6 Amazing Simple & Healthy Desserts

Here's to enjoying dessert on a regular basis while staying on track with your nutrient needs and goals! Of course it's totally okay to treat yourself to your favorite sweets every now and then, but eating highly processed junk food too often can lead to all kinds of problems. Now don't get me wrong- you can still enjoy plenty of delicious, sweet treats while also giving your body the nutrients it needs. Fruit is one of the best ways to satisfy any cravings for sweets you may have. There are even tons of upgraded chocolatey desserts that are so much more nutritious than their highly processed alternatives! That's why breaking down desserts and sharing 6 of my favorite upgraded recipes with you.

Don't be fooled by sugar bombs in disguise!

Highly processed desserts like the strawberry milkshake on the left may seem like an okay choice because they're fruit flavored, but the truth is that you'd be much better off eating the fruit itself. Not only do processed desserts contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, and more, but they also come up short when it comes to giving your body nutrients. There are zero health benefits from consuming sweets like the highly processed milkshake on a regular basis. However, when you eat real fruit (even if you ate all 3 plates of strawberries), it provides your body with vitamins and minerals, natural sugars, and fiber which helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Additionally, it would be much more difficult to consume all three plates of strawberries than it would be to drink the milkshake with the same amount of sugar.
But that doesn't mean that plain fruit is the only healthy dessert option out there! There are so many ways to satisfy a sweet tooth while staying on track with your goals. A few simple dessert options like fruit with chocolate, nuts, or nut butters are great for when you're short on time or ingredients. However, if you're looking to switch it up and add some new dessert recipes to your routine, I got you covered.  Weather you prefer tangy, fruit flavored sweets, classic combinations, or rich and chocolatey goodness, you will love these 6 Simple and Healthy Dessert Recipes!

Looking for something tarte and satisfying? These Vegan/Paleo Cheesecakes are perfect for you!

These delicious, mini cheesecakes won’t let you down. I love that they're in pre-portioned sizes and you can customize them however you want! I used blueberries but feel free to substitute your favorite fruit like raspberries, blackberries, etc. This recipe makes about 10 servings. Thanks to minimalistbaker.com for her vegan cheesecake recipe that made it super easy to make this version! Full instructions below:

What you need for the crust:
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup packed pitted dates

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups quick soaked cashews (*boil a pot of water and pour the boiling water onto the cashews. Let soak for an hour)
1/3 cup coconut oil melted
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed
Blueberries (optional)

What to do:
1 - Add the pitted dates to food processor. Blend and set aside.
2 - Add the pecans. Process until smooth then add the dates back in and process to make the crust.
3 - Get out a muffin tin. Spray with oil and pack 1 tbsp of the curst into each tin ( 10 tins total)
4 - Add the cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk and lemon to the food processor. Blend until smooth.
5 - Evenly distribute into muffin tins.
6 - (optional) Add 1-2 cups blueberries to the food processor. Blend until smooth then add a layer to each cheesecake.
7 - Freeze for at least 2 hours up to 4 hours and then enjoy. (Note: helps if you let sit out for a few minutes then use a knife to cut around the rim and pop out)

Calories per mini cheesecake (doesn’t include blueberries): 360 cals, 5g protein, 30g carbs, 27g fat

Get creative with this refreshing and sweet treat!

I love colorful, fun snacks and this is perfect for hosting parties or just giving yourself a fun, healthy treat! Watermelon isn’t just delicious, it also has plenty of health benefits. Aside from being super hydrating (92% water), it also has 21% of your vitamin C, 18% of your vitamin A And 5% of your potassium. Watermelon is also full of antioxidants including Carotenoids, Lycopene & Cucurbitacin E. Instructions below:


What you need:
1 watermelon slice
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Handful of strawberries
Handful of raspberries
Handful of blueberries
1/2 tbsp of Mint

What to do:
Step 1: Cover the watermelon slice with Greek yogurt.
Step 2: Add the berries.
Step 3: Add the mint.
Step 4: Cut into slices.
Repeat for however many servings you want!

These sweet potato brownies are extremely decadent!

While is perfectly ok to treat yourself to the real deal every now and then, going for a healthy, homemade version on a regular basis will not only help your weight loss journey but will help also help your overall health. The homemade version is lower in sugar, higher in fiber and replaces white flour with coconut flour. Honestly I think this homemade version of these brownies are delicious AF.
What you need:
(To make 8 servings)
1 sweet potato
3 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey
3 tbsp coconut flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa chips
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
pinch of salt (optional)
What to do:
1- Bake sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Poke holes with fork & bake for 25-35 minutes or until soft.
2- Once the sweet potato is soft, peel off the skin & mash it with a fork in a bowl. Turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
3- Add eggs, coconut oil, honey and stir together
4- Add dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips. Mix well.
5- Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish
6- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
7- Let cool & enjoy!

If you like bananas, these banana popsicles are perfect for you:

These are not only hella delicious but also hella easy! Pretty much everyone I know can appreciate the classic banana & chocolate combo, so I thought I’d share these delicious way to take it to the next level. The best part about these is that you can have fun with the toppings and add whatever you like.
What you’ll need:⁠⠀
Popsicle sticks⁠⠀
6 bananas⁠⠀
1 bag chocolate chips ⁠⠀
½ tbsp coconut oil ⁠⠀
Toppings:⁠⠀
Coconut flakes ⁠⠀
Granola⁠⠀
Goji berries⁠⠀
Pistachios⁠⠀
Pomegranate seeds⁠⠀
Peanut butter ⁠⠀What to do:⁠⠀
1- Cut the bananas in half and insert 1 popsicle stick into each one. ⁠⠀
2- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl. ⁠⠀
3- Pour the chocolate into a mason jar. ⁠⠀
4- Dip each banana pop into the chocolate and set aside onto a plate with parchment paper. ⁠⠀
5- Add your desired toppings! ⁠⠀
6- Place in the freezer for at least an hour and a half.⁠⠀
7- Dig in! ⁠⠀

This upgraded version of the classic chocolate chip cookie is sure to impress:

Who doesn’t love a healthy dessert recipe?! I’m so happy that @itskitskitchen (check out her recipe page!) came up with this very innovative combination and allowed me to share it with you! It is such a satisfying combination and is made of all whole food ingredients! Full instructions below:⠀
Ingredients:⠀⠀⠀
1 cup packed blanched almond flour⠀⠀⠀
2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk⠀⠀⠀
2 Tbsp maple syrup⠀⠀⠀
1 tsp vanilla extract⠀⠀⠀
¼ cup chocolate chips⠀⠀⠀
*option to add some stevia too if you like it sweet⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀
What to do:⠀
1. Mix almond flour, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract and stevia in a bowl.⠀⠀⠀
2. Mix in chocolate chips.⠀⠀⠀
3. Roll in 7 balls. ⠀⠀⠀
4. Enjoy right away or refrigerate for a thick cookie ball.⠀⠀⠀

Looking to switch it up? This avocado paleo pudding is so rich, creamy, and easy to make!

