Are Smoothies Good For You?

Yes, smoothies can be very good for you if f you make it yourself or go to a smoothie bar where you know exactly what is in it. Many stores will add ingredients with a ton of sugar, such as ice cream or syrups. If made correctly, smoothies can be a fantastic meal replacement or snack. I try to have a smoothie once a day and, typically, for breakfast. Why? Well here are a few reasons why smoothies are so good for you:

1. Fruits and Veggies

Its amazing how many people do not get the recommended fruits and vegetables in. Smoothies are a great way to get some healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet. I always add one serving of fruit and at least one serving of vegetables in my smoothie. Make sure not to overdue it on the fruit since fruit does contain sugar, natural but still sugar. 

2. Healthy Fat

People seem to be afraid of the word "fat" nowadays but the truth is that your body needs healthy fat to function. Incorporating healthy fats into your smoothie is a great way to start off your morning. Your body will love you for it. I add 1/4 of an avocado to my daily smoothies and sometimes a scoop of almond butter (no added sugar).

3. Simple & Quick

For those that are constantly on the run and don't ever have time for breakfast, smoothies are an easy and quick meal to make for on the go. You can prep the night before and than throw it on the blender in the morning. I can't tell you how many people I talk to that just don't eat breakfast in the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body has been resting all night without food so it would only make sense that it needs food in the morning in order to function at it's highest capability. Make sure to eat breakfast. Smoothies are fantastic, on the go, healthy meals.

4. Digestion

Adding ingredients into your smoothie that can aid in digestion are fantastic. Some examples of this are kefir, apple cider vinegar, avocados, cucumbers, peppermint, ginger, lemon, and fennel.

5. Energy

By fueling your body with healthy food and nutrients, you will have a ton of energy to go about your busy day.

 

Here are a couple of my smoothie recipes that I use quite often.

 

Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Cup Blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1/4 -1/2 Avocado 

Spinach

1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use frozen blueberries, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

The Green Monster Smoothie

1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened), Coconut Milk (unsweetened) or Water

1 Banana (frozen or fresh)

1 - 2 Tbsp Almond Butter (or any nut butter)

Spinach

Optional: Protein, flax, chia 

If you didn't use a frozen banana, add a few ice cubes and than blend until smooth

 

 

Have a great weekend! Stay healthy:)

 

XOXO 

Lisa Catherine

Lisa@LisaCatherineCoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

Wedding Bliss

I am back! As some of you may know, I took a little bit of a leave the past couple months because I just got married! Thank you for being patient with me while I took some time for myself. But now I am back and ready to dive in!

Throughout this past year since I began my Bridal Wellness program, I have received a lot of questions about it such as:

  • Why do you want to work with brides?
  • Is this just to help them look good or fit into their wedding dress?
  • How will brides benefit from your work?
Lisa-Paul-Kenny-Wedding-Lauren-Mudrock-Photography-210.jpg

I have always answered these questions with the same few answers but as I took some time off to prepare for our wedding, I really truly was able to think about these questions. Today I want to share my wedding experience with you and hopefully this will help you understand a little bit more about why I want to work with brides. And no it is not just to help them fit into their dress for one day. It is so much more.

As I have always said to my clients, and to any folks out there interested in what I do, I want to help brides to destress, feel confident and enjoy every moment of their wedding day and life afterwards. So what did this look like on our wedding day? Let me tell you.

Our wedding day was magical. I know many people say that about their wedding but it truly was. The planning phases of the wedding weren't always enjoyable. We didn't always see eye to eye on certain decisions that were being made but at some point you have to pick and choose your battles. Some things just aren't worth stressing over. During the last couple weeks before the wedding, I started to feel the stress. I hadn't before but now we were on crunch time and waited until the last minute to do a lot of things. We had some little hiccups along the way, but we either fixed them or just said "it is out of our hands" and brushed it off. During these last few weeks, I would spend 5-20 minutes a day breathing and meditating as well as exercising daily. Let me tell you, this was a game changer for me! It is so important to take some time for yourself!

