Holiday Bowl with Pomegranate & Maple Dijon Dressing

Holiday Bowl with Pomegranate and Maple Dijon Dressing:

pomg bowl

You don’t have to wait for the Holiday season to make this veggie bowl. This recipe gives you both salty and sweet flavors. Not to mention the goat cheese and crispy chickpeas gives this recipe a tasty touch!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of kale and brussels slaw from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 container of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 container of pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted
  • 1 can of chickpeas (cooked in the oven to make them crispy!)

Dressing Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard + 2 tbsp maple syrup + 1 Tbsp liquid aminos + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar + salt + pepper + 1-2 Tbsp of water to thin

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 375 F. Place the butternut squash and patted dry chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and the butternut squash is fork tender. The squash will likely cook faster than the chickpeas.
  2. Cook the quinoa per package instructions and allow to cool.
  3. While the squash and chickpeas are in the oven assemble the dressing.
  4. Mix all ingredients together and whisk/shake until combined.
  5. In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, cheese, cooked veggies, and quinoa. Pour dressing over top and toss to combine.
  6. Top with crispy chickpeas and dive in!

Sweet Potato Power Bowl with Coconut Curry Sauce

This recipe comes from one of my all time favorite cookbooks: Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow. This book has so many delicious recipes that will keep you going for whatever life throws at you. I especially love this sauce and it has so much flavor!

sweet pot curry bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of kale
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 block tempeh
  • Roasted cashews to garnish

Coconut curry sauce:

  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • ½ Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes, add the spices, garlic, and then coconut milk.
  2. Simmer for about 15 minutes until it thickens and then blend in a blender until smooth!
  3. While the sauce is cooking prepare the tempeh marinade ( 1/3 cup liquid aminos or soy sauce + 1/2 cup water + 1 tsp vinegar + 1 tsp garlic). Cut the tempeh into cubes and toss until combined.
  4. Cook the tempeh in a skillet and add the remaining marinade and cook until all liquid is absorbed.

Tomato and Corn Power Bowl

Tomato and Corn Power Bowl:

This super easy lunch meal prep idea is the furthest thing from boring. So many colors, which means this is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! The perfect light, fresh and filling lunch to fuel your week!

corn power bowl

Ingredients:

  • 20 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 zucchini (or cucumber)
  • 1.5 cups of grilled corn
  • 1 cup diced jicama
  • ½ orange pepper, diced
  • Fresh dill and cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili lime seasoning
  • 1 cup farro
  • Fresh Arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all chopped veggies in a bowl.
  2. Add the farro, fresh herbs and lime juice.
  3. Chill for about 30 minutes and then top over a bed of greens and add your protein of choice.

Green Smoothie Bowl

Green Smoothie Bowl:

Cool off with this refreshing smoothie bowl! Kale adds the pretty green color and sneaks in some calcium and iron to start your day! This smoothie will keep you going for hours.

Green smoothie bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • Handful of fresh kale
  • ½ c frozen riced cauliflower
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Topped with granola + cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with your favorites such as granola and cacao nibs!

Almond Butter Granola

Almond Butter Granola:

granola pic

  • 1/3 cup smooth almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and add to a smaller bowl with the almond butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until the oats are coated.
  5. Pour on the lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.

Weight lifting: Finding your “why”and Personal Interview with Angela Gordon: Owner of Benefit Studio

“You just need to start and you need to find your reason why”

For a very long time my workouts were mostly cardio with the occasional ab exercises and lunges thrown in there. If I wasn’t working up a sweat, then I wasn’t burning calories (or so I thought). Over the years, I’ve become an avid runner and I love everything about running. The freedom of going at your own pace, running with others, and just letting your mind run. As much as I love running, the more I run comes with the increased risk for injury. I’ve had my fair share of injuries and I started to notice a pattern…all of my injuries were related to overuse and muscles working extra hard to stabilize a weaker part of my body. I’ve been slowly increasing strength training exercises, but I would be doing the same exercises on repeat because I didn’t know what I SHOULD be doing.  I would talk with people and they would tell me I needed to be using more of the weight lifting machines, cable cords, bars etc. I was terrified! I don’t know about you, but my gym is pretty male dominant in the weight lifting area so I just never dared to step foot in there! Problem? Yes, because I wasn’t getting stronger and I didn’t want to ask someone to help me! Who can relate??

