What is a Plant-Based Diet?

If you’ve ever Googled “what is a plant-based diet” and came away more confused than when you started, you’re not alone.

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Who knew there were a million answers to that question?!

 

Rather than describing a specific pattern of eating, like veganism, it’s more of an umbrella term that covers different types of diets that emphasize one thing: eating mostly plants.  While that looks a little bit different for every {one} body, we ALL reap the benefits from incorporating more plants into our diet.  

The #1 question I get when around plant-based eating is always the same:

"Where do you get your protein?!?"

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First, you don’t necessarily need to give up animal-based foods if you don’t want to.  Secondly, let’s think about this for a minute. Where do some of the worlds largest living things get their intense strength and power?

I'm taking elephants. Giraffes. Rhinoceros. Gorilla. Hippopotamus. Elk. and when they roamed the Earth, Tons of DINOSAURS.

 

Yup, you guessed it! Plants!

 

One cup of lentil soup will deliver nearly 20 GRAMS of protein. When combined with a balanced diet, deliver a complete protein profile, which is exactly what the body needs.


A  diet comprised of 100% plants isn't for everyone.  

What IS for everyone are the benefits we reap from incorporating MORE plants into our diet.  Plant foods are packed full of fiber, water, phytonutrients, antioxidants and micronutrients that the body needs to give us optimal energy, regularity,  increase immunity and maintain a healthy weight.

There’s a good change you are already incorporating more plant-based protein than you realize!

Check out some of these delish sources of plant-based proteins.  Prepare to be surprised!

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Beans (kidney, black, garbanzo/chickpea, white, lima, etc) dried and cooked or drained & rinsed

Lentils, cooked & drained

Edamame, shelled, organic

Tofu, organic sprouted if possible

Tempeh, organic

Seitan, organic

Green peas

Hemp Hearts

Unsweetened nut butters (peanut, almond..)

Nuts; peanut, almond, macadamia, walnut, brazil, pistachio, cashew, hazelnut, pecan

Seeds; chia, pumpkin

Wild rice

Nutritional yeast

Quinoa

Spirulina

Steel cut or whole (not quick cook) oats

Protein powder, vegan; to add to smoothies

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And, even these powerful green plants carry 2-5 grams per 1 c serving:

Organic, sweet corn

Broccoli

Broccoli rabe

Potato

Avocado

Spinach

Brussel sprouts

Kale

Zucchini

Portobello mushrooms

Hubbard squash

Collard greens

 

With all of this said, there’s no rule that says you have to label your eating style.  

 

There are as many diets as there are people on the planet -- each as unique as you are.  The most important thing is to find a way of eating that makes you feel fabulous, works for your lifestyle and one you can stick with for the long term.  Eating more plants is one easy way to do that!

We know this can sometimes feel overwhelming, so we wanted to share a sample plant-centered meal plan with you! Get your free download, and browse our meal plans, HERE.


Let’s stay connected!   Contact me any time, HERE!

Let’s stay connected! Contact me any time, HERE!

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Plant Based, Gluten Free Meal Plan!

If you want want to…

Save time.  Weekly meals, printable grocery list, pantry staples & meal prep list done for you!

Save money.  Plant-centered, seasonal ingredients are kinder on the wallet, saving you hard earned moo-lah on your grocery bill each week!  Recipes share ingredients, eliminating food waste, too..

Improve your health.  Lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, balance hormones, regulate bowels, lessen joint pain, eliminate brain fog, increase energy, control cravings, feel happier, reduce anxiety/depression, improve hair, nails & skin.

Learn how to make healthy cooking easy & delicious. Incorporate healthy meals that aren't bland, boring, or taste like cardboard.


…then this is for you.


And something exciting is happening this week. (I mean look at this bowl, omgeeeeee)

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This week’s plan is launched ,and there are TWO amazing ways you can get all of this deliciousness in your belly.

1) Join The Veg Out Meal Plan Series! For less than the cost of 1 Starbucks coffee per week, you’ll receive colorful, nutrient dense recipes, grocery lists, kitchen staples, simple meal prep tips and video hacks delivered to your inbox weekly.  Amazing, right?! If you want in on this goodness, sign up here by this Thursday (June 13th)

2) Not ready for the Series? Download this week’s plan available a la carte here!

Want a sneak peak at what’s inside? For a limited time, check one out, on us. <3


Let’s stay connected!  Contact me anytime, here.

Let’s stay connected! Contact me anytime, here.

What is Inflammation?

Do you remember ever falling when you were a kid and busting open your knee? It hurt, right?!

In the days following, it would get red, puffy, swollen, black and blue… and depending on how mad the fall was, maybe even a little oozy. This was just your body’s response to the trauma — and after a week or so of keeping it clean & taking good care of it, the wound would heal and you would be as good as new.

Imagine that instead of bandaging it up, you just keep rubbing dirt into the open wound. And every day, it gets worse. As it gets worse, it gets more painful. And as it gets more painful, you just keep rubbing more and more dirt into it. You would be crazy to do that, right?!

Now what if I told you that many of us are doing this to our bodies every day.

 

Would you believe me?

