Clean Eating 101 with the Conscious CleanseWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

 

conscious-cleanse

Clean eating may be all the rage these days, but it can be hard to decipher exactly what it means and even harder to make it part of your daily routine. As part of National Nutrition Month, we sat down with Jo and Jules of the Conscious Cleanse to talk about what it means to eat clean, and get their top tips for stocking your pantry with healthy eats. They’ve also shared a recipe to get you started (which uses our Unsulfured Organic Dried Apricots).

If you’re looking for more, sign up for the next Conscious Cleanse, which starts on March 8th. Click here to register for their two week, whole foods based Spring Forward Cleanse, which will help you spring clean your body, mind, and pantry.

 

Clean eating has been a popular buzzword lately, and it has taken on many different meanings. What does clean eating mean to you?

Clean eating means taking it back to the basics. It’s about eating REAL food. It’s becoming confusing to navigate the world of healthy eating and nutrition because there are so many conflicting messages out there. We believe that if you start putting whole foods into your body, like an apple, a salad or a chicken breast you can revolutionize your health. Keep it simple and you’re on your way!

 

Do you have any advice for someone who is a beginner to clean eating or just starting out?

Instead of thinking about all of the food you’re going to be taking out of your diet, reframe your thinking to focus on what you’re going to add in. We like to make veggies the center of our food universe. Our Conscious Cleanse food plate has ⅔ of the plate filled with veggies and the other ⅓ is a non gluten grain, animal or veggie protein.

 

When stocking up your pantry, what guidelines do you generally follow to ensure you’re eating clean?

We ask our participants to think about where a food came from. Did it come from the earth? Can you imagine an animal eating this food out in the wild? Although we may all love it, there is no pizza bush 🙂

If you think about shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, that will point you in the right direction. Make sure to stop in the produce department for a head of lettuce and then grab carrots, fennel or parsnips for roasting. In the bulk food section get your nuts, dried beans and non-gluten grains. Then check out the fish or meat counter for salmon, bison, lamb, cod or your favorite organic or wild protein. Another staple is a healthy oil like coconut or olive oil. There are also some fantastic hidden food gems in the center of the store, so we’ll often times make direct suggestions of brands that make healthy packaged food. Made in Nature is one of those awesome clean brands.

 

What are some of your favorite clean eats when it comes to snack food?

We’re obsessed with little bite sized snacks that take less than 10 minutes to make.  Our latest creation is Sunshine Bites. One of the things that makes these bites so great are the cashews. They provide a bit of protein and healthy fat which keeps you full and satisfied for longer. We also love the sweet and tangy flavor that the apricots add to the bites. It’s hard to find organic unsulfured apricots, so we were thrilled to find Made In Nature’s Apricots. When in a pinch, we put a little raw almond butter on them for a easy sweet treat. 

Sunshine Bites Recipe

Yield: 20 servings

conscious-cleanse-apricots-sunshine-bites

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw cashews

1 cup dried apricots (purchase organic, unsweetened, unsulfured)

½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut, plus more for garnish

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lime

pinch sea salt

pinch ground turmeric

Instructions:

Soak cashews for four hours. Drain and rinse. In a food processor combine all ingredients. Pulse to combine until a sticky dough is formed. Spoon out about a ½ tablespoon amount of mixture at a time and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll in coconut to coat. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Happy New You with Conscious Cleanse & Made In NatureWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Saturday, December 31st, 2016

conscious-cleanse-real-food

We’re excited to announce that a few of us at Made In Nature are taking part in the next Conscious Cleanse, which starts on January 4th. The New Year, New You January Cleanse is a 2-week program that helps you hit the refresh button and establish healthy habits that will keep you feeling great all year long.

We’ve partnered with Jo of the Conscious Cleanse because like us, they’re all about real, whole foods that make you feel good. Plus, our Supersnacks are cleanse-approved! We sat down with them to get the lowdown on the cleanse, along with their favorite healthy habits.

 

What inspired you to create the Conscious Cleanse?

When I was younger, I can remember wanting to help people heal and for a very long time, I thought I would be a doctor. In 2004, I was hit by a truck going 70 mph on my bike and was told that I would be disabled for the rest of my life. That was a huge turning point because I thought I would never be able to live a normal life, let alone fulfill my dreams of becoming a doctor. After much trial and error, I realized that I could use nutrition to help heal my body and with life changing results. I reduced my chronic pain, lost 40 pounds, and had hope for the first time since my accident. For me, the Conscious Cleanse was born from the idea that everyone can heal and everyone can feel good. I feel inspired everyday to get out of bed and team up with people who are ready to make a change in their life.