If you’re looking for a cleaner way to satisfy your sweet tooth, here’s a great option. Avocados are packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin k, folate & vitamin C and help give this treat its creamy texture. This also makes a great dip or mixture for fruit if you’re looking to keep your calories a little lower by not opting for a big serving size!

Note: Depending on how sweet you like it, you could add more or less honey or some stevia if you’re looking to keep sugar lower.

Ingredients:
2 ripe avocados
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2-4 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
Sea salt (optional)
Stevia (if you opt for less honey)Instructions:
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender. Serve with fruit if desired.Makes about 2 bigger servings or 4 small servings that can be enjoyed with fruit.

These are just a few of my favorite dessert recipes but they're guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth! I'm always looking to try new recipes, so please share your favorites in the comments below!
xx,
Amanda

Morning Routine: 6 practices that most successful people do each day.

Last week I promised to tell you about 6 morning rituals that will increase productivity and help you be less depressed and anxious, more productive and feeling overall better? Well, I don’t want to make you wait any longer, so let’s dive right into it!

Do you know about this guy Hal Elrod? If you do, feel free to skim through this part, however if you don’t sit back, relax and let me tell you a bit about him. I promise, this part is important. 

Hal Elrod is an interesting guy who survived some things a lot of people wouldn’t. When he was 20 years old he died in a car accident. Legally, he was dead for 6 minutes. His legs were paralized, spent a week in a coma, doctors told him and his family that there’s barely any chance he’d be able to walk ever again. 

Hal accepted his faith and set a mindset that he’d be the happiest person in a wheelchair.. He was able to walk within 3 months of the car accident. 

You can find more about his full story online. 

Fast Forward a bit to when the financial crisis hit in 2007. Hal lost pretty much everything- job was gone, he couldn’t pay for the house and got more depressed than ever in his life, which is understandable in the circumstance, a lot of people were during those times. 

In the midst of his depression his friend recommended to go on a morning run and listen to a self-help motivational book. Hal laughed, not being a runner or having any interest in running, but did it anyways, and during the first run he went to listening to Jim Rohn’s book and heard a quote: 

Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” 

That was the quote that changed his life moving forward. He came home from the run and began his research on personal improvement techniques. 

He discovered 6 practices that most successful people do each day. However similar to what we saw in the CEOs mornings, some of them did the same things, and some did other things. In the end of it all it was these 6 that were the most consistent showing up in his research. The trick was that some did 2-3-4 out of six but no person did all 6 of them each day..

The question came up- what would happen, if one would do ALL of them EVERY day?

Hal abbreviated them into: 

SAVERS

silence   -   affirmations   -   visualisation   -   exercise   -   read   -   scribe

SAVERS

Silence- more commonly known as meditation, being present in the moment and focusing on breathing, calming the mind and relaxing the body to cleanse the negative energy. That’s what meditation is. 

Affirmations- yes, affirmations. You’re probably thinking-it started good, but now we’re moving to some silly motivational phrases that are so hard to believe in. Hear me out! I myself find affirmations as silly as every other person out there, but the truth is that they DO work! I’m not talking about getting into a power stance and saying something like “I attract money, I am a magnet for money, money gravitates towards me!” followed by sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing waiting for the mentioned money to appear out of thin air. What i’m talking about is writing down reminders of how capable you are, how far you’ve come and the goals ahead as well as steps to achieve them and why they matter. Using affirmation to keep yourself on track, add drive and motivation and re-energize yourself to achieve your potential!

Visualisation- whether you create a vision board, write what you desire in a journal or simply close your eyes and imagine it, visualisation is a powerful tool. If you imagine the way your day is going to go in your head all you need to do is just stick to what your brain created for you-positive, productive, good day with the family you love, work you enjoy doing and activities that make you happy.  I do understand that things can come up and throw the initial plan off but it is up to you to decide what kind of day to have. External events will happen every single day but it is up to us to either let it affect a good day ahead or adjust and keep on going! 

Exercise- or simply moving your body. So many of us have desk jobs and our bodies were created to move. It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk, time in the gym, some crunches on the floor next to your bed. Every little bit counts and every little bit is better than none. 

Read- that one is pretty straight forward. Grab a book, read a little bit. It can be for fun, educational, it really doesn’t matter. A few pages every day will add up fairly quickly though and next thing you know you read about 20 books in a year. 

Scribe-  fancy word for writing, aka journaling. You can spend some time with your thoughts or simply list a few things you’re grateful for. This can help you feel empowered, in tune with your thoughts and feelings, inspired  and grounded. 

Before you come in saying that that’s a lot of things to do in the morning, let me jump in for a second. Yes, it is a lot! You don’t have to spend hours on each one thought- that would take the whole day. You can designate an hour, 30 min, even do a 6 minute routine with only spending one minute doing each thing. If getting out of bed early seems just impossible you can also start doing good four rituals out of six while still in bed. 

The community that Hal built is absolutely amazing and so many people have experienced their life changed for the better since implementing the miracle morning. 

If all this is something that you want to pursue learning more about Miracle morning there are books that he wrote as well as a movie that came out in December of 2020. In writing of this blog post I did give it a watch and it’s a good summary of the book with interviews of successful people using this practice. I will have it all linked down below if that is something you’re interested in!

Now what? You might ask. That all is great, but how do I implement those practices into my life? 

You’ll find out more in Part 3!

