brown bag monday: morning motivation

brownbagmonday

Although I’m usually a morning person, there are some days when it’s hard to get out of bed at the crack of dawn. Or before it, during the winter months. The promise of a few extra winks of sleep or warm blankets on chilly mornings are awfully tempting to ignore. But for morning people, this often is our most productive time of day so lingering in bed can throw off our entire day.

If this also is a struggle for you, here’s the tip to take with you this week:

morning motivation

When I add things into my morning that I love and look forward to, it’s much more likely that I’ll get up and moving instead of hitting the snooze button endless times. For example, I love starting my day in prayer and in studying the Bible as these anchor me for the day. When I need extra motivation, I’ll brew a warm mug of black or lemon-ginger cleansing tea and diffuse a favorite essential oil. These activities wake me up enough that I’m ready to tackle my workout and my work.

There are endless possibilities of things to get you going…the satisfaction of crossing chores off your list first thing, the color of a favorite mug, the texture of a blanket, a favorite spot to curl up, a friend to meet or talk with, a place to go, music to listen to.

And while these activities, routines or favorite things might change over time or with the seasons or when they no longer hold wonder, the important thing is to find that certain something that puts a sparkle in your eye as your feet hit the floor in the morning.

Are you a morning person? What are some favorite things you love to do that could be incorporated into your morning routine?

Need a little help brainstorming…send me a message for a free mini coaching session on this.

anatomy of a power packed, gluten free breakfast

gf breakfastAs May winds down, so does my anti-candida diet. Since May is Celiac Awareness Month and the anti-candida diet also is gluten free, I’m sharing the breakfast that has largely been a part of my mornings this past month.

Have you ever had quinoa for breakfast instead of oatmeal?

Love this protein-packed grain and often swapped it in over my usual gf standby of buckwheat and millet.

I try to be mindful in eating a variety of foods that pack in the nutrients, so here’s the breakdown of what is included in this breakfast:

  • Quinoa: is one of the few plants that is a complete protein and also has iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, Vitamin E and fiber
  • Chia seeds: contain fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut: contains protein, fiber, iron, zinc
  • Ground flax seeds: gives you micronutrients, fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, Omega-3
  • Cinnamon: has multiple health benefits and contains antioxidants and is antimicrobial
  • Coconut oil: has beneficial medium-chain fatty acids
  • Blueberries:contains antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and copper.
  • Unsweetened almond milk: is rich in phosphorus, potassium and zinc

What your favorite gluten free breakfast? Favorite hot or cold cereal mix ins?

brown bag monday: food focus tip

brownbagmonday

As I’ve made a major switch in my diet four years ago by choosing to eat a plant-based diet and then tweaking that to reduce my sugar intake a couple years later, I’ve come to appreciate just how closely food is tied to our emotions, memories and sense of community.

Suddenly, many of our go-to foods are off the list and we may need to learn new cooking techniques or try new foods that are foreign to us. Depending on the dietary change, it can be a small or steep learning curve. And if you’re making these changes for health reasons, like discovering a gluten-intolerance  or cancer or heart disease or diabetes, you also may be dealing with emotions and frustrations related to the diagnosis.

So here’s the tip that you can take with you for this brown bag monday:

focus brownbagmonday

Whenever we focus on what we can’t eat…a list that may be quite extensive…it’s easy to become frustrated and even depressed. Focusing on what you can eat frees you up to be creative, to appreciate the variety that is available to you and helps keep your outlook positive.

I learned the value of this tip two years ago when I did the anticandida diet for the first time, especially during the strictest part. By switching my mindset, I was better able to come up with a solid meal plan that didn’t make me feel deprived.

If you’ve had to make a change to your diet, what was the hardest part? If you know you need to make a change and haven’t what is one thing that is holding you back?

raw rutabaga pizzas (vegan, gluten free, anticandida diet, paleo, raw)

raw rutabaga pizzas The hardest thing about modifying your diet can be figuring out just what the heck your now going to eat. This month, I’ve been following the anti-candida diet which cuts out all sugars and drastically cuts carbs among other things to address the problems that come with a systemic yeast overgrowth.

Since I’m a big fan of hummus which is not ACD-friendly, I needed an alternative for a hearty and satisfying snack. And thankfully I found it in baba ganoush. I also had to switch out raw carrots for the first couple of weeks and replace those with rutabaga – a veggie with strong anti-fungal properties.

I came up with this snack to satisfy my usual carrots + 100_4865hummus cravings. Usually, I’ll just slice it in rounds and pile on the tomatoes, but it can also be down-sized by cutting the rutabaga into smaller circles or fun shapes with cookie cutters. If you do this, just be sure to eat the scraps instead of pitching them because #zerofoodwaste.

 

The baba ganoush recipe is inspired by Minimalist Baker and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve typed “baby” instead of “baba” while writing this post. LOL

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of th raw rutabaga pizzas recipe

raw rutabaga pizzas

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Cool Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

    For the Baba Ganoush

    • 2 medium eggplants
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 lemons, juiced
    • 4 T tahini
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • water

    For the rutabaga pizzas

    • 1 fresh rutabega
    • cherry or roma tomatoes
    • fresh basil (optional)

    Instructions

    For the Baba Ganoush:

    Peel and slice the eggplant into disks about ¼’ thick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and if desired, drizzle with avocado oil. Bake eggplant in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Cool slightly.