 

We can’t see it because it’s happening on the INSIDE. And because we can’t see the open wound on the inside of our body, we don’t think that it’s there. The wild thing is that our body is likely giving us clues every day....

You may be tired, struggling with brain fog, or having a difficult time focusing.

Your digestion may be sluggish, you may feel bloated, gassy, or gain excess weight in your belly.

You probably have insatiable cravings for foods that you know aren’t good for you, but feel like you can’t stop eating them.

You might even have a weird rash or skin condition that won’t go away, thinning hair, or joint pain.

It’s possible that you’re experiencing mood swings, bouts of low moods or anxiety.

And maybe even irregular cycles or fertility struggles.

Sound familiar?

It did to me for a really long time. It wasn’t that long ago that I struggled with a whole string of symptoms…my belly would blow up like a balloon every time I ate. I struggled with a skin condition called tinea versicolor, brittle hair and nails. I experienced chronic mouth sores, cystic pimples and chronic fatigue. I struggled with constipation.  The cherry topper was amenorrhea (no period) and low estrogen. I was 34 years old.

 

This is your body screaming from the inside out.

 

Inflammation is essentially like that skinned knee you had when you were a kid. It is the body playing a mean game of defense. It puffs up, swells and sometimes oozes.. When it’s not addressed, we start to feel any combination of the symptoms described above. And, like I did, we brush them off….

“I’m tired because I’m busy. “

“My digestion is just sluggish. “

“ The doctor said not to worry about this rash.”

“I can’t focus because I have too much on my plate.”

“This is just what it’s like getting older.”

We take prescriptions to manage our moods, over the counter meds to stay regular, and put topical creams on our rashes. We settle for being tired, sad, feeling like shit, and in pain. It’s crazy right?!

 

Now, what if I told you that ONE thing could begin to cure all of these things?

 

Yes, just one:

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Food.

Inflammatory foods are different for every {one} body. Now that I’m on the other side — TRUST ME — identifying your inflammatory triggers are BEYOND worth your efforts!

With summer fast approaching, I am opening up 10 spaces for people who would like to increase their energy, improve their digestion, eliminate the bloat, feel happier and begin to heal their body literally from the inside OUT.

This 14 day, gentle, yet effective program delivers an all access pass to boundless reserves of energy you didn’t know you had. You’ll find that every part of your body works better simply by “switching on” your metabolism and body’s natural healing abilities.

This is NOT a starvation cleanse!  A variety of nutrient dense, high fiber foods are conveniently planned for you, taking the guesswork out of wondering what is okay and not okay to eat.  No crazy juicing or shakes required.    

Package includes online membership site, complete with detailed program guide, tutorials & food journal.  Package includes (2) 30 minute coaching sessions, as well as recipe guides and resources! Enrollment is limited to the first 10 participants, and will fill fast!

Let’s stay connected! Contact me any time, here.

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PS I have a free gift for you! Come grab it HERE.

Mason Jar Salad 101

It took me a while to get on the mason jar salad train...maybe because they are trendy and I'm not? ! ha!

Turns out I LOVE LOVE LOVE these!  Super easy, practical and delicious way to up your meal prep game.

Choose any combination of ingredients, and layer in a quart size, wide mouth jar.  You can pick up a case of these bad boys for under $12 and use them over and over again.

The possibilities are literally endless here.  Jars can be as simple or crazy as you like, and can be made up to 5 days ahead of time.  

Check out the general method to the madness below, followed by one of my favorite recipes!

Mason Jar Salad 101
 

Layer, from the bottom up:

Mason Jar Salads

3 Tbsp dressing

Protein*

Hard veggies/fruits

Softer veggies/fruits

Pack in the greens.

Optional add ins: Nuts, seeds, cheese


*I recommend having animal protein prepared, but on the side.  Think chicken, beef, HB eggs.  Plant based proteins (legumes, beans, etc) are fine to pack right into the jar!.

 
Greek Mason Jar Salads

Give this Greek variation a go. It does not disappoint! First, make the dressing. Then, layer Ingredients listed in order of appearance — from the bottom >> up!

What You’ll Need:

For the dressing:

1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed

For the salad:

2 cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed

½  red onion, sliced

¾ cup-ish kalamata olives, halved

1 large English cucumber, quartered

1 pint cherry tomato


2 heads lettuce, any variety #easybutton 2 bags salad greens

6 ounce-ish feta cheese, crumbled

Measure 3 Tbsp dressing into 5 jars. Divide salad ingredients equally into each jar, in order of appearance above. Dump into a bowl just before diving in, or give it a good shake and take your fork right to the jar.

Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!


Let’s stay connected!  Contact us anytime, HERE.

Let’s stay connected! Contact us anytime, HERE.

Meal Prep Made Simple

I remember visiting my sister in Washington state the year before Ziggy was born, and seeing their weekly menu board hung in their dining room. My thought was, “wait, you guys really know what you’re going to eat every day of every week…like all the time? Who does that?!”

It’s funny how things change, because part of my career now is teaching others how to simplify nutrition, meal planning and meal prep. LOL! Incredible how things can shift, right?!