So what did our wedding day look like? Absolutely perfect. Yes maybe the DJ didn't play every song we wanted to, my nephews (the ring bearers) were running around like crazy men, nobody really understood what to do with the guestbook, the best man almost broke the microphone, we almost forgot to cut the cake, we had that crazy uncle who guests think is a wedding crasher and I am sure I could probably go on. But the truth is, those "bad" things that I just listed weren't bad at all. They weren't in the timeline or schedule but they made the wedding what it was. When I look back on our wedding, I don't regret one single thing. I don't think anything wrong happened. It was a perfect night. I married the man of my dreams and had a night that I will never forget with my family and friends. Ladies, that is what a wedding is all about. It is not about perfection or competition, it is about LOVE. I received 3 pieces of advice on our wedding day that I share with everyone and those are:

1. "Any nerves you may feel prior to walking down the aisle, once that door is open and you see Paul, all those nerves will melt away." 

2. "Take a few minutes during the night to step outside away from all the people and be alone in each others love." 

3. "Step back and take a minute to look around the room at all of the people that came out to share in your love."

So why do I want to work with brides to be? As a holistic health coach I focus on the whole person and their needs as a bride. Maybe they want to lose a few pounds to feel confident on their wedding day. I will help them achieve this but not by crash dieting, by eating healthy and exercising. I help women with lifestyle changes. My goal is for them to take these healthy practices into their marriage. I, also, focus on stress relief practices. This differs for each person. These practices will help in the planning process of a wedding, the wedding day itself, but more importantly, life after the wedding day.

I hope that this little blog helped you understand why I work with brides. A wedding is such an exciting time but it is just one day. Marriage is the rest of your life. I want every woman to go into their marriage healthy, happy and full of love and joy.

Until next time.

XOXO

Lisa Catherine KENNY

Lisa@lisacatherinecoaching.com

www.LisaCatherineCoaching.com

 

Photography by: Lauren Mudrock Photography

5 Delicious Thanksgiving Plant Based Meals

Just because it is the holiday season does not automatically mean that you have to eat unhealthy and gain 10lbs. Here are some of my favorite tasty and nutritious plant based recipes to help you stay on track during the holidays.

Garlic Green Beans and Mushrooms

Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15–20 minutes | Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound green beans
1 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tamari
Salt, to taste

Steps

  1. Rinse the beans, trim the ends, and break into 1-inch pieces. Steam over boiling water until tender, 7–10 minutes.
  2. Rinse and slice the mushrooms.
  3. Heat vegetable broth in a skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tamari. Add the mushrooms and cooked beans. Season with salt.
  5. Cook 3–5 minutes, then transfer to a serving dish.

Tips:

  • The papery skins on garlic can be easily removed using a chef’s knife. Lay the flat edge of the blade on top of the garlic clove and press down firmly with the palm of your hand. You should hear a slight cracking sound as the skin breaks. Then it can be easily peeled from the clove.
  • My mother likes green beans with tarragon. When adding tarragon to this recipe, do not add tamari or sesame seeds.

Source: The China Study Cookbook

Holiday White Bean, Potato, and Stuffing Casserole

Serves 6

Potato/Bean Layer

3 cups peeled and chopped white potatoes
1½ cups cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

Stuffing

4 cups whole-grain bread cubes, from 7 to 9 slices fresh wholegrain bread (see note)
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (see note)
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups diced onion
2¼ cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup diced celery
4 cups diced mushrooms
⅔ cup chopped pecans

Garnish

½ teaspoon paprika, plus more as needed

Steps

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil an 11 x 7 inch baking pan or casserole dish.

To make the potato/bean layer, fit a large sauce pan with a steamer insert. Add 2 inches of cold water, and then add the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are soft, but not mushy. Put the potatoes, beans, garlic powder, and salt in a highperformance blending appliance and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium-size bowl and stir in the marjoram.

While the potatoes are steaming, cut the wholegrain bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Put the bread cubes, Italian seasoning, and salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bread is slightly crisp. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool.