    Place eggplant and remaining baba ganoush ingredients (except the water), in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple of times. Add water to thin if needed.

    Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

    Baba ganoush can be kept in the fridge for several days if stored properly in an airtight jar.

    For the Pizzas:

    Peel rutabaga and slice thinly (about 1/8” ). If desired, use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes for smaller, bite-sized appetizers.*

    Spread baba ganoush on the rutabaga slices and add a piece of basil if desired, plus a slice of tomato.

    Recipe Notes

    *Baba ganoush recipe is inspired by Minimalist Baker

    *If making these into bite-sized appetizers, use cherry tomatoes.

    Powered by Recipage

    new series: brown bag mondays…tips you can take with you

    brownbagmonday

    New series: Brown Bag Mondays:  I see Mondays as a fresh start, another opportunity to face the week head on and move forward living life. But as the week wears on, I recognize our ideals don’t always play out the way we think. My heart for this series to provide you with something you can use or chew on as you go about your hours and days in the week ahead.

     

    This is how my family calendar has looked for the first half of this month.

    may calendarNot that we had nothing to do…quite the opposite. But I hesitated to write down all the things that were filling it up, because, well,  I rather liked the look of those blank spaces. It is my soul craving some unstructured time amidst all the structure that keeps us on track.

    I find it easy enough to plan for things that are consistent in our days…time with the Lord, school, work, church, chores, weekly or monthly gatherings with friends. But sometimes I fail to plan for the unexpected like school events and appointments and suddenly our unstructured time is nibbled at bit by bit.

    As summer vacation draws near, I want to be mindful of our time…to balance the structured with the unstructured. To allow breathing room for the unexpected to be easily accommodated into the structure of our days.

    So here is this week’s “brown bag monday” question:

    time may calendar

    I think when we feel overwhelmed, it’s because we’re not leaving enough time in our schedule to handle the things we can’t plan for…the extra load of laundry required from an ill child, the repairman we need schedule for a leaky faucet, the errands we need to run because we forgot something on our list, the moments our children ask us to sit and read, or color or play a game, the friend who would love to get together, the unexpected blessing of sun in string of rainy days.

    Care to explore this topic a little more? I would love to do a coaching session with you on this. Click on over to my contact page so we can set something up.

    tutorial: soaking gluten-free grains

    May is Celiac Awarness Month and today I’m sharing a video on one my favorite gluten-free breakfasts for on-the-road or when I’m following the anti-candida diet.

    As an encouragement to anyone who is making a significant change in their diet, this mix took me several weeks to enjoy the first time I did the anti-candida diet. Sometimes it takes our taste buds a little while to catch up with what we know is right for our bodies, so give it some time to adjust to new flavors or textures before you decide a certain food is just not for you.

    What are you favorite gluten-free breakfast options to take on the road?

     

    6-ingredient Cauliflower soup (vegan,anti candida, gluten free, paleo) 

    cauliflower soupToday is Day 4 of the full Sugar Detox Challenge. I’m also adding the twist of following the anti-candida diet which you can learn more about here.

    One of the keys to succeeding with any diet change, is preparation. Mental and physical.

    So much of what and how we eat is tied up in our emotions, our memories and our culture that breaking from your traditional diet can be tough. I’ve found the best way to mentally prepare for a diet changhttps://shebloomflourish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1024&action=edite is praying about it and leaning on God to get me through. But I also put that faith in action by researching recipes and articles…you could say it’s “thought for food.

    To prepare physically, there are several practical steps to take to increase success:

    • Remove the foods that are a source of temptation: This is key if you really struggle with giving into cravings. If it’s not in your cupboards or fridge, it’s not very likely that you’ll run to the store to feed the temptation.
    • Meal planning: Although I always recommend planning meals -including snacks – because it saves time, mental stress and money, this step is especially important when you are following a new diet and dealing with foods that may be unfamiliar to you.
    • Meal prep:This is meal planning’s often overlooked partner and an area I still need to grow in. Meal prepping, especially for snacks that require more than grabbing a handful of something, helps avoid the pitfall of reaching for whatever is most convenient, but not diet-friendly.

    Four days into the anti-candida diet and I’m grateful for taking these steps. The hardest part so far is not reaching for my usual standbys of raisins or carrots and hummus. All healthy, but the higher sugar and carb count counts them out for the strictest part of the anti-candida diet.

    Now on to the cauliflower soup…

    As part of my meal prepping, I made a HUGE pot of this over the weekend, which takes care of my lunches for this week and most of next.

    It’s simple to make but packed with flavor and other goodness that eating cauliflower, onions, garlic and curry bring.

    CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the cauliflower soup recipe

    cauliflower soup

    Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

    Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

    Serves: 6-8

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ tsp curry powder
    • 1 ½ tsp salt
    • dashes of freshly ground pepper

    Instructions

    Saute onions and garlic in a little water in a large stockpot until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add cauliflower and seasonings and add more water until it’s not quite covering the cauliflower.

    Bring to a boil, then simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, about 35-40 minutes.

    Cool slightly and add to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. You will probably have to do this several times, so make sure you have an extra pot on hand to transfer the blended soup into.

    Recipe Notes

    *Eliminate pepper if following the anti-candida diet

    *Freezes well.

    Powered by Recipage