By Co-Author (Primary): Karina Movsesova

Editor: Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio


6 Tips to Make Healthy Eating at Home a Little Bit Easier

One thing I often hear when it comes to healthy eating is that it’s too complicated, expensive, or time-consuming. The truth is that eating healthy looks different for everyone, but it definitely doesn't need to be costly, take forever, or be overwhelmingly complicated. There are so many ways to simplify your meals and streamline the cooking process to save you both time and money without sacrificing the quality of your food. That’s why I’m sharing 6 simple hacks that can help make healthy eating more sustainable and of course, delicious. ⁠

So here are 6 Simple Ways to Make Healthy Eating Easier: ⠀


⁠⠀
1- Buy pre-cut veggies.

There’s no rule that says vegetables are only healthy if you cut them yourself! Obviously it's important to be mindful and try to limit the amount of plastic wrapped items that you purchase, but if buying a few pre-cut vegetables means that you eat a healthy meal rather than a processed takeout meal that still uses packaging- I say do it. Buying certain vegetables pre-cut can save you lots of time and make the idea of whipping up a healthy meal a lot less overwhelming which is a win. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀

2- Invest in a few practical kitchen tools.

Gadgets like an egg cooker, air fryer, instant pot or food processor can make meal prepping at home so much easier and quicker. Not only does my egg cooker boil eggs fast AF, but they’re also perfect every time. Everyone has their favorites go-to meals and when it comes to meal prepping, it's so worth it to invest in tools that make those meals even easier to make on a regular basis.
⁠⠀

3- Choose recipes that use simple, common ingredients.

Taking the time to plan out your meals for the week and coordinating them to have an overlap of ingredients is one of the best ways to eat healthy on a budget, while also cutting down on food waste! This process will also make grocery shopping so much smoother and it’s a fun way to get creative in the kitchen by using the same ingredients in different ways.⁠

⁠⠀

4- Use spices to create flavors you love.

While I definitely love the taste of many raw vegetables, seasoning can make a huge difference when it comes to making a nutritious meal that you will savor and enjoy. Have fun with different spices and find combinations you love! Don’t be afraid to add some sea salt either.⁠⠀
⁠⠀

5- Meal prep ingredients you use often.

While meal prepping entire meals is fantastic, it can also save you lots of time to meal prep specific ingredients that you use often. For example, if you know that you tend to use a lot of chopped mushrooms and bell peppers in your food, it would be helpful to chop up some extra and have it ready to go for the next time you’re cooking. This saves so much time throughout the week and makes cooking delicious, healthy meals at home much more attainable.   ⁠⠀
⁠⠀

6- Freeze herbs in olive oil for easy cooking.

Just like some people freeze pieces of fruit in water, freezing herbs in olive oil is a great hack to maximize the life of your produce and add flavor to your food. Not only does this make cooking a bit easier, but it’s also a great way to preserve your herbs before they go bad! When you’re ready to cook, simply pop a cube or two out of an ice tray and you’re good to go! ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I hope these tips help meal prepping easier and a bit more fun!
Xx⁠⠀
Amanda ⁠⠀

morning routine - coffee at sunset

The Importance of a morning routine

It’s not uncommon to hear about top performers having a morning routine. Most CEOs wake up early to start their morning routine before the rest of the world is awake. But why the morning? What is so important about that time of day? And why should you care? 

morning routine - coffee at sunset

Well, certain things are not coincidences. And in the examples below we will talk about some CEOs routines and what they do and try to see the common in them, so let’s get into it.

Let’s look at Gary Vee for instance. Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and Internet personality. He is that guy who will tell you how things truly are without the bs. In an interview with Business Insider he shared his 3 hour morning routine:

Gary wakes up every day at 6 am, he then takes his phone with him to the bathroom where he digests a decent amount of news from TechMeme, Business Insider and ESPN, Nuzzel, Twitter and Instagram. Being one of the thought leaders in the marketing industry he starts conversations and replies to tweets. 

After that he then will work out with his trainer for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

After that he comes back home to say bye to his kids before school and gets ready to get into the office. On the car ride to the office Gary calls his family to catch up and see how they are doing after which he transitions into his work day. 

Another great example of a morning routine is the one that Oprah Winfrey has. Oprah doesn’t believe in alarms and naturally wakes up between 6 and 6:20 in the morning. She then takes her dogs on a walk and gets some steps in. She likes to begin the day by doing  "a series of spiritual exercises," so by 7:30am she settles in for a morning meditation. 

After that she moves onto making a cup of coffee. "As I wait for the brew to froth, I pull out a card from my 365 Gathered Truths box. I read five of them each morning; it's a beautiful way to start the day," she told the publication. 

After the meditation and coffee it is time for “moving meditation” aka workout. Oprah is a fan of Soul Cycle and has a fairly quick morning workout that she does: "I'll do 20 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes walking on the treadmill. I start out at the level-three incline setting and then every minute I add to the incline until I get to 12 or 15. And then I do sit-ups." 

I do personally believe that she has a gym in her home because she’s done with everything by 9 am including breakfast, which by the way consists of whole grain toast and fruit. And some things take less time than the time frame, non the less, I have a feeling that everything other than walking the dogs is done in the comfort of her home.

Let’s do one more shall we? 3 is a good number. Let’s talk about Richard Branson, you know, the guy who owns Virgin airlines. Richard wakes up at 5 am every day! "Getting up and at it early gives me time to get on top of things, and chart my day effectively," he says. First thing he does upon waking is take some time to sit down, reflect on things and plan his day. After that it’s time for exercise. “Exercise puts me in a great mind frame to get down to business, and also helps me to get the rest I need each night. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing I have applied myself both physically and mentally every day.” He enjoys tennis, going on a walk or a run, biking or kitesurfing. After that he spends time with his family at breakfast. The time with his family is non negotiable for him so he makes sure he gets it in every day. 

So let’s now look at this closer. Of course there are so many more influential people and these are just some of the examples but they are a decent indicator of a few things.  So, what is it that they have in common?