Becoming a mom taught me that time is more valuable than ever, and I continue to be on a mission to maximize it. Meal planning and prepping became one of those things that has done just that.

By carving out a little bit of time, one day a week, (I’m talking an hour) to prep what I have planned for the week, I suddenly find I don’t have excuses to eat crap (or skip) lunch, I don’t walk around hangry and irritable, and I save so.much.time in the long run.

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Pro tip: Hit the #easybutton by preparing the same thing for breakfast and lunch each week. This makes it easy to shop for, easy to plan and easy to throw together. Then, every week, switch it up so that you don’t get bored!

One of my favorite ways to get some easy lunch prep on is by making mason jar salads. It took me a while to get on the mason jar salad train...maybe because they are trendy and I'm not?! Ha! But it turns out I LOVE LOVE LOVE these!  Super easy, practical and delish. This can be done with any combination of ingredients, and I’m sharing a little tutorial and a favorite recipe right HERE.

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to meal planning and prep? I would love to know!. Share below, or always feel free to email >> info@sarahkaminski.com


With a breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, printable grocery list and 5, actionable simple meal prep tips, The Veg Out Meal Plan Series makes meal planning and prep both SIMPLE and DELICIOUS! Check out what members are cooking up this week:

Plant Based, Gluten Free Recipes

We're really enjoying all the flavors spring has to offer -- BRACE YOURSELF! 

We're diving into 

—A taco you won’t forget

—Strawberry fields!

—Sweet little eggs in a nest

—A traditional, nutrient dense Italian favorite

—And a flavorful eggplant stack that marries the flavors of spring

If you want in, sign up here by this Thursday (June 6th).


Let’s stay connected!  Contact us anytime, HERE.

Let’s stay connected! Contact us anytime, HERE.

 
How to Make Mason Jars Salads
Mason Jar Salad Recipes

Memorial Day Recipes!

Happy Memorial Day weekend! 

To celebrate, we're offering $5 off the Veg Out Meal Plan Series!!  This is also the last week to get our May Bonus, The Freezer Stash Guide ($15 value) completely free! 

This week's meal plan includes lots of recipes that you can bring to your picnic and share with friends--including burgers, a divine salad and an appetizer platter. 

Not going anywhere?  No worries!  Enjoy at home with the people you love!  

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100% of the recipes included in the plans are plant-centered and gluten free. 

Here’s why: ALL bodies benefit from incorporating MORE plants, and fewer processed carbohydrates! 

This is an awesome way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, try new foods, and improve your health, energy and vitality. 

If you are looking for bland, tasteless meals, this will NOT be your jam. 🏻‍♀️

"My energy is increased, and my skin is clearing up!"

"My GI issues are completely resolved."

"What I’ve learned has changed my life and my mind regarding food is changed forever!"

(I can’t make this stuff up 🏼)

Use code MEMORIAL at checkout for $5 off, access to your this week's plan PLUS The Freezer Stash Guide.  This offer is through Monday, 5/27 only!


Let’s stay connected!    Contact me anytime, HERE.

Let’s stay connected! Contact me anytime, HERE.



 

Black Bean Burger

I have been on a mission to find a great staple bean burger recipe for a while. It turns out to be so simple, that I must have overlooked it all along. Double this recipe, and freeze these guys to have on hand--they are worth it!!

What You'll Need:


1 c gluten free rolled oats

2 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 an onion
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 large egg
1/2 tsp sea salt

black pepper to taste


Pulse oats in a food processor until fine. Add most of the beans (reserving about 1/2 cup), puree until smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl.. Add egg, spices & remaining beans. Stir well!

Divide into 4 equal patties. 

Cook in a warm skillet until browned (about 4 minutes each side).. These grill well too!

Serve with your favorite fixings. I love mine open faced with sauteed spinach, pickles, fresh tomato, sprouts and avocado. 



Serves 4. Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

Creating a Vision: 5 Simple Steps

Someone really special bought a new swim suit last week. And it’s not just any swimsuit — it’s THE swimsuit.

This special someone is a member of our Mastermind Community. When we began working together last summer, she described the vision of what she wanted…how she wanted to FEEL…as one of the women in the Altheta Catalog. Strong, flexible, energized, comfortable in her body.

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And you know what she just bought to celebrate what she’s accomplished over the last 10 months? An Altheta swimsuit. How freaking awesome is THAT?!

The importance of a clear VISION is that it creates the energy to make change happen. Cause let’s be honest, staying consistent and transforming habits isn’t easy.

When a vision is clear enough, it inspires effective goal setting, daily choices, and makes the commitment to the long game easier.

Not sure where to start? Create your vision using these 5 tips:

  1. Write it down. What does it look like? What are you wearing? Who are you with? Where are you? What can your future self do? How is your life different? Be specific!

  2. Create a vision statement!! An effective vision statement begins with “I am.” “I am strong, flexible, healthy & confident.” Take it to the next level by identifying a visual in your environment that will consistently tie you to your vision (in this case, a photo of women from the Athleta Catalog!}

  3. Start small. What is ONE thing you can begin to implement consistently THIS week to get you one step close to the vision? Start small, and layer in one new actin layer every week.

