day and my two sister's birthday. I have been wedding planning and oh yeah, I accepted a new full time job. I had a rare quiet Sunday last weekend where I dedicated my free time to recipe development and this is one of the first recipes from that. If you think a yolk that looks this good is hard, you are wrong. It only takes three minutes! 

Coconut Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders

Coconut Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders

Lately, I have been seeing chicken tenders everywhere on my feed and I finally caved and made some recently. In a lot of the recipes, the "dredge" that you dip the chicken in before the coconut contains eggs and I was thinking of how I can make this recipe WITHOUT using eggs. This motivation stemmed from paying good money for my eggs and I rather eat them versus use them as an ingredient. I get these amazing pasture-raised eggs added to my CSA every week and while my veggies are super affordable (full box for $30.00), my eggs are not ($7.50 for 12). I had some flax meal on hand which leads to how I made my "egg substitute". 

Turmeric Spiced Golden Beet and Tuna Tower (Easy & Inexpensive!)

Turmeric Spiced Golden Beet and Tuna Tower (Easy & Inexpensive!)

Fish is gotta be hands down my favorite food! My favorite type of fish is sashimi but can get super pricey if I consume on the regular. One thing I do keep on hand is canned tuna in olive oil and it is a staple in my Tupperware lunches.  I was inspired to make a bright and colorful dish inspired my tuna tartare towers. What I came out with is golden beets dressed in almond butter turmeric dressing and layered with tuna salad with parsley. This dish was a nice and light lunch and only took about 10 minutes to whip up. Note: I use a Trader Joe's salad dressing in this recipe but this post is not sponsored. I just really enjoy them and recommend to my clients.

Easy and Healthy Holiday Cocktails

Easy and Healthy Holiday Cocktails

Let’s face it, most of us are going to drink when we celebrate this holiday season so let’s talk how to do that in a way that won’t nix all your hard work in the gym. Alcohol contains calories (7 calories per gram to specific) so when it comes to making cocktails, aim to add mixers that don’t have calories or very low in sugar. I have a list of some my favorite recipes that are fancy, but not full of calories! Thank you to BeMixed for a sample of all your zero calorie, natural cocktail mixers. Not only do I love the concept of the product, but the company is also owned by two strong females! Love it. 

Energizing Sweet Potato Pie Protein Shake

Energizing Sweet Potato Pie Protein Shake

It is day three post-Turkey Day, and I bet you have some sweet potatoes around that you don't know what to do with. Lucky you are reading this! I used some leftover steamed sweet potato to make this protein shake. Not only will this have you feeling energized post-workout, but you will also think you traveled back in time to Thursday celebrating Thanksgiving. 

Curried Quinoa Stuffed Honey Nut Squash

Curried Quinoa Stuffed Honey Nut Squash

Real talk. When I first bought these little honey nut squashes, I called the baby butternut squash.  So if you want to call them that too, no problem. To be technically correct, they are honey nut squash and they taste like butternut but a little sweeter. They are also a lot easier to manage and breakdown. Double win. 

Smoked Salmon Collard Green Wraps with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Smoked Salmon Collard Green Wraps with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Why choose collard greens? 

If you are looking to add a huge boost of nutrients, choose this recipe. The main component, collard greens, is packed with vitamins and minerals. It contains 250% of your daily value of vitamin A, 50% of your daily value of vitamin C, and also contains vitamin K and calcium. Vitamin A and C are great to consume during the falls because they are both powerful antioxidants that help with boosting immune health. Collard greens are also important for bone health by boosting calcium stores and vitamin K which act as a modifier of bone matrix protein and increases calcium absorption. 

Not only are collard greens high in vitamins, but they also are low in calories and high in fiber. One cup, boiled,  contains 62 calories, 11 grams of carb but 8 of them come from fiber. 

If all of this info has not encouraged you to try collard greens, I am not sure what will. 

Macrobalanced 5 Ingredient Pasta Bowl

Macrobalanced 5 Ingredient Pasta Bowl

I may be Italian but I actually quit eating pasta daily when I also ended my committed relationship with flare jeans. Yes, that long ago. Now thanks to companies using different flours to make their pasta, I have reintroduced it back. Many of these new flours take the ordinary pasta and give it a nutrition makeover by adding more vitamins, protein, and fiber. Making it truly more macrobalanced. For the recipe today, I used Banza chickpea pasta for their #BanzaPlus5 challenge to celebrate National Pasta Month.

Cauliflower and Nectarine Salad with Toasted Nuts and White Balsamic Dressing

Cauliflower and Nectarine Salad with Toasted Nuts and White Balsamic Dressing

It has been a while friends and I am so sorry for that! The last couple months were filled with craziness from going on vacation, studying for a test, wedding plans, and serving my clients best! My blogging came last to all of those, but don't worry! I see a lot more recipes and posts coming your way! 

Stress Reliever Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Stress Reliever Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Making your Sunday brunch, even more, chill with these protein pancakes. They contain ingredients that have been shown to decrease stress and anxiety so not only it is fun to eat pancakes but you can find zen doing so. This recipe uses Birch Benders Paleo pancake mix which I love! It contains limited ingredients, is high in fiber, and uses monk fruit for a small amount of sweetness! Can't get any better. (#notsponsoredjustlove)

High Fiber Cold Asian Noodle Salad

High Fiber Cold Asian Noodle Salad

I love noodles and although regular noodles tend to be low in fiber, these Healthy Noodles are full of it and are gluten free, dairy free, and fat-free. With just 25 calories and 4 grams of fiber. This is a  great option for those trying to boost fiber intake and perfect for lunch meal prep. 

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Almond and Date Protein Bars

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Almond and Date Protein Bars

Spending over two dollars on a protein bar no more! These homemade protein bars are easy and inexpensive to make. Bigger plus? You control the added ingredients and add in any ingredients you want. One last plus? These are NO BAKE! 

Macrobalanced Mexican Fiesta: Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad + Stone Fruit Salsa

Macrobalanced Mexican Fiesta: Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad + Stone Fruit Salsa

These two recipes contain all of the best summer produce that California has to offer. Thanks to my CSA (community shared agriculture) both of these recipes were born. I get inspiration from all the organic produce that comes to my door every week and it makes it easy to show how amazing vegetables (and fruit) can be.  It may just be me, but fresh vegetables straight from a small farm are the best! If you subscribe to any CSA's in your area, comment below with which ones you use! The best way to support these CSA's is to spread the word and share with others. 

PB&J Bowl: Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding with Peanut Butter Granola

PB&J Bowl: Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding with Peanut Butter Granola

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were one of my favorites growing up and to this day I have a huge obsession with peanut butter. Since we are at the height of berry season, I wanted to share something easy to make with strawberries. This recipe is also gluten free and dairy free. Super easy to make in advance for breakfast meal prep.