  1. They all wake up on the early side. Having a busy schedule for the day and not necessarily having a lot of time for yourself is hard. Waking up early is the solution. It’s that “me time.” It’s time to gather your thoughts, greet the day and get ready to be the best version of yourself for YOURSELF as well as people around you.  
  2. Working out. I know, I know,... now for the counterarguments of no time or no access to the gym in the pandemic. This is when waking up earlier comes into play. You CREATE the time you otherwise wouldn’t have. Morning exercise has a plethora of benefits-it helps your body release endorphins, otherwise also known as happy hormones, the benefits of a workout are noticeable for 13 hours! after a workout keeping you energized throughout your day. 
  3. Meditation as well as reflection practices are similar but for the sake of this list of commonalities we will put them into one. Taking time to meditate or pray is important because it allows you to be present in the moment. Same with reflection, but we’ll get to that in a sec. You’re probably thinking, but how can I be properly present in the moment? I don’t actually know how to meditate and how do I sit still when I have all the things that I need to do in my brain? Well, I’m glad you asked. You let your mind wonder. You do it every day and as each day goes by it will get easier to clear your mind and just be present and breath and listen to what’s around you. And if your mind wanders back to your to-do list, it’s ok too. Truly. We as humans are born to be storytellers and whatever the thoughts are is your storytelling brain telling you a story of the day ahead of you. Now, when it comes to reflection, I find it to be a great practice that, similar to meditation, makes you take a moment and be present. Think of all the good things in life, and the bad ones too. Did they teach you something? Are you thankful for them and why? Being present is such an awesome power that once you unlock it you keep coming back for more. 
  4. They all have food. That one is more of a joke one, because we have to eat food to survive, but on a more serious note- having a good breakfast can fuel you up with energy for the day and get you excited for what waits ahead, so in all seriousness, breakfast is pretty important unless you follow a more structured intermittent fasting plan. Still, you’re technically having a very late breakfast.  
  5. Last but definitely not least- family time. Gary Vee and Richard Branson alike prioritize morning family time, whether in person or over the phone/facetime to catch up and check on their family. Also, family doesn't have to be blood family. It’s your friends, people YOU chose to be your family-check in with them, how are they doing? Something as simple as a daily morning text can make someone’s day. Hey, how are you doing today? Copy paste that. It’s so simple yet so powerful. We are created to be a part of society, we crave connection. Connection needs to be nurtured and nourished. If you don’t water a plant it’ll die, same with connections. Show up, show that you care and good things will follow. 

So here are some great examples of the parts of the morning routines that you can use to build your own version of a morning routine. But… What if I told you that there’s a person who did the research of a variety of successful people's morning routines and discovered 6! That they share and swear by as contributing to their success…

Make sure to tune in soon for part 2

By Co-Author (Primary): Karina Movsesova

Editor: Amanda (Meixner) Rocchio


6 Healthy & Delicious Holiday Recipes

The holiday season is finally here and so are all the cravings for classic holiday treats! I know it can be especially hard to stay on track around this time of year, and while it's totally ok to treat yourself to a few of your favorites, I decided to round up some upgraded holiday treats for you to enjoy. Remember it’s not about depriving yourself of your favorite foods– it’s about fueling your body with nutritious foods that taste delicious and make you feel good from the inside out! Weather you're spending the holidays with family or celebrating by yourself, I've got you covered with these delicious healthy holiday recipes that you're sure to love. With everything from baked goods to eggnog to fun activities and potpourri, there's a recipe for everyone.

Craving a chocolatey, delicate dessert? This Paleo Pecan Pie is sure to satisfy your cravings:

This chocolate pecan pie is crazy delicious and guaranteed to make you want seconds. Plus, it’s made of quality, whole food ingredients.

What you’ll need for the crust:

3 cups almond flour

6 tbsp ghee, melted

For the chocolate layer you’ll need:

1 cup canned coconut milk

10 ounces dark chocolate (about 2-3 chocolate bars)

For the pecan layer you’ll need:

1 can full fat coconut milk

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup whole pecan

½ cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp sea salt

 

What to do:

1- Start by heating 1 can coconut milk & coconut sugar over high heat in a saucepan for the pecan layer, stirring often.

2- Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, allow to cool for 40 minutes while preparing the crust.

3- For the crust, mix the almond flour and melted ghee until combined.

4- Once combined, pour the mixture into a pie dish and flatten into a crust. Once crust is formed, bake for 10 minutes at 325F. Set aside and let cool. Once cool place in the freezer for 10-20 min.

5- While crust is cooling, melt 1 cup of the canned coconut milk with the dark chocolate and stir until smooth.

6- Pour the chocolate layer into cooled pie crust and freeze for at least 30min-90min.

7- Take the cooled pecan filling (coconut milk + coconut sugar) and whisk in 1 egg at a time followed by the vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon and chopped pecans.

8- Pour the pecan filling over the frozen chocolate layer and bake for 50-65 minutes at 350F.

9- Allow pie to cool, top with more pecans & the place in freezer once it’s completely cool.

10- Enjoy!

If you're a fan of cobbler, you're going to love this super delicious Paleo Blueberry Cobbler:

I love a delicious baked good every now and then, and this blueberry cobbler is the perfect treat for colder weather. Plus, it’s so easy to make and much healthier than store-bought cobblers you’ll find at the grocery store.

 

What you’ll need:

4 cups blueberries

4 tbsps maple syrup

1/2 cup plus 1½ teaspoons tapioca flour

½ cup almond flour

2 tsps baking powder

3 ½ tbsps almond milk

3 ½ tbsps melted coconut oil

3 tbsps coconut sugar

2 tsps vanilla extract

 

What to do:

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2- In a bowl, combine the blueberries, syrup, and 1½ teaspoon tapioca flour.

3- Grease a casserole dish with a light coat of coconut oil spray and pour in the blueberry mixture.

4- In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour,  ½ cup tapioca flour, baking powder, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar.

5- Once smooth, scoop the mixture on top of the blueberries and spread with a spatula.

6- Bake for 30 minutes.

7- Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy!

 

Looking to balance out the sweet stuff? Try these simple Fruit & Veggie Platters and dip recipes:

While I definitely enjoy plenty of the sweet stuff, I also love bringing fruit or veggie platters to events to help balance all of the delicious, sugary goodies that we’re enjoying. These tasty dip recipes come in so handy around the holidays and are the perfect treat to serve with your favorite fruits and vegetables.

 

For the Pesto Dip (vegan):

2 cups spinach + 1/4 cup basil

+ 1/4 cup parsley + 1/2 cup pine nuts + 1/2 cup nutritional yeast +

3 cloves garlic + 1 tbsp lemon +

1/3 cup olive oil + sea salt + pepper

 

Yogurt Dip:

2 cups unflavored plain yogurt + 2 bananas +

stevia

 

What to do:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor & enjoy!