What’s your advice to people who haven’t ever done a cleanse before, and are a little unsure if it’s for them?

For the sake of clarity, when we’re referring to the Conscious Cleanse, we’re not referring to a juice cleanse or the master cleanse. On the Conscious Cleanse, you’ll eat real food and lots of it! Our program is designed to help clean out your digestive systems, remove allergens and ultimately help guide people towards healthier nutritional choices.

Our goal through the program is to make long-lasting change that stick! While you will lose weight, it’s not the focus of our program. Over the course of 2 weeks you’ll make healthy changes that will become part of your daily routine, so that when the cleanse is over, you won’t go back to your old ways.

What’s your favorite healthy snack to enjoy when you’re in cleanse mode?

We love kale chips! They’re salty and crispy and satisfy unhealthier cravings. We believe that cleansing isn’t about depriving yourself of your favorite treats, rather it’s about learning to find a healthy alternative to what you crave.

Since this isn’t the first cleanse you’ve led, can you let us know what you’re most excited about this New Year, New You January Cleanse?

Every time we run a cleanse, we feel inspired by the people who come to our program. Typically people come to lose weight and feel healthier and we love that! But, what’s even more incredible is when cleansers start to see changes happening in their body, they get inspired about other areas in their life. Participants get empowered to do things they’ve never done before- to put themselves outside of their comfort zone and open to new possibilities. We tear up at the end of every cleanse seeing their incredible transformations.

Join us! Click here to register for the cleanse by January 3rd.

There are 3 different packages available, with an option to add on one-on-one wellness sessions with Jo or Jules! The Made In Nature team will be blogging about our cleanse journey, and we’d love to hear about your experience too.

#SnackOutside and Win!Written by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, August 18th, 2016

This summer, we’re fueling your adventures with Made In Nature Supersnacks.
Whether you’re climbing up a mountain or spending the summer practicing your favorite yoga pose, we want to see where our organic Supersnacks take you!

Made In Nature #SnackOutside Contest

Enter our #SnackOutside sweepstakes for your chance to win a prize pack that includes:

  • A Topo Designs backpack of your choice
  • A $500 REI gift card
  • Our favorite Made In Nature Supersnacks

Here’s how to enter:

1. Get outside and go on an adventure (don’t forget to bring along your favorite Made In Nature snacks). Snap a picture of how our #Supersnacks fuel your adventures.

2. Share your photo with #SnackOutside and tag @madeinnature for your chance to win!

3. Make sure you follow @madeinnature on Instagram!

 

Sweepstakes entry 8/10/16 through 9/5/16 11:59pm. Official rules and restrictions can be found here.

Tart Cherry Lemon Muffin RecipeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Delicious, and Healthy, Tart Cherry Lemon Muffins

Spring is in the air and that means it’s cherry season! I modified this delicious muffin recipe from Real Healthy Recipes using Made In Nature Organic Tart Cherries and let me tell you… these muffins are good. I love baking as healthily as possible and this recipe definitely ticks that box. You’ll use ingredients like coconut flour, maple syrup, and coconut milk. They’re even gluten, grain, dairy, and cane sugar free!

Ingredients

Tart Cherry Lemon Muffins

  • ⅔ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 omega-3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon cherry extract
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup Made in Nature Organic Tart Cherries, chopped into small pieces

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s heating up lightly grease a 24 count mini muffin pan with coconut oil or your other favorite cooking oil. Grab a medium-sized bowl and whisk the coconut flour, salt, and baking powder together.

Using a second medium-sized bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and cherry extract. Mix it all up add in your finely chopped tart cherries. Then, add your cooled and melted coconut oil, whisking it into the batter. Keep whisking until the batter is smooth and lump-free.

Bake for 25 minutes, basking in the ahh-mazing smell that’s filling your kitchen. Be sure to give them a check every so often since cooking times can vary. You want the muffins to be a light golden brown color. Remove them from the oven, let ‘em cool, then gently remove each muffin to continue cooling on a wire cooling rack.

And that’s it! This healthy tart cherry lemon muffin recipe couldn’t be easier.
Are you going to give this recipe a go? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Brownie Recipe with Coconut Chips to Satisfy Your Sweet ToothWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Delicious, Gooey Brownies with a Tropical Coconut Twist

Once the weather starts teasing me with warmer temperatures my mind immediately turns tropical. And, there’s nothing I love more than taking advantage of that tropical state of mind by incorporating more coconut into my recipes.