benefit stuido

Let’s fast forward to summer of 2018 where I found my answer—BENEFIT Studio. I initially bought a Groupon and I took a variety of classes and really feel in love with the Wednesday class at 5 am led by the owner: Angela Gordon. This class focuses on lifting heavier, but fewer and more controlled reps. Hands down I’ve never taken a class like this before and I was shocked when I found myself looking forward to waking up before the world does to go. Since I’ve been incorporating heavier lifting 1-2 times per week I feel stronger—my legs feel stronger when I hit the pavement, my arms are starting to have some definition and I can lift more than I thought I could! Talk about a cool feeling. What’s kept me going back to the studio is the edgy, but personable instructor, the people, and the safe environment to be yourself, pick something up, and get stronger.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Angela Gordon, owner of Benefit Studio to learn about her weight lifting journey, owning a business, and her weight lifting philosophy. Talk about an inspiring journey and I’m excited to share with you all! I was shocked when Ang told me that she loathed working out and you wouldn’t find her hanging out at the gym often (maybe ever?!). Well the guy she started seeing was pro gym and weight lifting so that’s where it all began. What I love about this story is that Ang had no idea what she was doing in the gym. How she learned? By watching the guy she was dating and his friends do squats, bench presses, deadlifts etc. After about 5-6 months of going to the gym consistently her clothes were too big (no change in eating or drinking habits I might add). The next step was to join the gym and when she did she figured out her form and continued to get stronger. Ang was able to lift more than the guys and she found her “why” for lifting. Lifting gave Ang confidence and she liked feeling and being strong. Looking back, it took Ang about 3 years before she started noticing changes—like how she went from a size 14 to a size 4-6 with only shedding 10 pounds! From 2008-2012 she continued to lift and bartend and the end goal was to be able to make the gym her full time job. Why? Because Ang learned first-hand how much better she felt and she wanted to be able to help others feel the same joy.

Ang

In 2011 Ang took her personal training certification and she was officially a personal trainer. Ang’s first job was in 2011 at Victory Lady Fitness Gym (an all-female gym) and her manager taught Ang how to relate to people and build a relationship. This was a perfect fit because Ang described herself to me as “a people person and I love to help people”. In 2013 she quit her bartending job and only worked at the gym, which led her to her second love: Group Fitness Instructor. It only took Ang 3 classes to realize she loved teaching group fitness classes. What I thought was so cool is her thought process behind her class flow. In the beginning Ang would go to different gyms and watch other instructors to see what they were doing, what fit well with her style and also to get class inspiration. In the beginning, all workouts would be written on a piece of paper (well now it’s all in her head!) and she would format her exercises based on who was attending class. Her workouts try to focus on arms, legs, and core. The goal of Ang’s classes are “to keep people engaged, not insanely hard, but not also a cake walk”.

In 2013 Ang began as a sub for Benefit Studio, but it took months before the owner at the time put her on the schedule. This caused some self-doubt and made Ang wonder if she made the right decision. Well after her first class the people loved her and she started teaching 1-2 classes per week on the regular. Ang also began to build her private training clients and in 2016 she became the co-owner of Benefit Studio with Emily Thomas. When asking Ang what made her buy a business was simple “she loved her job, what she was doing, and had met some really cool people along the way”. Ang doesn’t have a business background nor had any desire to own a business—but she knows about working hard. Ang is figuring the business side out as she goes, asks people for help and continues to feel lucky for waking up each morning doing what she loves.

I also had to ask Ang about the myth “lifting will make me huge!”  Her response “If someone gets huge it’s likely from steroids or eating > 10,000 calories per day. Most body builders are on illegal substances, not because they lift 3-4 times per week. If you’re worried about getting bigger then you can turn your lifting sessions into a maintenance program: completing 12-15 reps and not increasing your weights. If you are doing 6 or less reps with heavier weights you are creating new muscle growth and anything more than 10 reps is for endurance. Yes, your shoulders and arms might get a little bigger, your body dimensions might change, but it’s more about a distribution change than getting bigger”.

I was also very curious to hear about her lifting philosophy and what she enjoys most about being a fitness instructor and personal trainer. As I am still very new to the lifting scene I couldn’t wait to hear her answer. Ang’s philosophy “You just have to get past the feeling of being scared. Focus more on listening to your body and being aware. There is just something cool about feeling strong and being strong. You just have to start and find your reason why. The goal is to feel good in your own skin and that will be different for everyone.” Why do you teach? “I think one of the coolest things about being a trainer is you get to decide what to do. The possibilities are endless! I try to come up with 3 major moves “chest, back, legs”, and make 10-15 exercises with those major moves. I continue to teach because I want those who come to my class to feel great about being there and leave wanting to come back. I make it a point to know something personal about every sing person. I love a class size of 8-12 people because each person brings a different vibe and energy to the class.”

Ang has continued to teach and in December of 2018 became the sole owner of Benefit for “her people” who continue to come back to her classes for her unique teaching style, funky personality, and personable demeanor. For me, I’d say that my “why” was to prevent running injuries, but now my “why” is to feel stronger and confident in my own skin. If you are feeling nervous like I was about lifting, but want to try it—find a place like Benefit Studio.

Steph & Ang

Here’s a breakdown of the different classes you’ll find at Benefit Studio:

  • Monday: TRX mix-ups—lots of different and new moves using the TRX bands.
  • Tuesday: Shape and burn—Focuses more on stability and smaller movements while using resistant bands.
  • Wednesday: Empower—Slow and controlled; working on strength and strong mental connection.
  • Thursday: Muscle up—Dumbbell and body weight work—full body workout
  • Friday: Ohh FIT-organized chaos—Encourages variety by using different equipment throughout the workout.
  • Saturday: Workout with the Trainer-Team training with Angela, but still about your personal goals.
  • Sunday: Circuit training

Feeling curious and want to try BENEFIT out yourself?? Head to their website!