  4. Commit to the long game. It is the small, seemingly insignificant things that we do daily that add up over time to yield incredible results.

  5. Allow yourself to be supported. It is OKAY not to know all the answers and to ask to for help!! Take off the superwoman cape, and connect with an accountability partner, group, or coach to provide support, accountability and to keep you in motion! #bettertogether


So what do you think? Are you compelled to create your vision? What does the end of 2019 look like for you? I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Share below, or always feel free to email >> info@sarahkaminski.com

In the meantime, you have to try out this incredible recipe for Vegetable Pasta Salad. It will become a go-to for spring and summer picnics, promise!


PS Here’s what our members are cooking up this week!

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—Muffins that hide veggies #canigetahellyeah

—A salad that looks like a rainbow, and tastes like one too

—A spring spin on Minestrone

—Creamy polenta with a savory spin

—And a cauliflower dish you won’t forget

In this week's video, we’re talking all about CARBS & how they relate to weight, blood sugar & energy.

Oh! And as a bonus in May, we’re including our Freezer Stash Guide! 10 delicious recipes to stock in your freezer for easy grab and go when life gets cray (because it will)

If you want in, sign up here by this Thursday (May 9th):


Let’s stay connected!  Contact us anytime, HERE.

Let’s stay connected! Contact us anytime, HERE.

 
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Vegetable Pasta Salad

This is our favorite go-to pasta salad. Perfect healthy option to take along with you to picnic celebrations all spring & summer long!  If you do this right, you'll end up with a giant, flavorful, chopped salad, with some pasta tossed in!

 
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What You'll Need

4 c dry pasta (choose brown rice pasta, OR for a protein punch, chickpea pasta!)

3/4 c olive oil
1/3 c fresh basil, sliced into thin strips

1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

8 c fresh veggies, chopped (anything goes here--broccoli, peppers, cukes, edamame, summer squash, spinach or other greens...) 
3 medium tomatoes, OR 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 c kalamata olives
1/4 c fresh parsley or additional basil

1 c shredded parmesan cheese, right from the block


Bring water to a boil for the pasta. 

Meanwhile, mix basil and olive oil from. Basil will begin to infuse the oil. It will be awesome. 

In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Wisk.


Then, chop up those veggies and toss into a large serving bowl.

Drain and rinse cooked pasta with cool water. Add to veggie bowl.

Add dressing and basil infused oil. Top with Parmesan and toss.

Trust me when I say you will never make another pasta salad with bottled Italian dressing again. Ever.


Serves 8-12, perfect as a picnic side, main, or to have in the fridge for lunch all week. 

Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

Thai Rice Bowls

Buddha bowls are a super trendy thing now.  The name for this grain based bowls inspired by Buddhist monks and nuns, have been eating this way for over two thousand years.   I'm feeling grateful for this super healthy, balanced meal inspiration, which always offers a colorful balance of plants, additional fiber, healthy fats and protein!

 
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What You'll Need:

For the dressing:
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter (no Jiff here guys, like for real)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
squeeze Sriracha

1 block tofu, sliced lengthwise and pressed*
2 c cooked brown rice
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
2 c cabbage, thinly sliced (use purple cabbage to make this plate pop even more!)
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
2 c lettuce greens, chopped


1/4 c peanuts


*Press tofu by layering on a plate: tea towel, tofu, tea towel, something heavy-ish. Allow it it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator.


Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare and arrange ingredients in a large bowl or dinner plate.  Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with peanuts, and DIVE IN!

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Serves 4. Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

5 Key Shifts to Releasing Perfection

I ate a chocolate bunny for lunch on Thursday.  And not just a little foil wrapped one.  Like a big ass chocolate bunny.  

To say there are moments where I'm in full on survival mode as a new mom to two is an understatement. 

Y'all know I'm over here preaching self care, but in the midst of 32 ounce bottles of water and veggie filled meals, there are many days without showers, days that I find myself in hitting up the drive thru beer distributor on my way home from school pick up, and days where I look at the clock at three and think "shit, have I eaten anything since breakfast this morning?" ...and days that involve giant chocolate bunnies for lunch.

And ya know what?  Even though I have a waysssss to go to reaching my postpartum goals (ie my pants) I'm totally cool with it.  

This chapter is just that .. a chapter.  It will be over in the blink of an eye and I'll be so thankful I have given myself grace and didn't spend valuable time stressing over it being perfect.  

There are 5 really important things I’ve learned that have changed the game:

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1. The body CANNOT heal in a stressed state. Stressing about it being perfect — food (or anything for that matter) prevents you from the end goal, whether it be weight loss, increased energy, regularity or even fertility.

2. What you focus on EXPANDS! Want failure, pain and for things to be hard? Easy. Want success, ease and amazingness? Also easy. Focus on what you want.

3. CONSISTENCY is key. 10 consistent steps forward and 2 step back still equals 8 steps toward the goal. Commit to the long game, and release the idea that it needs to be perfect.

4. Talk to yourself like someone you love. That voice in your head? The one that tells you you’re fat, you’re not enough or disgusting? Tell her you don’t have space for that kind of negativity in your life. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.

