Healthy Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

I’m really trying to be better about having breakfast. Dubbed forever as ‘the most important meal of the day,’ I notice that I get super cranky or my stomach has a life of its own if I don’t eat something in the AM. With three kids, I try to make sensible options (for both of us) by making a weekly homemade smoothie with spinach, berries, bananas, avocado, and coconut water that gives them some veggies at the start of their day. For myself, I’ve been upgrading the smoothie a bit by creating something more substantial in the form of my own smoothie bowl. In addition to the smoothie, I’ll add in some yogurt, OatBox granola and chia seeds for the perfect combo of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. Check out one of my go-to recipes, featuring Oatbox, a new monthly breakfast subscription company that delivers monthly-curated boxes of natural, healthy and delicious granola mixes and Carrington Farms Chia Seeds, one of the highest plant-based sources of protein, fiber and Omega 3s.

Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

Ingredients:

1/3 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup homemade smoothie (combo of coconut water, avocado, frozen berries, banana and spinach)
1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp Carrington Farms Chia Seeds
1 cup of Oatbox 

healthy Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

Directions:

Place frozen berries, frozen spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1 banana and around two cups of coconut water into a blender. Blend until you reach your desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and layer up your ingredients, which includes fresh berries, yogurt, nuts, granola and chia seeds. So easy and so good!

Enjoy!

We were provided with some samples for review. All opinions, as always, are our own.

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Healthy, Gluten-Free Pancakes to Start the Day

While I love breakfast, it’s not always the healthiest option, or if there are healthy alternatives, they tend to take time to prepare. I just discovered an awesome way to meld both of those needs after sampling some delicious pancakes from Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Almond Flour Mix. A gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, and non-GMO blend, the Simple Mills pancake and waffle line was so easy to create where I simply needed oil, milk (or water), eggs and the mix. After whipping it all together, the pancakes cooked within minutes and were ready to serve my hungry family. After plating them with some fruit and maple syrup, my family dug in and loved the nutty flavor or this reinvented morning meal that also happens to be low in sugar and made with seven simple whole food ingredients!

kids cooking  Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Almond Flour Mix

simple mills gluten-free pancakes

simple mills gluten-free pancake box

Founded by Kaitlin Smith, who started by creating the mixes in her home, Simply Mills wants to change the way America bakes to help people live healthier lives. This includes a providing a range of wholesome and convenient products that aren’t processed or contain grain, soy, artificial flavors or fillers!

Healthy, Gluten-Free Pancakes to Start the Day

And there’s even more reason to celebrate eating healthy this summer with August 24 being National Waffle Day where you can whip up a batch of Simply Mills waffles to commemorate this 148 year ‘holiday.’ Additionally, you can combine their gluten-free Pancake & Waffle almond flour mix to create a variety of delicious recipes including: Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Savory Veggie Waffles with Herbed Kefir Cheese and more.

For more information on Simple Mills and their product line, please visit: https://www.simplemills.com/

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions, as always, are our own.

 

 

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Upgrade Your Breakfast Options with Teff Porridge

While We love breakfast, it is often connected with foods that are typically carb and sugar heavy. While low-suagr granola and oatmeal are go-to staples on most days, we have to admit: we get bored of those options, too! Enter a new way to mix up your breakfast options with a hearty and super healthy bowl of Teff porridge. Now, we never heard of Teff prior to trying it out, so we were pretty excited to try out this ancient whole grain from Pereg Natural Foods, a producer of premium, all natural spices and spice blends, gluten free pastas, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereals, ancient grains, quinoa products, and much more. This also includes products that are kosher certified dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives.

Upgrade Your Breakfast Options Teff Porridge

Available in brown or ivory varieties as well as mixed with nuts and berries or with chocolate, we tried out the ivory line that according to Pereg “can be toasted and used to add a little crunch to salads to muffins; boiled teff can be prepared with milk or water for a sweet porridge or spiced up for a side dish; raw teff can be ground into flour and baked into injera bread, a traditional Ethiopian dish.” We decided to boil it with some milk and cinnamon that we topped with berries and some pumpkin seeds. Ready in around 15 minutes, we were so into its nutty flavor that also gluten-free, rich with protein, iron, calcium and amino acids. Ready to upgrade your boring breakfast routine? Check out our easy teff morning porridge for a delicious new way to enjoy breakfast without the sugar!