I don’t know about you, but I also have a pretty ravenous sweet tooth. When I’m craving some time on the beach and something sweet, I whip up these amazing brownies using a combo of Made in Nature coconut chips and shredded coconut flakes. I like my brownies rich, fudgy, and sinful. If you feel the same way, let’s get baking!

Fudgy Coconut Brownies with Coconut Chips

Toasted Coconut Chips from Made in Nature

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups cocoa
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 large eggs gently beaten
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened, fine flaked coconut
  • 1 package Made in Nature Maple Madagascar Vanilla Toasted Coconut Chips

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Amazing Snacks On The Go – Fruit Bar RecipeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

You’ll Love These 3-Ingredient Dried Apple Energy Bars

Like many a health-minded foodie, I love fruit bars. Lärabar is probably one of my favorite brands, but you know what kind of fruit bars I love even more? My own homemade organic dried apple fruit bars.

If you need a quick snack for your workday commute, or just want to avoid midday hanger, give these guys a try. Oh, and before I forget… you’ll only need three ingredients! Mind = blown.

Ingredients

1 cup nuts (use mixed nuts, almonds, cashews, or any other nut you enjoy)
1 cup Made In Nature Organic Dried Apples
1 cup Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates

Organic Dried Apples from Made in Nature

Directions

Whip out your food processor and toss in the nuts, dried apples, and dates. Pulse a few times to break everything up and separate the dates by hand if they start to get clumpy. Then, you want to process the mixture until a ball is formed. This should take a minute or two and you may want to scrape the sides of your food processor to make sure nothing is sticking to the sides and blade.
Put some wax paper on your countertop and then plop your ball down. Press the mixture into a thick square, making it as thick as you ultimately want your bars to be. Wrap that lovely square up in the wax paper and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, unwrap your square and place it on a cutting board. I usually cut mine into 8 – 12 bars depending on how large I want my fruit bars to be.

… And that’s it! Your bars can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks at a time. If you’re anything like me, there’s no way they’ll last that long. I think they’re best right out of the fridge, but I also like wrapping them up to go. They’ll get a bit soft eventually, but it doesn’t impact the amazing taste.

Do you enjoy making your own homemade energy bars? What are your favorite ingredient combinations? Swap recipes and ideas in the comments!

7 Healthy and High Protein FoodsWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Healthy Foods That Pack a Protein Punch

Whether you’re training for a big event like a marathon, or simply want to up your strength and muscle, a high protein diet can be a huge help. Protein helps repair and rebuild muscles, but remember — if you don’t also eat enough carbs or fats to satisfy your energy needs protein will be converted into energy, meaning fewer calories go to muscle repair. That’s why a balanced diet is so important!

Are you ready to up your protein intake? Give these 7 healthy and high protein foods a try!

1. Hard boiled eggs

Eggs - A high protein food and snack
Hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite high protein snacks to prep ahead of time. I generally boil a dozen, then they’re ready and waiting for me whenever hunger strikes. One large egg contains about 6 grams of protein.

2. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds pack a surprising amount of protein… there’s nearly 10 grams in just a quarter cup. You can add them to trail mix, sprinkle over salads, or eat ‘em plain. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes, because a quarter cup also contains 180 calories.

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6 Delicious Fruits You May Not Have TriedWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Friday, May 13th, 2016

Apples are Great, But You’ve Gotta Give These Unique Fruits a Try

I love apples and bananas as much as the next fruit-obsessed person, but I also love trying new and unique fruits whenever I can. These six fruits aren’t your usual standbys but they’re just as delicious.

If you haven’t tried these fruits before you’ll definitely want to sample them all. And if you have tried them, I’d be willing to bet this post will have you craving a repeat experience!

1. Goldenberries

Goldenberries are well-known throughout South America, and they’ve even been classified as a superfood. Their tart flavor will wake up your taste buds, but these chewy berries are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of Vitamin C. I like eating them on salads, in my oatmeal, and straight out of the bag.

2. Goji berries

Another superfood to add to our list of tasty fruits you need to try, goji berries are grown in certain parts of Asia, like Tibet. Dried goji berries are soft and chewy with a subtle sweet-tangy flavor that’s quite addicting. These berries also make a good topper, but if you find you aren’t a huge fan of the flavor, blend them up in a smoothie to reap the nutritional benefits. Goji berries are a great source of Vitamin A.