5. Eat more plants. They’ll make you feel good from the inside, and that’s what radiates outward.. 🍉🌱🍑🥕🍌🥑🍏🥦🍋

Start by incorporating this ah-mazing Thai Peanut Rice bowl, loaded with veggies, packed with flavor and texture and sure to please!!


P.S. ~ Here's a peek at what our members are cooking up this week!

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—A breakfast smoothie (trust us, you wont even know you’re eating veggies)

—A Parmesan crisp topped soup

—A plant based spin on a favorite bar food

—A light, hearty dumpling bowl

— And, TACOS!

Also! In this week's video, learn more about silicone bakeware, and an easy, tasty way to make any soup or salad fancy. If you want in, sign up here by this Wednesday (May 1st):


Let's connect!  Contact me HERE anytime.

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Marinara

I started making red sauce for our family a few years ago, and will never look back.  Most of what you will find in the grocery store is loaded with sugar, sodium and often times FUNK.  Super easy to make a big batch and freeze!  Learn the method to the madness below!

What You’ll Need:

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, minced

8 cloves garlic, mince

2 (6 oz) cans of tomato paste, no salt or sugar added

¼ c red wine vinegar

4 (28 oz) cans tomatoes, no salt or sugar added 

1 tsp raw sugar

2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 oz parmesan or other hard

cheese, shredded

½ c chopped fresh basil


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, sauté until aromatic.

Add tomato paste, vinegar, tomatoes, sugar, salt & pepper.  Stir, and allow to

simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Add cheese.  Cook on low for another 20 minutes or so.

Add basil. Remove from heat. Allow sauce to cool, and puree using either an immursion blender, traditional blender or food processor


Will keep in refrigerator for about a week.  To freeze, transfer to quart size freezer bags, date, and lay FLAT in your freezer to take up less space!


Makes approximately 12 cups of sauce.

Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

 

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Oh Sugar, You Ain't So Sweet

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Coming off a holiday weekend often times comes paired with a sugar hangover.

It sure tastes good.  And it feels good, too.  Sugar is addictive as cocaine, lighting up dopamine receptors in the brain (think of a Christmas tree.  Inside your HEAD.) 

So, even though we know it's not good for us, we dive in for more, eager for another hit.  What's more troublesome is that we don't even realize we are addicted, and that most people are literally eating it from sun up to sun down.  

Nearly 152 POUNDS of added sugar find it's way into the average American's diet each year.  That is equivalent to an average size HUMAN.  The problem is that it is everything, from the culprits we'd expect (cookies, candy, soda) to the not-so obvious (sauces, crackers, meal replacement shakes, bars, salad dressings, frozen dinners and the majority of all processed foods). 

Your main task is to GET YOUR LABEL READING ON.  And no, not the nutritional label that breaks down calories, grams of fat, fiber, etc.  This is IS important.  But what is more important is the list of INGREDIENTS.  Do you know what you are actually putting IN your body?  

I didn't.  Not for a really long time.  This process was really eye opening for me, and it likely will be for you, too. 

Below, find five foods, many pantry staples, that include processed sugar, as well as other sh*t that probably aren't interested in putting inside your body!  

1.  YOGURT

The majority of flavored yogurts contain added sugars, thickeners and artificial colors.  Trade out fat free conventional yogurts for grass fed, plain 2% of full fat.  Add a tsp of raw honey and fresh fruit to give a punch of natural sweetness.

2. GRANOLA/PROTEIN BARS

You know, healthy, fit people enjoying a granola bar in the fresh air after a glorious hike.  It HAS to be healthy!  Trade out a processed bar for a 1/2 cup of homemade trail mix using raw nuts, unsweetened dry fruit and 75% dark cocoa chips.

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3.  CEREAL

Did you know there are ELEVEN varieties of Cheerios?  Yup, just Cheerios!  Most grocery stores have an entire aisle dedicated to this fortified, sugar packed, shelf stable American favorite--CEREAL!  Swap out your bowl of cold cereal for a serving of rolled oats.  Top with your favorite unsweetened milk, a tsp of real maple syrup, and fresh fruit for a well rounded, nutrient packed breakfast. 

4. NUT BUTTER

Did you know that nut butters are supposed to have a pool of oil sitting on top when you open the jar?  It's true.  As a dedicated JIF eater for most of my life, I was shocked to see this when I opened my first jar of "natural" nut butter.  But, be on the lookout.  Even natural nut butters have added sugar, added oils, added salt and other funk.  Be on the lookout for one with the nut (peanut, almond, cashew, etc), and maybe salt as the only ingredient(s)   

5.  TOMATO SAUCES AND SOUPS

Have you ever eaten a summer tomato right off the vine?  You know, sunk into its divine sweetness.  Like candy!! <3  Not all jarred/canned tomato products have added sugar or funk (think pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, salsa, tomato paste), just be sure to get in the habit of reading those labels! Check out our favorite marinara sauce here We include amazing, easy soup recipes on our weekly meal plans as well!

It's a lot to take in, right?! 