Love a good mug full of warm, sweet drinks this time of year? You're going to love these upgraded favorite hot drinks:

While of course enjoying the standard versions of these holiday drinks as a treat is totally fine, I thought I’d share these upgraded recipes so that you can enjoy them more regularly and from your own home. With these, you can enjoy all of the holiday-spice goodness of a peppermint mocha, eggnog, or hot chocolate without the filler ingredients and all the added sugar.

Eggnog

Here’s what you need for the Eggnog:

8-12oz unsweetened almond milk

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp maple syrup

¼ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp nutmeg

Cinnamon to taste

 

What to do:

1- Beat the egg yolks, maple syrup, and almond milk in a separate bowl

2- Heat the mixture on the stove over medium heat and whisk regularly until it reaches 160°(the temperature that is safe to eat eggs at). It shouldn’t boil. If it boils, remove to an empty burner and keep mixing.

3- Once it reaches 160°, pour into a blender.

4- Add the vanilla extract and spices.

4- Blend and sip!

 

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Here’s what you need for the Hot Chocolate:

8-12oz unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I prefer the taste of plant based protein in this recipe but whey should work fine too)

1 tbsp chocolate chips

 

What to do:

1- Heat the almond milk on the stove.

2- Add the hot almond milk and rest of ingredients to a blender.

3- Blend and enjoy!

 

Peppermint Mocha

What you need for the Peppermint Mocha:

8-12oz unsweetened almond milk⁠

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 instant coffee packet or espresso shot⁠

1/4 tsp peppermint extract⁠

1/2 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil⁠

Stevia to taste

 

What to do:⁠

1- Heat the almond milk on the stove.⁠

2- Add the hot almond milk and rest of the ingredients to a blender.⁠

3- Blend and enjoy!

Want your home to smell warm & cozy? This holiday potpourri recipe smells amazing and is so easy:

Potpourri is an easy and natural way to make your home smell delicious AF, plus it can be a great way to use leftover peels, herbs, etc. The best part about these recipes is that you can add in extra peels, spices, and herbs that you may have on hand to make it your own and they take less than 5 minutes to prepare.⁠

 

What you’ll need for the Holiday Potpourri:⁠

-1 orange, sliced (or orange peels)⁠

-1 cup cranberries⁠

-4-5 cinnamon sticks⁠

-2-3 rosemary sprigs⁠

-1tbsp ground cloves

-2 tsp nutmeg⁠

What you need for Fresh Lemon Potpourri:⁠

-2 lemons, sliced⁠

-3-4 rosemary sprigs

-½ tbsp vanilla

What to do:⁠

1- Combine the ingredients for your selected scent in a large pot.

2- Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.

3- Once boiling, bring potpourri down to a simmer for as long as you want. Enjoy!

Looking for something fun and healthy to do over the holidays? I got you covered! Not only is this idea super cute but it’s very practical:

I've shared this fruit tree with my friends in years past and it was a total hit! It’s very easy to grab the fruit off the toothpicks and of course aesthetically pleasing.

 

What you need:

1 pineapple

1 pear

1 wooden shish kebob skewer

Pack of toothpicks

Star cookie cutter (or if you’re skilled, you can just cut it in a star shape)

Strawberries

Purple grapes

Green grapes

Kiwis

Blackberries

(Option to add other fruits like oranges etc - have fun with it!)

 

What to do:

1 - Slice off the edges of the pineapple & the top. Cut an extra top slice for the star (make sure it’s thick enough so the star isn’t flimsy).

2 - Trim the top off a pear and use the shish kebob skewer to connect the pear and pineapple.

3 - Prepare the colorful fruit. Cut the tops off of strawberries and cut kiwis into slices.

4 - Use toothpicks to stick the fruit around the pineapple and pear. Use a toothpick to stick the pineapple star on the very top.


Healthy Breakfast Recipes to Start Your Day Right

One of the best ways to set the tone for your day is having a tasty and nutritious breakfast! Not only will a hearty breakfast keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day, but the right flavor combinations can put you in a great mood and help get you excited to eat more healthy meals throughout the day. Something as simple as eggs with sautéed vegetables could satisfy your needs and cravings, but even if you’re not a fan of eggs there are so many high protein, lower sugar ways to start your day or healthy alternative ways to start your day! That's why I'm sharing a roundup of my all-time favorite healthy breakfast recipes that you'll love along with some things to keep in mind when choosing your breakfast.

When You're Tight on Time in the Morning...

breakfast vs. breakfast

Something to keep in mind when you're crunched for time in the mornings is the power of plain, whole foods. I know it can be tempting to reach for a cereal and  juice that claim to be full of fiber and other nutrients, however it's so important to read the labels and know what you're actually getting. Most of the time these foods are just highly processed sugar bombs with a tiny bit of fiber or nutritional value. When it comes to juice, eating whole fruit is a much better, lower calorie and higher fiber option than fruit juice. While you could easily drink 11.5 oz of orange juice, you most likely would not eat 3.5 oranges in one sitting (the equivalent in calorie amount).⠀

So with that in mind, if you've been looking for some healthy recipes to get you excited about breakfast, I've got you covered. Keep reading to get the full breakdown of my go-to delicious and nutritious breakfast recipes:

 

If you crave sweet foods in the morning, you're going to love these 5 Ingredient Pancakes:

I love upgrading a classic food like pancakes with healthier and simpler ingredients! Coconut flour, used in this recipe, is a great alternative to white or wheat flour because it’s high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. Coconut flour is also low in sugar and digestible carbs, and has a low glycemic index. All around wins!

What you need:

(Makes 4 pancakes)

1 ripe banana

4 large eggs

1/8-1/4 cup water

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

*stevia if you like it sweeter*⠀

What to do:

1 - Mash the banana with a fork

2 - Whisk eggs and combine in a bowl with banana, coconut flour, baking soda and the optional stevia

3 - Mix well then add an 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup water depending on desired consistency

4 - Heat a pan with some oil or non toxic spray oil

5 - Using a 1/4 cup, scoop pancake batter into the pan and shape into a circle. Cook for about 2 minutes each side on medium heat. (I covered pan with lid too)

6 - Repeat for 4 pancakes total

7 - Enjoy with berries or maple syrup.

If French Toast is more your vibe, I've got you covered there too: 

Who says French Toast can’t be a nutritious experience? I made some changes to the traditional recipe so you can enjoy it at home with better ingredients!