Easy Teff Breakfast Porridge

Teff porridge recipe: Healthy gluten-free breakfast option

Ingredients:

Teff
Cinnamon
Milk or water
Mixed berries
Topped with nuts-we used pumpkin seeds
Maple syrup, if desired

Easy Teff Breakfast Porridge

Directions:

Boil water or milk, as directed on the teff package. Sprinkle in some cinnamon into the mixture and add in your teff, let cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cooked, let cool for five minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add in your berries, nuts, coconut flakes and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Pereg Natural Foods also has a new line of Kaňiwa (baby quinoa) as well as new blends and flavor infused varieties of freekeh farro, basmati rice and quinoa that are worth checking out. Stay tuned: we will be sharing a dinner recipe featuring their Kaňiwa soon!

Follow Pereg Natural Foods on Facebook.com/peregnatural, Twitter @pereggourmet and Instagram @peregnatural.

We were provided with a sample for review. Our opinions, as always, are our own.

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Zen at Home for National Yoga Day

happy national yoga day with learn to be lean

Happy National Yoga Day! Maybe you found your inner zen at one of the many yoga events around NYC, at a local studio, or in the comfort of your own home. For those in the home category we just discovered Learn To Be Lean: A Yoga Based Approach to Healthy Weight Loss, a fantasic reference to help you hone in on your yoga skills today and pretty much whenever you can. Not only a yoga guide, this book will provide you with the tools and expert skills to live a healthy live–all of which includes tapping into your physical, spiritual and emotional self.

Written by Nutritionist and Trainer Shannon Leavitt, M.S.,R.D., Learn to be Lean features a yoga-based approach to living healthy called the Yogalift. A clear and very specific plan, we loved how this provides a sustainable wellness and holistic plan through practicing yoga, strength training, meditation, and personal reflection to help bring every aspect of being into harmony. Featuring a workbook style guide (summer homework?), the book features very guidelines and personal questions to help you achieve your inner zen as well as provides the tools to losing weight.

This includes a daily action plan with a body-mind spirit journal where you assess your daily meals, movement, sleep and even your intention. The actual yoga part comes in through daily practice, which Leavitt states: “With practice, we become more and more aware of and present in our body.” This section provides tips and insight for staying in the moment during yoga as well as a better understanding of why yoga is so crucial to Leavitt.

A clear guide with real solutions to enable you to live and practice the yogi lifestyle, we love how proved us with the tools to learn how to better embrace wellness and health through self-awareness, physical fitness and spiritual growth.

A must-have for National Yoga Day, and beyond!

We were provided a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Say Bye, Bye to Bug Bites this Summer with U.S. Organic’s Anti Bug Spray Line

new organic anti bug spray for kids

Bugs! They are everywhere, and so, so annoying! While sun protection is an obvious factor of the summer, so is protecting your skin from bug bites–some of which can be harmful, like ticks and certain mosquitos!

That’s why I was so psyched to learn more about U.S. Organic’s new Anti Bug Spray Line, a DEET free line that featuring three products (US Organic’s Anti Mosquito Spray, US Organic Anti Bug Spray Outdoor formula, and even a US Organic Indoor Anti Bug Spray!) for long-lasting protection from mosquitoes and other bugs. And it’s safe, which as you know, is not always the case with certain bug sprays. The line is Certified Organic by USDA and safe for usage on infants, children, expectant moms and anyone looking for serious mosquito protection.

Having used it for a few weeks now, I also love how lightweight it sprays on the body, offering a mild scent (herbal or coconut) that doesn’t feel sticky or gross on my skin. While the outdoor sprays have been in rotation when the kids play outside, I’ve also loved using the US Organic Indoor Anti Bug Spray, a safe spray made out of organic ingredients including soybean oil, castor oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, cedar oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, and deionized water. Awesome for indoor use on pillows or blankets that I spray on when we are maxin’ and relaxin’ at home. With its lightweight and smooth formula, no one complains when it’s on or anymore since they haven’t had any bug bites! And as a huge bonus, the line is made in the USA and isn’t tested on animals! Hooray times a million for that.

Summah’s here and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Make sure that you slather up with essentials like sunscreen and this new organic anti bug spray. Trust us, your skin will thank you!

 

For more info, please visit: www.us-organic.com.

We were provided with samples for review.

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Latest Food Craze: Drinkable Soup from Fawen

Latest Food Craze: Drinkable Soup from Fawen

As a busy mom on-the-go I’m always looking for healthy snacks that I can pack for myself and my kids during whatever adventure we may venture on. While I do love me some fruit and nuts, there’s now another option to add to your ever-growing magic of tricks with Fawen, a collection of ready-todrink vegan soups. Yes, drinkable soups!