Want to get a taste of Angela’s workout style?? Click here for a FREE and NO EQUIPMENT workout that will get you sweating in no time!

Keep calm and pick up a weight 🙂

-Steph

 


Favorite Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes for Busy Weekdays

I think you’ve seen me type this, but what I eat for breakfast gets me up and out of bed! With that being said, I make sure that my breakfast choices are the furthest thing from boring. Unfortunately, I don’t have time most mornings (really any morning) before work to spend an hour in the kitchen making my breakfast. If you do—well I’m seriously jealous and wish I could be more efficient in the morning ;).

Working as a Pediatric Dietitian and having a full time job requires me to PLAN AHEAD for my meals. It took me about 2.5 years of eating the same boring meal for breakfast and lunch to discover the beauty of meal prepping! My belly was so much happier when the meal prepping started and my food boredom quickly left. I want to share with you today my approach to having breakfast staples at the ready during the week to free up your time! Free up your time to spend time outside of the kitchen doing activities such as running, hanging with friends, or catching up on my Netflix shows.

Before you keep reading, I want you to know that I am sharing my personal tips that have worked well for me based on my work schedule, activity schedule, and food preferences. My hope is to give you more insight on how to incorporate balanced breakfast choices into your weekly routine that doesn’t include the Starbuck’s drive thru, fast-food breakfast sandwiches, and saving you some money without sacrificing taste!

How I choose what recipes to meal prep:

  • -They can be portioned into individual containers
  • -Recipes that will keep 4-5 days
  • -Easy to freeze!
  • -Include real ingredients and packed with nutrition to fuel my morning!

Trail Mix for the Sole’s Breakfast Equation: Use wholesome ingredients, incorporate healthy fats, and plenty of protein!

15-20 grams of protein: Protein is key to helping me stay full and helps my muscles recover faster.

Go-To Protein sources–>Greek yogurt, plant-based protein powder, hemp seeds, nut butters, nuts/seeds, eggs, ricotta cheese.

40-50 grams carbohydrates: I focus more on complex carbohydrates (think oatmeal, steel cut oats, whole wheat bread, and quinoa) and fresh/frozen fruit. I’m more of a “sweet” breakfast person vs savory. On the weekends I may swap out my fruit for some veggies!

1-2 Tablespoon of healthy fats: Dietary fats are so important for giving our body’s energy and support for cell growth. They also protect our organs and keep our bodies warm! Fats also help us absorb certain nutrients. I encourage my clients to focus on incorporating more monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats in their meals.

Examples: Flaxseed, chia seeds, nut butters, avocado, pumpkin/sunflower seeds

Mix-In’s: Granola, unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, trail mix, mulberries, dark chocolate and dried fruit.

My Top 4 Recipes

Cauli-proats–> This recipe is perfect for making the night before or even a couple days before! If you’re wanting oatmeal for breakfast, but not wanting all of the carbohydrates; give this recipe a try! I add protein powder to help keep me full throughout my morning. You can eat this cold or hot–I love both! Plus, what a great way to sneak in some veggies and extra fiber in the morning.

cauli oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup riced cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Toppings: fresh fruit, granola, or unsweetened coconut flakes

Berry Smoothie –> I love smoothies for breakfast pretty much any time of the year. When I have time on the weekends; I love pouring my smoothie into a bowl and adding all of my favorite toppings. During the week though, a mason jar is my best friend. I like to make my smoothies the night before, but what some of my clients will do is pre-portion your smoothie ingredients into Ziploc plastic bags so all you need to do is dump, add liquid and blend. It’s as easy as that! Smoothies are a great vehicle to start your day with some fruit AND vegetables, healthy fats and a super delicious combination.

smoothie on the go

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower (or you can add spinach/kale)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Blend and top with granola or more nut butter in the morning!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl–> Sweet potatoes are something that you will almost always find in my pantry. I like how versatile they are and they taste great sweet or savory. Not to mention they pack a great amount of vitamin A and fiber (from the skin). I will roast 3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes over the weekend and then I will simply reheat and top in the morning before heading out the door!

sweet potato bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, roasted and then mashed (I roast my potatoes at 375 F for 40-45 minutes wrapped in foil with some olive oil or ghee)
  • 1/2 an apple or 1 banana, sliced
  • 4 ounces of Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Place the warm sweet potato in a container and then add all of your toppings and enjoy! I love adding granola and coconut flakes to mine, too!

Steel-cut Overnight Oats –> Talk about the fastest meal prep recipe! Not to mention this will make enough for 6-8 servings! I’ve been reheating this or just eating it cold like overnight oats. Both are super delicious. I love the texture of steel-cut oats and this recipes gives such a creamy and chewy texture. Oats are high in fiber, good source of protein, are fortified with B vitamins, and provide you with complex carbohydrates to prevent that 10am blood sugar crash. I also like how you can add basically whatever you want to the oats so you never get sick of this bowl!

steel cut oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional: protein powder, caramelized banana, nut butter

Directions: Add all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat, cover and let sit overnight. In the morning you just need to heat and eat!

 

If you find these breakfast tips and recipes helpful; I would love to work with you on taking your meals and recipes to the next level! Visit my “Work With Me Page” for more information!