ASSIGNMENT:  Take a look in your fridge/pantry/freezer, and take a look at the ingredient labels of some of your kitchen staples.  The KEY is to do this with CURIOSITY, not judgement.  So, you find all of your food is full of sugar, fillers and other crap?  No probs!  Now you know what to get rid of, or what to avoid during your next shopping trip!

What what you learned below!

 

P.S. ~ Here's a peek at what our members are cooking up this week!

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—Protein packed pancakes

—A plant-based feta that will blow your mind

—A Caribbean inspired, light spring stew

—Pasta Primavera for the soul

— And, a savory fritatta

Also! Learn how to make your own, easy-peasy fiber rich, gluten free oat flour in this week’s video. If you want in, sign up here by this Wednesday (April 24th):


Let's connect!  Contact me HERE anytime.

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Overnight Oats

There are so many amazing variations to these, and honestly, my current obsession!!  Pictured below is topped with fresh blueberries, but anything goes.  Dare to get creative! 

What You'll Need:

1/2 c plain rolled oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp ground flax
1 c fresh or frozen berries

Optional; 1 scoop of plant-based protein powder of choice OR 2 Tbsp hemp hearts for a protein boost

Top with 3/4 c milk of choice (I like unsweetened almond, coconut, or soy), and stir well.  The chia seeds will soak up a lot of the liquid!

Wisk together ingredients in a pint size mason jar or glass tupperware.  Pop into fridge, and top with fresh fruit in the morning!  🙌🏻🙌🏻

Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!


These can be made 3-4 days ahead of time! Some other variations to try:

unsweetened coconut shreds + fresh strawberries

apples and cinnamon

fresh pears + 1 tsp pure maple syrup 

fresh raspberries and lemon zest

fresh watermelon 

finely grated carrot, raisin + nutmeg

pumpkin puree, 1 tsp pure maple syrup + cinnamon 

fresh peaches or nectarines 

fresh blackberries or mulberries + cinnamon 

cocoa powder + fresh strawberries

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TABBOULEAH

Welcome SPRING! This dish is BEYOND amazing right now, and throughout the growing season, when herbs and veggies are fresh! 

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1/2 c quinoa
1/3 c olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and cracked pepper
2 c chopped parsley
1 c chopped mint
1/2 c chopped scallion or chives
2 c grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered


Cook quinoa in 1 c salted water for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Just before you are ready to dig in, mix with other ingredients. 

Serves about 4 people who will be very happy. Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

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Natural Remedies for IBS

How often does someone check in to see how things are .... moving ....?? 💩

Yes, for real. As someone who struggled with constipation for most of my adult life, this struggle can be REALLLLL, and really painful.

It wasn't that long ago that I cleaned out our medicine cabinet. I reorganized and threw away the norm--expired cold medicine, stray bandaids, the bottle of lotion with one squeeze left in it.

Miralax, stool softeners, beano, benefiber, metamucil..... among what was pulled out of that cabinet--the pool of over the counter supplements, meds and aids for.... 💩💨😳(or lack thereof 😫)

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The struggle was real for a long time yo.

There was a span of a few years where I was terrified to eat anything because it seemed anything I ate caused me to blow up like a balloon — literally, my belly like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. And don’t get me started on the frequent gas. 🥺

It was embarrassing. It was hard to talk about. And it felt shitty #punintened 😉

And for the longest time, I was putting a bandaid on the problems. I know what it's like to walk into a drug store willing to drop any amount of 💰 for any sense of relief or hope for regularity. It took a reallyyyy long time for me to realize that I would never solve the problem without getting to the root of the issue.

That started with the foods I was eating, and learning what works best for my unique body. 🍏

Want to know the magic formula?

While it’s not exactly the same for everyone, it generally encompasses 3 things: FIBER & WATER from plant foods + GLUTEN FREE sources of carbohydrates. That’s it!

You’ve got to try out this awesome plant-filled, gluten free recipe for Tabbouleh! It’s a favorite around here. And, if you’re interested in learning how to up the ante and serve this dish up with some protein packed, plant based savory pancakes, you have to get your hands on this week’s meal plan!

Our winter season was ah-mazing and we are currently seeking a limited number of test group participants for our spring launch of the the meal plan subscription.

This is an awesome opportunity to receive one month of deliciousness, and see a positive impact on your digestion, your energy, your waistline, your wallet and your most valuable resource, YOUR TIME, at a discounted rate. (only $5/week!)

Here's a glimpse at what our members are cooking up this week! If you’d like to be a part of the exclusive test group, comment below or send me a quick email to secure your space!

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This week, we're diving into 

—Chocolate for breakfast!

—A hearty chowder reminiscent of summer

—A veggie burger that is sure to please

—Modern twist on the good ‘ol casserole

— And, a Mediterranean pancake that will blow your damn mind!

This week’s video is all about cutting onions, with a few tips to avoid the tears.


Let's connect!  Contact me HERE anytime.

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How to Lower Your Grocery Bill

How much money do you spend on groceries each week? 🍏 

It wasn't that long ago that our average cost for groceries per week, as a family of TWO were upwards of $250/week.   Never a plan, never a list, and we were always stopping to pick up "one" thing on our way home from work.

