Breakfast 3 Ways: Oatmeal, Pancakes, and Waffles

I LOVE breakfast. It may just be my favorite meal of the day. I usually always have slow cooking oats for breakfast. I mix 1/3 cup of slow-cooking oats and water, pop it in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Peanut Coconut spread and a little almond milk. Sometimes I also add 1 tablespoon of golden ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of organic unsweetened coconut flakes, and/or a touch of stevia. I always, always eat a banana with my breakfast, and lately I’ve also been having 1 hard-boiled egg.Β IMG_1243

And on occasion, I have some pancakes or waffles πŸ™‚

IMG_1238These are Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes: (my recipe)

  • 1 cup all-natural, organic, or whole wheat blueberry pancake mix (can also use regular and add the blueberries)
  • A splash of egg whites (I used all-natural egg whites from a carton, it would be about 1 egg white)
  • A bit of coconut milk or almond milk (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 ounces of greek yogurt (I like to use vanilla)
  • About 1/2 cup water

~ All you have to do is whisk ingredients together and cook pancakes as normal! I top mine with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and a sliced banana instead of butter and syrup. Way better and healthier!

IMG_1239These are Greek Yogurt Blueberry Waffles, and guess what? It’s the same recipe! All I did was make this in a waffle maker instead of flipping pancakes–so much easier and a way better clean up πŸ˜‰

I love creating a good pancake/waffle batter because you can switch the recipe up between the two breakfasts. You can also always add more stuff to your batter such as dark chocolate chips, golden ground flaxseed, orange zest (really good!), fresh squeezed orange juice, etc. Get creative! All you have to do is reach a good consistency, so if you’re adding something like ground flaxseed, you may need to add a little more liquid (maybe 1 more egg white and the slightest touch of milk or water; feel it out and use your best judgement). If you’re like me and prefer to get your run or workout done in the morning, it’s important to fuel up with a good breakfast that includes complex carbs, some protein, and a serving of fruit (bananas are the best pre-workout food!). Have a hearty, filling, delicious breakfast to fuel and prepare you for the day ahead. Don’t count your calories, count your nutrients!

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Snacking on-the-go

Snacking on-the-go can be tough; it is so easy to make an unhealthy decision. However, I’m finding that now, more than ever before, it’s becoming easier to find wholesome snacks while out and on the run. I always look for KIND bars; they are almost everywhere: supermarkets, starbucks, random stores, gas stations, and I’m sure many other places.IMG_1203

When you’re out and in need of a snack try to think of a close location that would have good options. I know where I can get KIND bars and other healthy options, therefore I go immediately to one of those locations to grab something. Do not tempt yourself by going into some place with no healthy options; it is not worth it! Keep your eye out and try to remember which of the places and stores you frequent carry wholesome snacks, like KIND bars, almonds, mixed nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit, etc. And always, always read your labels! If you spot a snickers bar and are tempted to get it, I guarantee reading the nutrition label and ingredients list will change your mind.

Packing healthy and wholesome snacks is always the best thing to do, but let’s face it, we don’t always have the time. Try your best to set aside a few extra minutes before you leave the house to pack snacks or do it the night before. But when the time strikes and your snackless, just be smart πŸ™‚

 

Kale Chips Recipe (and Sweet Potato Chips)

Hey all! I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks, but I’m back πŸ™‚ Here’s a new recipe that is great for summer–kale chips! They are so easy, and the method can be used to make many things into chips with a few small adjustments. So this is a great recipe to keep because it is so versatile.

For the kale chips, all you need is:

  • a bunch of kale (washed, dried, stems removed or cut)
  • about 1 tablespoon of oil (I prefer and recommend coconut oil or any other high heat oil, like safflower or grapeseed)
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of cracked pepper, chili powder, or seasoning of choice

All you need to do is:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Wash, dry, and trim kale
  • Layer a baking sheet with a very thin coating of oil or line with parchment paper
  • Whisk oil and seasoning in a bowl; throw in kale and toss using tongs
  • Spread kale on baking sheet (let excess oil drip into bowl before placing on baking sheet)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes (you want the kale to be browned and crispy but not burnt, so keep an eye on it)

Voila! The whole process should take less than 30 minutes.

You can also use this method to make potato chips! The best kind? Sweet potato chips. Ingredients will remain the same, with the exception of using sweet potatoes instead of kale. All you need to do is make a few small adjustments in the preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 450 (sweet potatoes are thick and hard so a higher temperature is necessary)
  • Slice sweet potatoes into chips (I like to leave the skin on)
  • Whisk oil and seasoning, throw in chips and toss (you maybe need a little more oil and seasoning if you use 2 or 3 potatoes; 1 tablespoon of oil and seasoning to 1 potato)
  • Spread on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until chips are browned and crispy (again, watch for browning and you may need to test for crispiness. If you wish to bake longer, be my guest! Don’t be afraid, just watch for burning)
  • When done, let cool and serve

Homemade chips of any kind are a great alternative to store bought chips–no unnecessary ingredients or preservatives. Kale chips have the added bonus of getting you your greens, too! What’s better than eating chips and knowing you’re eating well? Kale is a superfood packed with nutrition, and sweet potatoes are good complex carbs, providing sustainable energy for your active days.

Summer is around the corner, and healthy snacks are a must with all the barbequing, parties, and down time that comes with it–especially for kids. With school out and more free time, kids may be reaching for more snacks. Be prepared for trips to the pool, beach, park, or elsewhere with healthy, home-packed snacks, and you can have more of a care-free summer!

The Importance of PH Balance

I’ve read a lot about the importance of PH and have taken action to balance my own PH with food and beverages. Many people drink Kambucha, a type of fermented tea, to help balance their PH. You can also eat certain foods to help lower your pH. I have read that people with cancer have been found to have a PH that is too acidic. Balancing your PH levels and protecting yourself against cancer and other chronic conditions means alkalizing your body with alkaline minerals, which can be found in various foods and drinks like Kombucha. Cancer, as I’ve read, cannot survive in an alkaline environment. So, an alkaline body = a protected body. Of course this isn’t fool-proof, but I think it does make a difference. Your body wants to be healthy and will work with you if you treat it right. Yet some people aren’t even aware of the things that REALLY make a difference. There are things that should be avoided and things that should be incorporated. It takes effort, time, and commitment. Work hard for your health and body, and your body will work hard for you and your health.

PH and alkalinity ARE important, so grab some Kambucha or reach for spinach, celery, lemons, avocado, or any of these foods. And it’s always smart to pair your healthy eating with exercise. Exercising outside is so much better than exercising inside, for your sanity and your health. It’s so easy to make a simple change such as making a lunch with some of these alkaline foods and following it up with a walk outside. You won’t regret it.

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