What you need:

(makes 2-3 servings)

2-3 pieces sprouted bread

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1-2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp ghee

1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

toppings of choice

What to do: 

1- Mix the eggs, almond milk, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and cinnamon in a flat wide bowl.

2- Soak one piece bread in mixture for about 2 min each side.

3- In a hot pan, add 1/2 tsp ghee.

4- Add the soaked bread. Cook for about 2 min each side and repeat!

5- Top with leftover maple syrup and toppings of choice.

 

Short on time in the mornings? These overnight oats are prefect for grab and go breakfasts:

Overnight oats aren’t just tasty, they also make the perfect nutritious breakfast, especially if you are short on time in the mornings. I love that you can mix and match flavors, milks, and toppings to make each batch your own and they typically take less than 5 minutes to make.

What you’ll need for each recipe:

Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter
½ scoop chocolate protein powder
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup old fashioned oats
½ banana
1 ½ tbsp peanut butter
Chocolate chips

PB&J
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup old fashioned oats
Stevia
¾ cup raspberries
2 tbsp peanut butter
2-3 strawberries (optional)

Peach Blueberry Pie:
1/2 c rolled oats regular
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 c diced peaches fresh or frozen
½ cup blueberries
½ tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon⠀
1-2 tsp maple syrup

Chocolate Cherry Coconut:⁠
¾ cup rolled oats
⅔ cup coconut milk ⁠or almond milk
Monk fruit⁠
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder⁠
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut⁠
½ cup frozen cherries⁠
¼ cup chocolate chips

What to do:⁠
1- Combine oats, seeds, & all liquid ingredients in a bowl (including sweetener)
2- Add in your berries, nut butters, chocolate chips or coconut flakes.⁠
3- If making pb & jelly, mash up the raspberries on a plate and set aside.
4- Stir oat mixture to combine and scoop into a mason jar.
5- Add layers and toppings.
6- Store in the fridge and eat when ready!

Here's another delicious make-ahead breakfast idea to save you time:

Yogurt parfaits aren’t just tasty and aesthetically pleasing, they also make a nutritious breakfast, especially if you are short on time in the mornings. I love that you can mix and match layers and toppings to make each batch your own and they typically take less than 5 minutes to make!⁠Feel free to add some monk fruit, stevia or honey to the yogurt if you like it even sweeter.⁠⠀

What you’ll need for each yogurt parfait:⁠

Chia Seed Berry Blend
½ cup Greek yogurt⁠
1/3 cup raspberries⁠
1/3 cup blackberries⁠
1/2 tbsp chia seeds⁠

Chocolate PB Banana
½ cup Greek yogurt⁠
½ banana⁠
1-2 tbsp peanut butter⁠
1 tbsp chocolate chips⁠

Cinnamon Apple Pie
½ cup Greek yogurt⁠
1/3 cup old fashioned oats⁠
1 apple, chopped⁠
1 tbsp coconut oil⁠
cinnamon to taste⁠

Blueberry Pistachio
½ cup Greek yogurt⁠
½ cup blueberries⁠
1-2 tbsp pistachios⁠

What to do:⁠
1- Pour a thin layer of Greek yogurt into a jar.⁠
2- If making the berry blend, mash up the berries on a plate and set aside.⁠ If making the cinnamon apple pie, cook the apple, coconut oil, and cinnamon over medium heat for 5 minutes.⁠
3- On the second layer, add in your fruit, nut butters, seeds, & chocolate chips one layer at a time.⁠
4- Scoop some more Greek yogurt on top of your previous layer.⁠
5- Add remaining layers and toppings.⁠
6- Store in the fridge and eat when ready!⁠

Prefer a savory, high-protein breakfast? Check out this combo:

I love finding new ways to prepare eggs since they're such a high-protein, nutrient dense food. These egg cups are so easy to make ahead of time and you’ll be full for hours with nutrients in the bank. Each egg cup is 114 cals, 8g protein, 3g carbs, 6.5g fat and I usually have eat least 2, if not 3. A quality protein shake with some healthy fats and greens, Greek yogurt with fruit, chia seed pudding or even a clean protein bar are some good examples.

What you'll need:

10-12 eggs

1/2 cup tomatoes

handful of sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup red onion

cooked ground turkey crumbles

1 cup kale

olive oil

sea salt

What to do: 

1- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.

2- Spray your muffin tray with olive oil or cupcake liners.

3- Pour the eggs about halfway into each cup.

4- Add the rest of the ingredients in each cup.

5- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350F.

6- Enjoy or save in the fridge for later!

 

As always I hope these are helpful! Let me know which combo is your favorite in the comments!

Xx,

Amanda


Drinks to Love & Drinks to Minimize

One thing that we all have in common in the need for hydration. While we all know that water is the name of the hydration game, there are a lot of other drinks out there that can have benefits, and some that simply claim to. That's why changing what you drink is one of the most foundational swaps you can make to help elevate your overall health and aid with weight loss. Not only can it be a great way to cut back on sugar, but incorporating certain drinks can even elevate your health and provide essential nutrients.
I want to prevent you from making the same mistakes I did so I thought I would share some drinks to incorporate more of, and some to minimize. It's important to remember that while it’s totally great to treat yourself to fun drinks, make sure what you’re drinking on a daily basis is nourishing you, not depleting you.

So without further ado, here are 5 Drinks to Love & 5 to Minimize:

Drinks to Maximize:

Water  should always be a priority on your list because even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function plus trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals. I always start my day with anywhere from 16oz-32oz water since you essentially wake up dehydrated from the night. If drinking enough water is not a habit for you yet, try setting reminders on your phone to drink every 2 hours or keep a full bottle at your desk!⠀⠀
Protein shake- a shake that is low in sugar can be an easy & convenient way to hydrate, get in more protein, and have a healthy snack.⁠ Feel free to add your own fruit at home since that’s the good kind of sugar paired with fiber.
Kombucha (Lower-Sugar) - is a fermented tea that contains live bacteria found naturally in your gut. Taking in these probiotics can support & even help out the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria in your GI tract. If you're sensitive to caffeine, just be mindful that it does contain some caffeine so you may want to avoid it in the afternoons and look for a brand that isn't packed with sugar.
Herbal Tea- Has been around for hundreds of years & isn't not going anywhere. There are a slew of health benefits associated with many herbal teas, making them a good choice if you're looking for a refreshing drink other than water. (Note: "fit tea" is not an herbal tea.)
Coffee- A hearty cup of joe contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals, is high in antioxidants, and is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. It contains caffeine which is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep and cause problems for some people. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to opt for decaffeinated coffee, which uses solvents to extract the caffeine from coffee beans. However for most, caffeine can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, and even exercise performance.
Actual Green Juice- Can be a great way to pack in extra nutrients and have a tasty snack. All of the fibrous pulp is removed in the juicing process, leaving behind just the liquid from the fruit/veggies. Because of this, juice can be easier to digest and have more concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals than a smoothie. However, juices made of mostly fruit with few vegetables can be packed with sugar. Fruit juices lack fiber to help slow the absorption of sugar and can raise blood sugar levels quickly, so it’s definitely better to juice mostly vegetables along with maybe one fruit to get the most nutrients or use a high quality green juice powder like my favorite, Organifi Green Juice. If you'd like to try it for yourself you can even use my code MEOWMEIX for a 15% discount.

Drinks to Minimize:⠀⠀

Sodas- Are packed with sugar and can be highly addicting. They also contain all kinds of artificial filler ingredients, food dyes, and more. Even just swapping one soda a day for a healthier choice like water can do wonders for your overall health.
Fruit Juice- The juicing process removes the fiber from the fruit and acts similarly in your body to other sugary drinks. Juicing yourself at home can be better, but can still raise blood sugar levels quickly, so it’s definitely better to avoid fruit juices on a regular basis.  ⠀⠀
⠀⠀
Fake Green Juices- There are many “green juices” out there on the market now that are either mostly concentrated fruit juices or have other filler ingredients. That huge amount of sugar will lead to a a blood sugar spike and crash later, especially due to the lack of fiber. The way these “green juices” are processed strips the fruit of many of it’s beneficial vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients.
Store-Bought Smoothies - Like the fake green juices, these are sugar-bombs in disguise. If you find yourself in the mood for a refreshing smoothie, you can try making one at home with ice, water/coconut water, your favorite fruits and veggies, and even protein powder if you want.
Frappucinos - are basically sugar with a side of coffee. With a whopping 61g sugar, your standard frappuccino could easily be mistaken for ice cream. Of course treating yourself to a sugary drink like that on occasion wouldn’t be an issue but I want to make sure you’re making the smart choice on a regular basis! Stick to black coffee with almond milk and stevia/monk fruit for a much more nutritious and equally delicious drink on a regular basis.
Hope you found this helpful!
Xoxo,⠀⠀
Amanda⠀⠀

Breaking Down the Egg

Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods you can eat! Remember when we used to be afraid of egg yolks? I am so glad that we’re past that stage overall. While egg whites and egg yolks have different nutrient profiles, they can both be a great part of an overall healthy diet and can be incorporated in many different ways. That's why I'm breaking down the egg white vs. whole egg debate and sharing 6 of my favorite ways to eat eggs.

Egg Whites vs Whole Egg

Egg whites overall are a lean source of protein and can be good to incorporate if weight loss if one of your goals. However many of the nutrients actually reside in the egg yolk. Whole eggs contain all of the vitamin A, D, E & K. Whole eggs are also full of protein, choline, antioxidants, omega 3’s, and they contain all the essential amino acids that our bodies need! Additionally, they have a higher amount of B6, B12 and folic acid compared to their egg white counterparts. That’s why it’s a good idea to not skimp on the yolk too much.⠀⠀

If you want to add more volume to a meal, a nice trick is to do an omelet with 1-2 whole eggs + 2-3 egg whites (you can use the egg white cartons if you want to reduce waste). This way you get the best of both worlds!

Not only are eggs great because they’re packed with nutrients, but they’re also extremely versatile and taste delicious at any time of the day. That’s why I’m sharing my 6 favorite ways to eat eggs, breakfast lunch or dinner.

 

6 Ways to Eat Eggs

1- Bake egg cups in a muffin tin with your favorite veggies, high quality meats, or cheeses. ⁠⠀
2- Boil and add them to your go-to salad. Not only do eggs provide a good amount of protein, but they taste great with all kinds of fresh veggies.⁠⠀
3- Scramble them in a pan and eat with your favorite breakfast sides (or any sides really). ⁠⠀
4- Make an omelette! You can also have fun with it and add vegetables and high quality cheeses. ⁠⠀
5- Cook an egg sunny side up and pair it with any type of vegetables, rice, etc. The runny yolk creates a delicious sauce that adds tons of flavor!⁠⠀
6- Make eggs in purgatory by cooking the eggs in marinara sauce and topping with fresh basil leaves

Note: Many cultures have different variations of this dish, but the southern Italian variant is called Spicy Eggs in Purgatory. Similar dishes are Shakshouka (Middle East/N. Africa), Huevos Rancheros (Mexico/Southwest US), & Huevos a la Flamenco (Andalusia). Each of these is spiced/flavored slightly different.⁠⠀

 

Now if you’re wonder how to boil the perfect eggs, follow the instructions closely below:

1 - Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with cool water by 1 inch.
2 - Cover the pan with a lid and bring water to a rolling boil over high heat.
3 - When the water has reached a full boil, set a timer for the desired time and keep it full boiling the whole time.
4 - Immediately place the eggs in an ice water bath once they are done (this helps ensure they come out easier to peel too!)

Timing:
Soft boiled - 2 minutes
Medium boiled - 3-5 minutes
Hard boiled - 6-7

I hope you found this helpful! What’s your favorite way to egg?⁠

Xoxo,
Amanda


healthier peanut butter and jelly

How to Upgrade a Childhood Classic: PB&J Sandwich

This blog is proof that you can make healthy upgrades to some of your classic favorite foods. There’s something about a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich that brings back so many childhood memories! And while it’s totally okay to treat yourself to the classic version occasionally, there are also some easy swaps you can make if you want to enjoy a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich more regularly at home. That’s why I’m breaking down the original version and sharing some tips for how to upgrade a classic into a more nutritious but equally delicious sandwich.

For the Bread:

White breads like wonder breads are stripped of much of their nutrients, can be bleached and often contain added sugar. Try to opt for sprouted, whole grain bread when you can (Ezekiel is one of my fav).