That wasn’t accounting for 🍻 happy hour on the reg; $75 on average for drinks and apps/2x week OR 🍴dinners out. Chris and I used to go out, often times on a whim, 2-3x/week for dinner. For both of us, $80 each meal with a few drinks. 

If you haven't been adding up with me, that's $640 to feed our family of 2 each WEEK.

...And because we ended up eating out on a whim half the time, I would throw tons of fresh produce away at the end of each week.  

Our average weekly spend is now around $125 to feed our family of FOUR (well, one doesn't eat food yet, so technically three, lol!) Pretty massive shift, right?!

Why?

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Well, most plant centered foods, like fresh fruits and veggies, beans and lentils, nuts, seeds and gluten free grains... they're generally kinder to the wallet than processed and convenience foods.

And those plant based proteins we incorporate? At around 50 cents/serving, they save you bookoo bucks!

Unbelievable, right?!

Just a small few things shifted:
... head into each week with a solid PLAN instead of winging it! 
...eat less prepared convenience foods! 

…eat more PLANTS!
...cook more, using SHARED ingredients
...and for the first time ever, not throw a bunch of food away at the end of each week!

=A lower grocery bill 😍 This is exciting stuff! 🤩

What would you do with that extra money each week?!


P.S. ~ Here's what our members are cooking up this week! Once all stocked up on most commonly used spices and pantry staples, it isn’t uncommon to get away with spending less than $100/week on everything you'll need to feed your family for one week! Our members notice a massive shift in their grocery spend. #canigetahellyeah

These plans make it all possible! And, through the end of today (March 31) use code babyishere for 30% off your first month!

If you want in, sign up here by this Wednesday (April 3rd):

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--A breakfast that could surely be featured on a restaurant brunch menu 

--A pear and bleu salad for the win

--A new spin on beans and greens--once you try it you'll never go back

--Curry noodle bowls that are sure to become a staple to your rotation 

--And a protein packed stuffed spaghetti squash with just enough heat! 

Ever wonder how to make kale not suck?  Tune in, I'm sharing all about it this week!! 

Wondering what’s for dessert? Check out this recipe for Mango Frozen Yogurt — it does NOT disappoint!


Let's connect!  Contact me HERE anytime.

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Mango Frozen Yogurt

Sometimes you really want ice cream.  This is a perfect substitute.  Bonus?  The kids will never know ;) 

 
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What You'll Need:

10 ounce bag frozen mango 

3/4 c full fat, grass fed vanilla yogurt (regular or Greek)


Combine ingredients in high power blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja...).

Use blender stick to mix as you gradually increase the speed to med/high.  

Scoop into bowls and ENJOY! 


Serves 2-3 sweet bellies. 

Want more awesome recipes like this? Check out our meal plans!

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Corn and Black Bean Chowder

I will never forget the first time Chris and I made this soup.  Shortly after we first met, we picked our farm share, after spending the day at a wine tasting.

 We felt inspired by all of the fresh summer corn in our share, continued "tasting," and went to work.  Needless to say, we awoke in the morning to find a lot of corn kernels on the kitchen floor.  This soup best fresh, but can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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What You'll Need:

2 c onion, minced

olive oil

1 sweet bell pepper, chopped

4 c veggie stock 

1 potato, chopped 

4 c corn kernels (best sliced right from the cob! 

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 

2 tsp sea or Himilayan salt

pepper to taste

3/4 c grass fed half and half, or unsweetened milk of choice


Saute onion in large soup pot with olive oil until aromatic.  

With an exception of the milk, add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in milk.  If you're feeling spicy, sprinkle with crushed red pepper and ENJOY! <3 


Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side. 

2019 CSA SHARES: Get in on the Local Goodness

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It’s that time of year!! Maybe you’re already signed up for this season, or maybe you’ve never heard about them. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share is a local farm offering a certain number of farm “shares” of his/her crop to the public. These vary, and typically consist of veggies, but often times include fruit, eggs, cheeses, and even meat. Consumers purchase a share from their selected farmer and receive a predetermined quantity of the farmer’s crop regularly throughout the growing season. Even in Western PA, where we experience a relatively harsh winter, there are plenty of programs and shares to choose from 12 months throughout the year.

Why should you sign up for one?

Our eating and shopping habits are not just important for our health, but for our local economies, the environment, and the future of our food system. We cast a vote each and every time we buy. How and where we choose to spend our money is really important, and every dollar we spend creates a much greater impact than we realize.

Nearly half (45%) of money spent within local markets will remain there. Compare this with a meager 13% of money spent in chain retailers, and it becomes evident that even the most modest change in spending habits can produce considerable economic impact. Eating seasonally can be hard off season, especially in these cold winter months. It takes a little bit of creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to try new things. Bonus? Foods eaten in season are more flavorful and packed with more nutrients.

Outlined below, please find some of my family’s favorite summer shares in the Western PA/Pittsburgh area. Click the name of each farm to be directed to their website!