3. MulberriesFresh Mulberries

If you’ve noticed that I have a bit of a berry obsession, you have a keen eye. I can’t help it — there are so many unique berry varieties to try!

Dried mulberries are tender and soft, and you can include them in tons of different recipes. Give these ricotta and grilled mulberry peaches a try for a truly unique (and mouth-watering) flavor combination.

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4 Healthy Appetizer Recipes For Your Next Dinner PartyWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Prepare These Quick and Easy Appetizers in No Time

Every great party needs tasty appetizers, right? I’m a firm believer in that statement, so skip the potato chips and try one of these four good-for-you appetizer recipes instead.

1. Fig and goat cheese appetizer

Whipping up this appetizer is so incredibly simple, and the taste payoff is huge.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Made In Nature Calimyrna Figs or Black Mission Figs
  • ¼ cup of red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (soft Brie cheese also works well)
  • 16 crackers
  • 16 pieces of fresh arugula or mixed mesclun greens

Directions:
Add the oil and onion to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions until they begin to soften.

Fig and Goat Cheese Appetizer
Trim the stems off your figs and slice them into 1/4″ slices (about 4-5 per fig).
Add the figs and balsamic vinegar to your skillet. Saute for 2 – 4 minutes until the figs soften and are nicely coated with oil and vinegar. Remove from heat.
Spread cheese on crackers so that they’re lightly covered.
Add one small piece of arugula or mixed green on top of the cheese. Place fig topping on greens and serve.

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Healthy Snacks For Kids School LunchesWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Monday, May 9th, 2016

Try Adding These Healthy Snacks to Your Child’s Lunchbox

There’s more to a school lunch than the main meal, so what are some healthy snacks that you can pack in your child’s lunch box? These healthy snacks are all kid-approved and will keep their energy levels up throughout the school day.

Homemade fruit salad

You’ll never want to pack sugary, syrupy fruit cups once you try making your own homemade fruit salad. All you have to do is slice up your child’s favorite fruits like apples, bananas, and blueberries, then squeeze some lemon over the top to keep things fresh.

Dried fruit

Unsulphured Apricots from Made in Nature

If you’re concerned about keeping snacks cold dried fruit is a tasty and healthy snack alternative. While I’m not a kid, I am a kid at heart, and I think these juicy Made in Nature Organic, Unsulfured Apricots would be a real crowd pleaser. Made in Nature’s Organic Tropical Fusion is another one to try!

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3 Everyday Steps Toward Healthy LivingWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A Healthier Lifestyle is as Easy as 1-2-3!

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be too terribly difficult — the smallest changes can actually make a huge difference in your healthy living quest.

If you’re trying to lead a healthier life give these three simple, everyday steps a try. Your body will thank you and you might even be inspired to keep making changes. Don’t worry, the suggestions I’m going to share aren’t monumental… but you’ll feel monumentally better!

Limit the amount of unhealthy snacks that you eat

Healthy Living is just a few steps away!Most of the unhealthy foods I eat come in the form of snacks… oops. One of the easiest ways to clean up your diet is to watch your snacking and replace unhealthy snacks with healthier foods.

Let’s start with chips. You can easily replace them with kale chips. I’m also a big fan of easy veggie snacks like carrots and hummus. If you have a sweet tooth like me try snacking on Made in Nature’s Tart Cherry Fig FiggyPops or a few Made In Nature Dates with nut butter.

Of course, everything is best in moderation. You don’t have to completely cut out all of your favorite treats (that’s a surefire way to bring on a junk food binge.) Indulge in those snacks mindfully, pay attention to your portion sizes, and then get back to the healthy snacks.

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Spiced Up Salad With Pomegranate Seeds and GingerWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Monday, April 18th, 2016

Try This Awesome Pomegranate Seed Salad

Are you looking to, literally, spice up your salad? If you love ginger and spice, then you’ve gotta make this salad. There’s even a delicious surprise ingredient that really makes this recipe shine.

Pomegranate Seeds for Salads

Salad Ingredients:

  • 6 cups greens. You can use kale, romaine, spinach, a mix… it’s up to you and your taste buds! I like to mix up a bunch of different greens for my salads. I’ll occasionally add some pre-packed cabbage for extra crunch, too.
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup cooked edamame
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 package Made In Nature Pomegranate Ginger Fusion Nut Blend

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ cup honey
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (depending on your palate and how strong your ginger is)
  • ¼ cup mild flavored oil (avocado, grapeseed, or walnut oil are all great choices)
  • Salt to taste

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4 Healthy Snacks for Kids You Can Make at HomeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Friday, April 15th, 2016

Try These Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas… They’re Healthy, too!

