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Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes – Gluten Free

In our house, Sunday mornings are for slow starts, good coffee and hearty breakfasts. I like to stay in comfy clothes, make something a little more special to eat and plot out the coming week. These Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes are definitely Sunday morning worthy, but they are really simple enough to make any day of the week and you could double or triple this recipe to have leftovers for easy weekday breakfasts. These pancakes are packed with calcium, vitamin A, protein and fiber. Aside from being the perfect addition to these pancakes, Blueberries are also a good source of fiber and micronutrients like vitamins C and K.

Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes – Gluten Free

Serves 2 (3 pancake servings)
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Cook Time: ~8 Minutes

Ingredients:

½ Cup of Instant Oatmeal (Woodstock Organic is my favorite!)
1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 Ripe Banana
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Optional: 1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Blueberries

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients besides the blueberries in a blender. Blend for roughly 30 seconds or until smooth.

2. Spray or lightly oil a nonstick pan over high heat.

3. Pour the pancake mixture into the pan into three or six equal sized portions. If you can only fit three in your pan, you will need to do a second batch!

4. Cook for four minutes. Using a spatula, lift the edge to check for doneness. If the pancake is cooked through on the bottom, flip the pancake over and continue to cook on the other side for another four minutes.

5. When pancakes are done, top with some real maple syrup, yogurt, honey, more fresh berries, nut butter, or whatever you are in the mood for! These can be made ahead, stored in the fridge and microwaved for a quick weekday breakfast, too.

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Easiest Butternut Squash Soup

It’s officially squash season! Squash is versatile, hearty and is able to be kept for quite a while if stored properly. Additionally, squash is packed with nutrients! A one cup serving of butternut squash contains about 25% RDI of fiber, is absolutely loaded with vitamin a, and also contains plenty of vitamin c, manganese and potassium!

While I eat soup all year long, something about fall makes soup seem like a requirement. I oftentimes make a batch of soup to enjoy during the week as a quick lunch or even as a snack. This butternut squash soup is creamy, dreamy and also happens to be gluten free + vegan and the addition of turmeric enhances the color and flavor of this soup.

Easiest Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash
2 Tbsp Olive Oil, Divided
1 Sweet Onion, Diced
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Can Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Coconut Milk*
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

*The Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Coconut Milk is Amazing because it has less fat than regular coconut milk but more fat than “Lite” or light coconut milk which often contains added thickeners!

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean the outside of your butternut squash. Dry and slice lengthwise with a sharp knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the stringy parts and seeds from the bottom of the squash. Using 1 tbsp of olive oil, coat each half of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the cut side of the squash facing up and bake for ~40 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.

2. When the squash has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and leave it to the side to cool. While it cools, sauté the diced onion and minced garlic in a sauce pan in the remaining tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn. Continue to cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.

3. If the squash is able to be handled, use a metal spoon to scoop out the flesh away from the skin of the squash. Place the cooked squash in a bowl.

4. In a blender, add the squash, onion + garlic mixture, turmeric, coconut milk and vegetable broth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches!

5. Return the blended mixture to the sauce pan and heat through. Add salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Serve topped with fresh herbs, chunks of roasted butternut squash, pepitas or red pepper flakes.

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How To Meal Plan For A Week

If you have worked with me in the past, we have more likely than not come up with a meal plan that suits your individual needs. If you have not yet worked with me, you can adopt some of my tips that I use when I create my own weekly meal plans for myself!

You can make your weekly plan anywhere that works for you – on your phone, on a piece of paper or on your calendar. If you are unsure where to start, take a look below at and download this template I have created!


1. ASSESS

I assess what I have on hand already so that I am not over stuffing my fridge and pantry with items that I already have.

Tip: Do you have a pantry full of shelf stable, canned or frozen items you maybe stocked up on when COVID hit? Is there food in the back of your cupboard or at the bottom of your freezer you need to use? Per the USDA, between 30-40% of the food supply in the United States is wasted.  Plan your meals around these items you’ve been storing to prevent food waste!