While the bread cubes are cooling, prepare the stuffing by combining the onion, ¼ cup vegetable broth, and the basil in a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Add the celery and ¼ cup broth, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms and another ¼ cup broth, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has cooked down, leaving the mushroom mixture very moist but not soupy. Stir in the pecans and remove the skillet from the heat.

Put the remaining 1½ cups vegetable broth into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Put 4 cups of the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the mushroom-pecan mixture and stir gently to combine. Pour in ½ cup of the hot vegetable broth and stir to combine. Add as much of the remaining broth as needed so the mixture is moist but not soupy. (If the mixture still seems dry after adding all of the broth, add a small amount of water.)

Spread the stuffing in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking pan or casserole dish. Spread the potato mixture over the stuffing in an even layer. Sprinkle with the paprika. Cover loosely and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Chef’s Notes:

  • For a gluten-free option, make gluten-free stuffing using 7 to 9 slices of gluten-free bread in place of the whole-grain variety.
  • If you prefer a sage-flavored stuffing, replace the 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, and 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves.

Source: Jazzy Vegetarian Classics

Vegan Zucchini Gratin

Ingredients

  • For the Gratin:
  • 2 medium zucchini squash, sliced in thin rounds (I used 1 zucchini, 1 yellow)
  • 1 small bundle asparagus
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, cut into thin rings
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3/4-1 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
  • 2.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Prepare vegan parmesan cheese by whirling all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until a fine meal or powder is formed. Don’t over-process or it will begin to get clumpy. Set aside. Will keep covered in the fridge for about a month.
  2. In a 10-inch cast iron or oven safe skillet, sauté onion in .5 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat until soft – about 10 minutes – seasoning with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Slice squash into very thin slices, about 1/8th-inch thick (see photo). Use mandolin if you have one, or just a sharp knife.
  5. Cup off the top 2-3 inches of the asparagus. That’s the only part you’ll be using. Save the rest for another dish. Carefully split the top portion in half so it nestles into the gratin better (optional).
  6. Add asparagus and squash to a mixing bowl and top with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, pinch of black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional), and 2 Tbsp of the vegan parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.
  7. Spread the slightly cooled onions around in the bottom of the skillet to create an even base. Top with squash, layering green and yellow as you go (if you did two colors). It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start on the outside and work your way in, keeping them in line as much as possible. Once the squash is arranged, tuck pieces of the asparagus into the layers in a circular motion (see photo).
  8. Top with an even layer of the vegan parmesan cheese (~3/4 cup) and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then broil on high for the last 1-2 minutes to toast up the top (optional, but recommended). Watch closely as it can burn quickly. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  9. This makes an excellent side dish, brunch item, or light lunch or dinner when accompanied with a protein, such as hummus or chickpea salad, or scrambled or fried eggs if not vegan. Reheats well in the microwave or oven.

Source: Minimilist Baker

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry Pear Sauce

These lentil mushroom balls are festive, filling, and a great vegan protein option for your holiday feast! You can most likely prepare the lentil balls in advance. Just shape the balls and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for no longer than 12-24 hours, bring to room temperature, and then bake as usual (of course, remove plastic wrap first). The cranberry sauce can be made a couple days in advance as well. I don't suggest skipping the sherry vinegar; it really makes this lentil mixture come to life and it pairs so well with the mushrooms. Lastly, it's important to (very) finely chop all the vegetables and walnuts so everything sticks together.

Yield
13-14 balls

Prep Time
35 Minutes

Cook time
45 Minutes

Ingredients:

for the lentil balls:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup walnuts halves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms (one 8-oz package)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped destemmed kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cranberry sauce:

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1 ripe pear, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • small pinch fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add lentils into a medium pot along with 2 and 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered, adding more water if the lentils dry out. Once the lentils are fork tender, remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until it's a coarse paste with some lentil pieces still intact. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325F. Toast the chopped walnuts for 9-12 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. After toasting, increase oven temp to 350F.
  3. In a very large skillet or wok, add the oil along with the finely chopped mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt. Saute over medium-high heat for about 7-9 minutes, until most of the water cooks off. Now add the kale, toasted walnuts, cranberries, herbs, and sherry vinegar. Stir until combined and continue cooking for another few minutes until the kale is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the mashed lentils when ready.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Stir for 10 seconds and then immediately pour into the skillet mixture. Stir to combine. Now stir in the 1/2 cup oat flour until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should be fairly moist and sticky. If it's way too sticky, add a bit more oat flour. If it's dry, add another tbsp of water.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape lentil mixture into balls and pack tightly with your hands so they hold together. Place on baking sheet an inch or so apart. Repeat for the rest. If the mixture is too hot to handle, let it cool for a bit first and then proceed.
  6. Bake the lentil balls at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, gently flip over, and bake for another 11-13 minutes, until golden and firm on the exterior.
  7. For the sauce: Add the cranberries, pear, and maple syrup into a medium pot. Bring to a low boil over high heat and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes until thickened. Use a potato masher to mash up the pear.

Tips:

1) If your mixture seems dry (and this could be the case if the lentils are cooked too long), feel free to add a touch of water to moisten the mixture enough so it adheres. 2) To make oat flour, add the rolled oats into a blender and blend on high until a flour forms. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup oat flour if you already have some on hand.

Source: Oh She Glows

No Bake Cranberry Pear Tart

Instructions:

For the Crust:

Combine the walnuts, dates, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is well combined but not completely smooth. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch non-stick tart pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For the Filling:

Place the pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, apple cider, and dried cranberries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the pears are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and cranberries with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and cook the remaining liquid in the pan until it is reduced by half.

Spread the fruit over the tart crust and pour the reduced liquid over it.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Forks Over Knives

 

 

Have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

 

xoxo

Lisa Catherine

Simple Steps to Manage Holiday Stress

It's that time of year again! I don't know about you but after Halloween is over, I tend to skip Thanksgiving and automatically start to think about Christmas. For me, I start thinking about everything I love about Christmas time; the smells, the sounds, family, cookie exchanges, cutting down our christmas tree, decorating, lights and so much more!

For those of you that know me, I am a Christmas fanatic!! However, the one thing I dislike is the stress that goes into it. In Great Britain, the word holiday means the same thing as vacation. For many, the holidays are not a time of rest, relaxation and joy, they are a time of stress, anger and anxiety. Planning for the holidays can leave many feeling impatient, cranky and sometimes even a little depressed. When the realities of day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make the holiday season perfect, stress results.

Here are some examples of holiday stressors and what you can do to minimize the stress so that you can have a relaxing, enjoyable and joyous holiday season:

 

Holiday Shopping Stress

 

  • Ask people what they want instead of trying to find the "perfect" gift.
  • Shop early, when there is more of a selection and sales.
  • Online shop! 
  • Stick to a budget and do not stray from it.
  • If you are crafty, make some of your gifts.

Hosting Stress

  • Cook and freeze foods ahead of time.
  • Ask others to bring a dish instead of preparing everything yourself.
  • If you don't like to cook, don't feel like you have to! You can cater or go out to eat, it's not cheating. The holidays are a time to be with family and friends and not stress over the food that you are eating. It is a time to be thankful.

Scheduling Time with Family and Friends

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  • Simplify holiday commitments and traditions. Discuss what family traditions are most important to you and your family. It is okay to reevaluate past traditions. One of the biggest stressors for many people are traditions. Some members of families are so set on certain family traditions and not willing to stray from them that sometimes it can push people away. Everyone's life changes and family has to be willing to adapt to that.
  • Allow time for yourself. Don't get caught up in the season for giving. Taking care of yourself is just as important, if not more important, as taking care and giving to others. Without your health and happiness, how can you make others happy?
  • Don't over schedule yourself. The holidays should be a time of relaxation and joy. Remember, holiday means vacation. 
  • Make sure to tell your family members about your other commitments so you are not struggling to meet their expectations.
  • Do not travel during rush hour.
  • When traveling long distances, make sure to stop and rest.