Not from Western PA? Click here to check out Local Harvest to find a CSA in your area!

garlic scape &amp; spinach harvest

garlic scape & spinach harvest

BLACKBERRY MEADOWS ORGANIC FARM

-Weeks: 20+

-Cost break down: Lots of options, ranging from Market Share Cards (like a gift card for the market), or up to $32 per week depending on what your needs/interests are! 

-Extras: Garden shares, market memberships, pasture raised, happy pork, homemade soaps.  This year, they are also inviting CSA members to the farm house weekly to chop, roast, blanch, freeze and taste their harvest with farmers & others members!  They also host weddings and events at the farm!

-Pick up locations: On farm (Natrona Heights), North Side Farmers Market, East Liberty (Construction Junction)

-Perks: Aside from being one of the only certified organic local farms in the area, Jen, Greg,  Evelyn and Olivia provide the most personal experience, hands down. They are present for all CSA pick ups, and you get to know them well.  They understand the importance of farm immunity and gut health, which is why they encourage people to come out and spend time on the farm. They grow the best heirloom tomato you will ever taste, beautiful greens and garlic. These guys also team up with Four Frozen Farmers in December to sell Christmas trees at Construction Junction—a great way to support all facets of local agriculture!

pickled garden veggies, summer squash, farm haul

pickled garden veggies, summer squash, farm haul

KRETSCHMANN ORGANIC FARM

-Weeks: 25

-Cost break down: A few options, ranging from $20-$30/week, depending on what your needs/interests are! 

-Extras: Cheese, mushrooms, chicken, coffee, winter shares

-Pick up locations: Kretchmann utilizes residential porch pick up locations, so they’ll you’ll be assigned a pick up area based on proximity to your home.

-Perks: Don and Becky grow tree fruit, which is hard to find grown organically in this area!

summer fruits, cucumbers sprouting, garlic

summer fruits, cucumbers sprouting, garlic

PENN'S CORNER FARM ALLIANCE

-Weeks: 32

-Cost break down: $19-$26/week. Lots of options, ranging from as little as 8 weeks- to full season at 32 weeks. Certified organic, gluten free and vegan shares available.

-Extras: Online farmstand with fresh cut flowers, eggs, cheese, pork, beef, lamb, gift baskets, winter shares, extra quantities of vegetables & fruit, honey, jams, relishes, local maple syrup & honey, canned goods.

-Pick up locations: Our business, 3 Rivers Outdoor Company, is hosting a pick up this season! You can come and see us every week in Regent Square and scope outdoor gear while picking up your CSA! Penn’s Corner utilizes residential & small business porch pick up locations; you choose one convenient for you.

-Perks: Also, because they are a cooperative, you will also find a huge variety with this share. Penn’s corner works with more than 25 organic and sustainable farms & food producers around the state, providing a wide array of farm fresh goodies.

annual garlic harvest, weekly CSA haul

annual garlic harvest, weekly CSA haul

DILLNER FAMILY FARM

-Weeks: 21

-Cost break down: small, large and biweekly shares, ranging from $16-28/week. 

-Extras: Online Farm Stand with eggs, Amish breads and cookies, extra quantities of vegetables and fruit, flower bouquets, pastured brown eggs, honey, cheese, jams, relishes, and frozen organic chickens.  

-Pick up locations: We’ve been hosting a pick up for Dillner for the last several years, so if sign up, you could see us each week at our home, too! They also utilizes residential porch pick up locations—you choose the pick up location that is most convenient for you.

-Perks: These guys also have a brick and mortar farm stand located just off of Route 8 in Gibsonia. It is a one stop shop for seasonal veggies, fruits, seedlings/plants, eggs, bread, honey and locally canned goods. I made a biweekly trip here last fall for fall fruits, and purchased the most stunning wildflower seedlings in the spring for my garden! 

heirloom tomatoes, North Side Farmers Market, gazpacho with garden veggies

heirloom tomatoes, North Side Farmers Market, gazpacho with garden veggies

In the meantime, check out this farm share inspired chowder, a family favorite,   here.

In the meantime, check out this farm share inspired chowder, a family favorite, here.

I have experience working with all of these farms, and am happy to answer any additional questions you may have!! There are sooooo many other options in Western PA, and definitely something that is a good fit for your family.  Explore options on localharvest.org.  

Please also share your knowledge in the comments below! If you are unsure, and want to test the waters before making a huge commitment, opt for a small share (typically half of what is offered in a regular share, or offered biweekly). If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, many also offer work share/volunteer opportunities for a share discount, giving you the opportunity to be part of the magic.

Our family counts down the days until the start of growing season—being part of a CSA takes the guesswork out of what you should buy to eat; Mother Nature chooses for you! All of the farms listed above are accepting shareholders for the 2019 growing season. So, what are you waiting for?!


P.S. ~ Here's what our members are cooking up this week! If you want in, sign up here by this Wednesday (March 20th):

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--Banana splits for breakfast, HOLLA! 

--A hearty winter salad that will blow your damn mind

--Caprese linguine to get a taste of spring 

--Veggie loaded pizzas 

--And a coconut curry for the win! 

Let's connect!  Contact me HERE anytime.

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