Would you be thrilled if your children’s snacks were healthier? I just love thinking about fun new snack ideas, and the ones I’m going to share today are all kid-friendly and super easy to make at home.

 

Energy Balls - Kids Snack Recipe

1. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Making (and eating) fruit and cheese kabobs is tasty and interactive. To get the kids involved prepare bowls of cut up fruit like apples, grapes, pineapples, bananas, and any other favorites. Set out another bowl with cheese cubes and show your snackers how to thread their fruit and cheese onto the wooden kabob sticks.

All in all, they’ll get a few servings of fruit, lots of fiber, some protein, and a happy stomach!

2. DIY Trail Mix

Trail mix, because it’s so easy to customize, which is perfect for picky palates. Plus, if you make your own you’ll know exactly what your kids are eating — no unnecessary preservatives included. Lately I’ve been loving this easy concoction:

This combo is a nice mix of tart and sweet, soft and crunchy. We sweeten our Tart Cherries with a touch of organic apple juice and the coconut chips add another layer of warm, toasty sweetness. If your kiddos aren’t ready for the bitter bite on the cacao nibs, feel free to swap them out for dark chocolate.

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Brain Friendly Foods to Help You ConcentrateWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, March 31st, 2016

These Foods Can Help You Stay Focused

There are tons of supplements on the market that promise to help improve memory, and you may have heard that certain foods can help you concentrate. While there isn’t a magic pill or snack that can automatically help you focus with laser-like intensity, there are certain “brain foods” that can help your mind function at peak capacity, and I’m going to share some of my favorites. As you read, try to think about how you can incorporate these brain-friendly foods and drinks into your regular diet — they’re tasty, so it shouldn’t be too difficult!

Eat fish to keep your brain healthy

Eating fish is good for the mind.

Improve your brain health with these foods Why? Fish is full of omega-3s, and it turns out these fatty acids have a huge positive impact on our brain health. Dr. Cyrus Raji, a resident radiologist at UCLA, explains, “If you eat fish just once a week, your hippocampus—the big memory and learning center—is 14 percent larger than in people who don’t eat fish that frequently.”

It doesn’t matter what kind of fish you eat, but the preparation is important: baked or broiled, and never fried. For a unique and refreshing way to enjoy fish, try Made in Nature’s seafood ceviche banana chip recipe.

Snack on walnuts for a better memory

In 2015 researchers at UCLA found that people who ate more walnuts performed better on a series of cognitive tests. Even more surprisingly, the cognitive functions of the group increased markedly across different demographics, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.

Why are walnuts so good for the brain? Well, they’re high in antioxidants and a number of important vitamins and minerals that all keep your mind healthy.

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7 Healthy Snacks That Pack Nutrition and FlavorWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Level-Up Your Snacking with These Balanced, Healthy Snacks

Keeping my snacking on the healthy side is one of the bigger challenges I face while trying to eat my way toward a more balanced diet. It would be so easy to grab a few cookies or a handful of chips (and sometimes I do just that!), but there’s also a better way to snack.

If you want to eat healthier and balance your diet, give these healthy (but still super tasty and satisfying) snacks a try. They’re all quick and easy, too!

1. Seaweed snacks

Wait, what? Seaweed? Heck yeah! Seaweed snacks are a personal favorite of mine, and they’re extremely healthy. High in vitamins A and C, they’re also one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12. They’re packaged much like crackers, and come in a ton of different flavors.

Healthy snack ideas from Made in Nature

2. Dried fruit

One of my favorite nutrient-packed snacks is dried fruit, and Made in Nature has plenty of fruits to choose from. Choose your favorite or create your own delicious mix of fruits. My favorites are dried mango or Smyrna figs – they are both so good I really can’t choose.

3. Homemade trail mix

Trail mix isn’t just about GORP (good old fashioned raisins and peanuts.) Get creative! Mix your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits together for a snack that’s perfectly tailored to your taste buds. You’ll know exactly what you put in, so this is a great way to avoid unnecessary sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

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Clean Eating – Finding Clean Food in the Grocery StoreWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Making Clean, Healthy Food Choices When Shopping

You want to make healthy choices when shopping for you and your family at your local grocery store, but it can be so hard to sort through the marketing messages and hype to find what’s truly wholesome, minimally processed, and actually good for you. Clean Eating - Finding Clean Food at the Grocery Store

That’s why so many people have turned their focus toward “clean” eating. Clean eating is essentially the same thing as healthy eating, because there’s a big focus on eating a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. On the flip side, clean eating just takes it a step further by eliminating things like processed foods, refined sugar, preservatives, and other unnecessary additives.