For Picking Out a Peanut Butter Brand:

Not all brands are created equal - make sure to check nutrition facts and ingredients. Even some brands of peanut butter labeled “natural” will still include added sugar. I usually opt for brands which ingredients include simply just “peanuts” or “peanuts, salt.” The same goes for other nut/seed butters if you prefer a different flavor.

For the Jam Portion:

I love using fresh fruit instead of jam when I can. Mashed raspberries, strawberry slices or even banana slices are some great options. There are plenty of fresh fruit that taste great on an upgraded peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so I thought I’d share 6 of my favorite fruits to add:

 

For the grape sandwich- Cut the grapes in half. Spread natural peanut butter on both sides of the bread and lay the grapes down flat. Close the sandwich and enjoy.

For the peach sandwich- Slice a fresh peach. Spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread and add your peaches. Close the top and eat it!

For the banana chocolate chip- Cut the banana into thick slices. Spread natural peanut butter on both sides of bread and lay the bananas flat. Top with a handful of chocolate chips, close the sandwich and dig in.

For the raspberry jam- Mash fresh raspberries to create a “jam” or use my raspberry chia seed jam recipe below! Spread peanut butter onto the bread, add your chosen mixture, and close it. You’re good to go!

For the kiwi sandwich- Cut a kiwi into thick slices, then cut each half into another bite-sized half. Add the kiwi to your bread and peanut butter and dig in.

For the blackberry jam- You can mash the blackberries by themselves or sub blackberries in my jam recipe above!

If you aren't a fan of having whole fruit on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are also plenty of ways to create your own upgraded jam at home. Highly processed jellies can be loaded with sugar and made with high fructose corn syrup so I also included an easy, alternative recipe for homemade jelly that you’ll love, with simple ingredients!⁠ Note: I used raspberries, but you can easily sub in your favorite fruit of choice.

 

What you need for the the raspberry jam:⁠

3 cups raspberries

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp lemon juice⁠⁠

What to do:⁠

1- Bring the raspberries, water, syrup, and lemon juice to a boil.

2- Mash the berries using a fork.

3- Reduce the heat to a simmer for 9 minutes.

4- Stir in the chia seeds and cook for another 9 minutes.

5- Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

6- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge!

Additionally, there are some better berry preserves out there that at least contain less additives than Smuckers, if you really prefer to go that route.

Which one is your favorite version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Xoxo,⁠

Amanda⁠


8 Naturals Ways to Support Your Immune System

Supporting your immune system is one of the most crucial things you can do for your overall health. However, I'm here to say that you don't need to rely on tons of supplements everyday in order to support a healthy immune system! Many supplements and products in the grocery store claim to help boost immune health, and while a small percentage of of those claims may even be true, simple lifestyle adjustments are the best thing you can do to give your immune system a leg up. It may seem like it requires an overwhelming amount of hard work to feel your best, but it's actually much more simple than you'd think.
 
That's why we discuss all things immune support in our recent podcast episode, Science Backed Ways to Support Your Immune System. In the episode, we take a deep dive into how the immune system functions, ways to support it naturally, and so much more so that you can feel 100%.
immune system

Because it can play such an important role in overall health, I want to share a few of our top tips for strengthening your immune system:

1- Get adequate sleep.

Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep are more likely to get sick. Sleep strengthens T-cells, which are a type of immune cell that fights against regular pathogens. While it varies, most adults should get at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night, so if you have trouble sleeping, that's definitely something you'd want to figure out. Simple adjustments like limiting screen time before bed, getting blackout curtains, and taking melatonin can make a big difference. Inadequate sleep may even increase your risk of getting sick, so match sure to catch your zzzz’s.⠀

2- Eat your veggies.

Eating an array of colorful vegetables provides a wide range of essential micronutrients and fiber which supports a healthy gut & can help build up your microbiome all which supports a healthy immune system. Additionally, the antioxidants found in vegetables can help decrease inflammation, which can contribute to illness. Some even contain high amounts of nutrients like vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of the common cold.

3 - Minimize your consumption of highly processed foods.

While you should definitely enjoy your favorite treats in moderation, minimizing the amount of highly processed foods you consume can help lower inflammation caused from many additives, filler ingredients & added sugars. Additionally, added sugars in excess can play a role in the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease all of which can suppress your immune system and increase risk of getting sick.

4- Focus on eating mostly whole foods.

Whole foods provide a wide variety of health benefits. A diverse diet can help lower your chances of a micronutrient deficiency which can have a negative impact on your immune response. One of the best ways to support your immune system is to consume a wide variety of nutrient-packed whole foods like legumes, nuts/seeds, healthy fats, etc.. Additionally, shopping for produce that is in season can be a fun way to try new foods and ensure that you'e getting a variety of nutrients.

5- Get some daily movement in.

Exercise and movement, for many different reasons, support overall health, which supports a healthy immune system and metabolic health. Moderate exercise can also reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly. Just keep in mind that too much prolonged intense exercise can sometimes have the opposite effect and end up suppressing your immune system, so be sure to not over-do it.

6- Manage your stress.

 Chronic stress can promote inflammation and reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off antigens. If you have trouble relieving stress, try adding in relaxing elements to your routine like meditation, epsom salt baths, journaling, etc.. that will help your body relax into parasympathetic mode and support a healthy immune system.

7- Stay hydrated.

Water is a key foundation to overall health, which includes supporting a healthy immune function. Not only does it help you feel full and energized, but staying hydrated can also help your body naturally eliminate toxins & other bacteria. Drinking water throughout the day is a simple way to prevent dehydration and help support your immune system.

8- Wash yo’ damn hands.

Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do when it comes to supporting your immune system. Many germs that contribute to illnesses are spread from surfaces to people so it's always a good idea to wash your hands frequently, especially after you've been outside of the home. A drop of soap diluted in water is sufficient to rupture and kill many types of bacteria & viruses so remember to wash your hands thoroughly.
All of these steps will support a strong immune system and not only help you not only avoid getting sick, but feel your best for whatever life throws at you. If you want to learn more about the different ways to naturally support your immune system, check out our latest Master Your Health podcast where we take a deep dive into to Science Backed Ways to Support Your Immune System on Apple Podcast (Click here for Spotify | Click here to listen on Android).
Hope these tips are helpful!
xx,
Amanda⠀