Latest Food Craze: Drinkable Soup from Fawen

Latest Food Craze: Drinkable Soup from Fawen

Packed with tons of fiber, vitamins and minerals, the innovative Fawen line contains three flavors, including: Beet & Purple Cabbage with Cumin; Broccoli & Cauliflower with Turmeric and Sweet Potato and Red Lentil with Cinnamon. This can be enjoyed chilled, hot or room temp to enable you to get a burst of nutrients without any of the timely prep that comes with soup-making. We recently had the chance to try out the line, and I was surprised by how the soups were so rich and full of flavor, which isn’t normally the case with packaged soups. They were light, delicious, and of course, so convenient that made it super easy to enjoy a healthy snack. Additional benefits of the soup: zero artificial preservatives, sweeteners, additives, cholesterol, and GMO’s; fiber from whole vegetables – never juiced or pressed;  certified Gluten-Free, Organic, Vegan and Kosher; loaded with 16 different vitamins, minerals and antioxidant; and every batch is made with hydrating coconut water, coconut milk, and virgin coconut oil that work together with filtered water to form the perfect alkaline base and bring balance and vitality to the body and mind.

An incredible power snack, Fawen is the perfect new soup to satisfy and nourish everyone who wants a boost of nutrition.

The soups are now available at drinkfawen.com in 6 pack and 12 pack cases. The collection is now rolling out to stores on the East Coast and available online: DrinkFawen.com and Amazon.com

We were provided with samples for review. All opinions are our own.

 

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Book Review: Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day

fitter faster book

Working out is one of those challenges that we are all trying to figure out. We know that we are supposed to work out but the list of excuses (kids, no time, work, and so on) can rule whether we get our sweat in or not. We have been and are always looking for more ways to making exercise easier while still reaping the benefits. Tall order? Not so much, especially with the release of Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day, a new book by award-winning health journalist Robert J. Davis, PhD and celebrity fitness trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr, that is designed to provide you with tips to get in shape in as little as 15 minutes a day! Sounds amazing, right?!

We had the privilege of reading through this guide book, soaking in their easy-to-digest tips and step-by-step workout plans that highlight the aerobic, muscle-building, and fat-burning benefits that are similar to—or even greater than—what you’d get from much longer regimens.

This include high-intensity interval gaining, which alternates vigorous and gentler exercises in shorter hurts, with circuit training that works multiple muscles. Not only providing tips to work out your entire body, the book squashes the boredom aspect of working out where you can actually add in some much needed choice and variety to our routine!

Divided into four exercise programs (Get Ready, Get Smart, Get More Out of Exercise, Get Going), you’ll find a plan to help you tackle every aspect of working out. We really loved the Get Smart section that included tips on strength training, stretching and how to increase cardio.

A guide that’s all about shorter, more focused routines, Fitter Faster is a great way to revamp your thinking about working out with a guide that actually makes fitness fun, focused and really convenient!

For more information, please visit: https://fitterfasterplan.com

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Cookbook Review: Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market

Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market review

As much as we try to do our very best when it comes to eating healthy, we have to admit it: we have a huge sweet tooth! And while we are all about wholesome eats, we still want a treat every now and again, cause, really, life is too short to not have dessert! However, these days even desserts have upped their healthy game where you can now find tons of variations that even include vegetables in your beloved chocolate cake!

To help us learn more about healthier desserts, we’ve been soaking up the delicious goodness from the new cookbook Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market. Written by Lei Shishak, an established pastry chef who trained at the CIA in New York and has worked at restaurants in Sun Valley and Los Angeles, the book features a guide to learning how to bake seasonally with a focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients featuring recipes that are better-for-you and the environment!

Featuring more than 80 sweet recipes, divided by season, we loved diving into this resource featuring yummy desserts using fresh and local ingredients, such as stone peach cobbler, fig jam, sweet corn panna cotta, strawberry hand pie, sweet potato cake, blood orange pot de crème, among many others! A clear and concise book, the recipes are also complemented by a gorgeous series of mouth-watering images that will have you longing to create some of  Shishak’s sweet treats. We were certainly inspired after reading this cookbook and tried out a few of the sorbets, including the incredible Navel Orange Rosemary Sorbet.

The cookbook also includes a clear explanation to better understand choosing organic and purchasing produce at your local farmers’ markets that serves as a straight-to-the-point read for anyone curious to learn more, or on the fence about using these type of products.

A must-have read for a home cook, Farm-to-Table Desserts is a fantastic guide for anyone who is looking to eat healthier and better understand how to shop local while still enjoying sweet treats.