2. PLAN OUT MEALS / SNACKS

Making a list once a week of meals and snacks helps me tremendously throughout the week. It helps avoid stress around the question “what’s for dinner” and when I have options ready for meals and snacks, it is one less thing I have to think about. Taking 10-15 minutes to plan this out at the beginning of the week is definitely worth the time and mental space you will save during the week had you not planned ahead!

Tips: Make sure to include protein, fats and complex carbohydrates in your meals.

Plan accordingly for the specific week. Will you be ordering take out for lunch with the office or going to a restaurant for a birthday? Do you have guests coming to see you? Do not forget to account for these things when you are figuring out what you will be eating for the week. 

Some people prefer the ease in prep of eating the same meal or the same two meals all week while there are others who will not eat the same thing twice. Consider your preferences while making your plan!

Once you have your meal and snack options listed, stick to these. While you may flip flop the days of certain meals, try to stick to the meals and snacks you have planned for.

3. WRITE A SHOPPING LIST 

What items do you need to purchase? Resist filling your cart with things that “look good” and simply stick to the list of items you need to complete what you have planned for the week.

Tip: Going to the store with a list helps me stay on my budget and nutrition goals! I also like choosing items that I can use in multiple meals – for example I may purchase Avocado to use in a wrap and on tacos, I may purchase pineapple to grill with shrimp and to also have as a snack. Substitute items in recipes or meals where you can to avoid having to buy something just for one meal. For example, instead of buying lettuce for one salad, I may just use kale that I also planned on buying for use in a soup. Keep things simple!

4. PREP 

You may do the bulk of your prep on one day or prep a little bit each day. I like to make notes about what I am doing on what day. I may do the bulk of the prep one day, but include notes for other days about prep for an upcoming meal. For example, I may make a note in the middle of the week to defrost something from the freezer in anticipation of a meal for the next day or to chop up some vegetables.

Tip: Don’t skip this step! Prepping out full meals, parts of meals and snacks is key to staying on track. When you are tired after a long day or your stomach rumbles mid-afternoon and you need a snack, you may be tempted to swing by a convenience store or drive through to grab something quick. When you are hungry, your cravings will be even stronger and you will be more susceptible to doing this. When you know that you have a snack on hand or you are able to toss a meal together when you get home in no time, you can avoid the quick fixes to your hunger!

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Nothing says summer like having copious amounts of Zucchini (and tomatoes and peppers)! To keep from getting sick of having such a bounty, it is important to switch it up and try using this item in new ways. This zucchini ribbon salad utilizes raw green and yellow zucchini, picked while still small and tender and before the seeds get huge and out of control. This is the perfect addition to any meal or also great for lunch!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Rest Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
3 Small Zucchini/Squash (I used 2 green and 1 yellow, any combination is fine!)
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
A small dab of honey
Ground Black Pepper
Salt
2-3 Tbsp Chopped Walnuts
1 Oz Goat Cheese, crumbled
Scallions or Chives

Instructions:

1. Wash and dry the zucchini. Chop off both ends. Using a good, sharp vegetable peeler or a mandolin, cut thin ribbons lengthwise down the zucchini, discarding the first piece that is all skin. When you reach the seeds, flip the zucchini over and start the same process on the other side. (I have found that the green variety tend to have fewer seeds). Once the piece of zucchini gets too thin to create ribbons or you have reached seeds, discard or better yet, set aside to use in a different recipe, like this amazing zucchini bread from Cookie + Kate!

2. Place the ribbons in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Give the zucchini ribbons a stir to distribute the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes to drain out some of the excess water. During this time, you can prep your dressing by combing the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, onion powder and honey. Set aside. You can also toast your walnuts if you’d like. I recommend toasting them as it really brings out the flavor!

3. Using a lint free dish towel (a tea towel) or paper towels, gently pat the zucchini ribbons to remove any excess moisture. Transfer the ribbons to a bowl.

4. Pour the dressing onto the ribbons and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with goat cheese, walnuts and some chopped chives or scallions!

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My Eminence Organics Morning Skincare Routine

I usually come here to post recipes and nutrition tidbits, but today I am changing it up and talking to you guys about skincare and specifically, my favorite Eminence Organics products! While I am not a licensed esthetician and I rely on the ladies at the office for skincare and beauty advice, I have learned so much about Eminence over the last few months through wonderful trainings from the company and using these products daily. Having this knowledge about skincare products and ingredients has been really wonderful, and when working with certain clients, having this knowledge combined with the knowledge about nutrition has really helped address issues that are both above and below the surface so that they can look and feel their best!