Conscious Eating

  • Avoid overeating. I know this is always a tricky one to do around the holidays. However, overeating can quickly turn into a slippery slope that you do not want to go down. 
  • Avoid starving yourself before a holiday party or meal. This will lead to overeating and eating foods that may not be the healthiest option.
  • Continue to exercise and watch your diet. Many people stop going to the gym around the holiday when, in reality, this is the most crucial time to continue to go to the gym. I know the holidays are a busy and stressful time but exercising relieves stress. Build your workout into your schedule so that you don't have an excuse not to go.

Manage Your Time

  • Set priorities and let go of impossible goals.
  • Stop and breath! Set aside some time during the day to relax and appreciate all of your hard work.
  • Take time you need to finish tasks that are important to you. You don't have to complete everything at once. Set priorities and goals that are attainable. 
  • Ask your kids or your significant other to help! Don't do everything on your own.
  • Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.

 

The holidays don't have to be a stressful time. It is meant to be a vacation, a time to be spent with your loved ones. If you find yourself getting too stressed, stop, breath, and think about what the holidays are really about. I love the holiday season because there is always so much love and magic in the air. I have stopped trying to live up to the stereotypical "Christmas craziness" and started relaxing and enjoying every second of the season. Enjoy the time you can spend with your family and friends during the magical holiday season.

I hope you have an amazing, stress free holiday season everyone!!

Until next time!

xoxo

Lisa Catherine

 

Foods To Help Treat Seasonal Depression

It happens every year. So many of us suffer from those winter blues. The days grow shorter and colder and all we want to do is bundle up under the covers and sleep. But for some people those winter blues are escalated into a more serious form of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) begins in late fall and ends in February before spring. 

So what causes SAD? Some experts believe that the increased hours of darkness affect a person's serotonin and melatonin levels (chemicals that affect mood). Others believe that vitamin D levels are disrupted due to reduced sunlight during the winter. Studies have shown that light therapy has proven successful in helping with SAD. In addition, just as with many illnesses, food can be a helpful aid in alleviating the symptoms of SAD.

 

3 foods that help ward off the winter blues:

1. Vitamin D is essential to maintaining our health and immune systems. Some studies suggest that as many as 7 out of 10 Americans don't get enough of this "sunshine vitamin" particularly during the winter. Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to osteoporosis, depression, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

Foods that contain Vitamin D are certain fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, fish oils, fortified milk and egg yolks. 

2. Studies have shown that omega - 3 fatty acids may be helpful in maintaining a healthy emotional balance. 

Unfortunately, our bodies cannot make these essential omega-3 fatty acids so we have to eat them. Oily, fatty fish are the best sources of omega- 3s (such as mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, anchovies). Flaxseed, hemp, canola and walnut oils are all sources of alpha- linolenic (ALA)  omega-3 acid. 

3. In the winter and cold months many people crave carbohydrates. This may be due to the decrease in serotonin and carbs promote the production of serotonin, or the "feel good" chemical. This is why many people eat candy or chips when they are feeling sad. Instead of not eating carbs, substitute the bad carbs for good carbs.

Healthier carb options are lentils, beans, quinoa, edamame, millet, buckwheat, barley, couscous, sprouted whole-grain bread, brown rice and sweet potatoes.

 

 

Try to look past the coldness and darkness that the winter months bring. Instead, focus on the  joy, laughter and happiness that these months provide as well. These months are filled with special holidays that bring family and friends together. All of the happiness and love that is shared brings so much warmth into my heart and I hope that it does yours as well. When I think of winter, the cold and dark aren't the first things that come to mind. I think of my family sitting around the table during thanksgiving telling stories and laughing, the smell of grandma's delicious homemade pumpkin pie being made, family cookie exchanges, little kids running around the house on Christmas Eve, going to cut down our christmas tree with my family, going sledding down my aunt's huge backyard and drinking hot cocoa by the fire. These happy traditions are what I think of when I think of the winter. Everyone has their thoughts about winter but instead of focusing on the negative, let's make a point to remember all the happiness that the winter brings as well!

 

xoxo

Lisa

Source: http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health...