Check out Farm-to-Table Desserts on Amazon, or at your local bookstore. 

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Healthy Start with Grain-Free GrandyOats

Healthy Start with Grain-Free GrandyOats

By now it’s safe to say that most of us have tried granola at some point in our lives. While this isn’t a new food, there are definitely variations of this classic breakfast option that covers a wide-range of choice! Hooray to advances in granola. The problem with some varieties are that they are loaded with added sugars that don’t always make this the best option to start your day. Along with the sugar-ladded varieties, there are tons of healthier options that even include grain-free varieties! We just had the chance to try out such a variety with the new grain-free Coconola line from GrandyOats.

Healthy Start with Grain-Free GrandyOats

As a company that has handcrafted granola since 1979 (along with muesli, trail mix, roasted nuts and hot cereals in rural Main), they recently introduced a new line of gluten free granolas with a base of coconut that’s been touted for it’s nutritional benefits such as for energy, fiber and healthy fats including MCT. This, along with the combo of the nuts, makes for a super healthy and powerful way to start your day.

Healthy Start with Grain-Free GrandyOats

We had the opportunity to test out a few of these new granolas and were amazed at how good they were without having any traditional oats in them. One of our favorites is the Original, Super Hemp Blend, a variety that contains organic: unsweetened coconut, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, sesame seeds, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla! Paired with some yogurt, blueberries and a drizzle of some of our morning smoothie made for a satisfying and incredible option for breakfast. This variety wasn’t too sweet and provided the right amount of crunch that paired amazingly with the variety of nuts in the granola. A seriously addictive blend, we’ve also been stashing them in our bags for a mid-day snack or to top on our salads and smoothies. It’s super versatile and incredible tasty that can easily be enjoyed throughout the day.

Additional varieties in the Coconola line include the Original Coconola and the Chocolate Chunk Coconola, a healthy and satisfying sweet treat made with rganic: unsweetened coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut syrup, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, pecans, cashews, maple syrup and vanilla.

Additionally, all of the “oats” in the grain-free line are “certified organic, gluten-free and paleo; non-GMO; small batch; high protein; oil-free; salt-free; kosher; low sugar; and socially responsible,” as stated by Aaron Anker, Chief Granola Officer for GrandyOats.

And another cool aspect of the company is that their bakery is solar powered where they have 288 solar panels next to the bakery generate enough clean, renewable energy to produce millions of pounds of granola and offset over 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year. With a focus on social consciousness, they source the most wholesome organic ingredients and partner with local, organic, and non-GMO producers. A fantastic granola from a company that cares, we fully support and love the incredible varieties from their new grain-free line, and think you will, too!

All 3 varieties of Coconola are offered in 9 oz. re-sealable pouches for a SRP of $7.99. A wide range of GrandyOats organic cereals and snacks in a variety of sizes are available nationwide at natural food stores, food cooperatives, major grocery chains, online retailers and www.GrandyOats.com.

We were provided samples for review. All opinions are our own.

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Incredible Plant-Based Body Lotion from Kneipp

Instant Relief from the Natural Body Lotion from Kneipp

We don’t know about you but as of late our hands and legs have been akin to sandpaper. Since the changing of the seasons and general dryness are definitely not winning combos we have been on the hunt for a body lotion that means business with no yucky chemicals. Enter the Kneipp Relaxing Body Lotion, a lightweight formula that works to provide nourishment and hydration to the skin. Containing plant oils, vitamins A, E and panthenol, this awesome lotion works to help the skin feel really soft and supple. And as bonus, it smells amazing thanks to the relaxing lavender.

Another favorite for our bods is the Kneipp Arnica Joint & Muscle Intensive Cream, a thick cream that contains natural ingredients of the arnica blossom to smooth the skin. Yes, please!

Being an oil-based formula, you don’t need all that much where you can work the cream into your skin, adding as needed. Personally, we love how it works instantly (seriously!), reviving our skin and making it feel soft and supple. Incredibly, this cream can also be used as a base for massages where you can work it into your back or legs, working to ease up any discomfort and stiffness.

And as a product from Kneipp, you can rest assured that the product contains no paraffins, silicons, and mineral oils, and of course, only contains plant-based ingredients. Founded by health and holistic pioneer Sebastian Kneipp in 1891, we are digging these products from Kneipp that work to nourish the body and soul.

For more information on Kneipp, please visit: http://www.kneippus.com/

We were provided samples for review. All opinions are our own.

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