Mid-March when everything shut down seemingly overnight in Upstate, NY seems like a lifetime ago with everything that has been happening across our world, country and within everyone’s own lives. In this new reality of life here in New York, we are wearing masks and have been for months now! As a result, I have noticed some skin troubles that I hadn’t had before, despite not wearing the makeup I would have previously when half my face was not covered. I know from numerous conversations that I am far from alone. While we are not able to offer facial services yet, we are still selling our at home facial kits online and in person at our office and many products from both lines we use at the office, Eminence and Dermalogica, are available for purchase. I am going to share my own personal skincare routine that helps keep my skin hydrated, fresh and the breakouts under control.

My Eminence Morning Routine


Cleansers: Stone Crop Gel Wash – I find that the scent is so unique and it is loved by everyone! A small amount goes a long way. I love that when I use this product, my skin doesn’t feel stripped or dry yet it still feels clean!

Exfoliators: Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzfoliant – Powdered exfoliators are amazing and these seem to last forever! I use the Strawberry Rhubarb as more of an every day exfoliator whereas the Stone Crop is more aggressive and something I may use once a week or so.

Serums: Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil, Bamboo Firming Fluid + Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum* – When I was younger I would always use the bare minimum amount of moisturizer so that my skin didn’t feel like dried paper mâché on my face because I was scared the moisturizer would make me break out. In reality and hindsight, depriving my skin of the moisture it so desperately needed was what was making me break out! Side note: I wonder how much younger I would look now had I saturated my skin in all of the hydrating goodies that I do now when I was 16?! Haha. The Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil is amazing. A couple drops of this oil is enough to reap the benefits of this product and I also use it at night time. On the rare occasions I do wear makeup, I have even blended a drop or two of this oil into my foundation and it has created a dewey, dreamy finish.

I have found that the Bamboo Firming Fluid gives my skin some extra plumpness and the product is a natural retinol alternative. Since the mask wearing commenced, I have been using the Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum particularly on the lower portion of my face that is covered by my mask! I have found that this serum is super gentle, does not over dry, does not cause red spots or blotchiness but is still effective.

Eye Cream: Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream – I am not really sure what I attribute it to, but I am definitely someone who is prone to puffy under eyes. I have also never been much of an eye cream person because I never saw them make a difference, but I really think the unique applicator for this eye cream creates an instant difference. I will put this eye cream on and let it sink in for a few minutes while I brush my teeth or do something else and THEN I decide whether or not I need to use concealer and the vast majority of the time, I don’t!

Moisturizer: Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer* – I love the scent of this. I love how refreshing it feels on my skin. I love how this product makes my skin feel like it is helping keep breakouts under control but also still so moisturizing!

SPF: Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer SPF 23 or Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30 (Neither are Pictured) – Full disclosure, I like the Lilikoi Light Defense Face Primer, but it is hit or miss amongst those who have tried it as to whether to not they like it. Because it is not an instant love like most Eminence products are, I do not stock this product but I use it at home! The biggest complaint about this product is that it creates a white cast on the skin. I personally do not find this to be the case! I am absolutely obsessed with the Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30. This product is amazing because it is a powder so it goes on easily and evenly, is great for all ages and you don’t have to worry about it leaking all over your stuff if you have it in a beach bag.

Toner: Stone Crop Hydrating Mist – This product smells great and has a range of uses. When I am actually wearing makeup, I spray my blending sponge with this to help blend better. I also use this when I am done with my makeup, spritzing a couple times to “set” my look. Whether I am going makeup free or have makeup on, I spray my face with this to refresh my face throughout the day.

My Eminence Nighttime Routine

For Nighttime: I use many of the same products BUT I really soak my skin in the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil, I use the Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream and I use the Bamboo Age Corrective Masque! The Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream really The Bamboo Age Corrective Masque really makes my face feel hydrated and I feel like my skin plumps right up when I use this.

* denotes items I have been using to help combat mask/summer heat breakouts that were too drying for me to use daily during the winter months!