How can you learn what’s really “clean” in the grocery store? What are some dead giveaways on the nutrition labels of unhealthy foods? Keep reading to learn more about how to figure out what’s healthy, and what isn’t, in the grocery store.

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Quick Healthy Breakfast IdeasWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Fast Breakfast Recipes for a Healthy Start to Your Day

Rumor has it that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I’m not one to argue with established logic… especially if eating is involved. Make your first meal a healthy one by trying out one of these quick, healthy breakfasts.

Quick Healthy Breakfast IdeasOvernight Oats

Overnight oats are, hands down, one of my favorite quick and healthy breakfasts. And making them is so, so simple:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix everything together in a mason jar or other container with a lid, pop the jar in the fridge, refrigerate overnight, and enjoy! It’s that simple. Make sure to experiment with different ingredients, too. Protein powders mix in well, cashew butter is decadent, coconut milk tastes wonderful, berries are the perfect topping… well, you get the idea.

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Must Have Kitchen Items & UtensilsWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Seven Useful Kitchen Tools That Will Transform Your Cooking

You already have the basics: pots, pans, baking sheets, spatulas. But, what if you could completely transform your cooking and baking with some new utensils and gadgets? Here are 7 awesome kitchen tools that you might not have — some of them I’m already obsessed with, and others are high on my list of “wants.”

1. Silpat baking sheets

Move over, parchment paper. Silicone is durable, resistant to extreme temps, transfers heat evenly, and is inherently nonstick. That’s why Silpat baking sheets are so useful, even when it’s time to bake flaky pastries and gooey cookies. Plus, you can use them over and over again.

2. Immersion blenders

This tool changed my life, because it meant I never had to transfer my roasted red pepper soup to the blender for pureeing again. Now I can puree soups straight from the pot, thicken sauces right on the stovetop, and easily mix up ingredients with a hand-held immersion blender.

Kitchen Items and Untensils

3. Salad spinner

Veggie prep can be a pain, especially if you need to wait for your washed broccoli and lettuce to dry. That’s where a salad spinner comes in handy. Don’t let the name fool you, because this amazing tool can wash all sorts of produce. Some can also be used as colanders, which is helpful for pasta.

This larger tool can take up a bunch of space in your cabinet, which is why I love this collapsible model by Progressive International. (more…)

Stay Hydrated !Written by Susan Thanavaro | Friday, March 25th, 2016

Why Hydration is so Important for a Healthy Lifestyle

If you want to live a healthy lifestyle you’ll need to make sure you’re properly hydrated. Up to 60% of an adult human’s body is made up of water, so it’s pretty darn important!

H2O also regulates your body temperature, helps cushion your spinal cord, and lubricates your joints… and that short list is just the beginning. There are tons of health benefits of drinking water — and learning more about them might be the motivation you need to up your daily intake!

Water helps flush out your organs

Water plays a vital role in helping our organs, particularly the kidneys, clear out toxins and other waste. If you’re regularly drinking enough water then your kidneys should be able to easily  cleanse your body of those toxins.

Stay Hydrated

How can you tell if your kidneys and other organs aren’t getting the fluids they need? Well, let’s chat about urine. Ideally, it should flow freely, be light in color, and be free of odor. Your skin is another thing to check — sometimes, dull and dry skin can be helped by drinking more water.

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Quick Workout Routines You Can Do From HomeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

HIIT, Strength Training, and More At-Home Exercising

Sometimes, I really don’t feel like leaving my house to get in a workout. Thankfully, there’s no need for a fancy gym or tons of equipment because an awesome workout can be found right in your own home. I like to switch things up with these three exercises and routines — they’re great because they’re super customizable, so it’s easy to tweak them to create a routine that’s best for your lifestyle and fitness goals.

1. HIIT at home

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the best ways to pack a huge punch in a short amount of time. By alternating high intensity bursts of work with periods of rest you’ll give your metabolism an extra boost, too. HIIT helps you continue to burn calories hours after you’ve finished your workout. But, here’s the best part — HIIT can be anything.

Quick Workouts from Home

Try doing some jumping jacks in your living room. For 45 seconds work as hard as you can. Follow up with 15 seconds of rest or walking in place. Congrats, you’ve done high intensity interval training! For a full-body HIIT experience give this intense, 7-minute workout a try. It’s killer!

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