My Thoughts on the Instant Pot & Oil-Free “Refried” Beans

Back in May, I received an Instant Pot Ultra for my birthday and was so excited to work with it! I posted a picture on my Instagram story when I first got it alluding to future recipes using it but then I didn’t talk about it. I decided to avoid posting recipes utilizing it on the blog because I didn’t want to exclude people who do not have an Instant Pot. While I realize that the Instant Pot is a convenience gadget,  I wanted to mention it now because after using it consistently for the past 3 months I can say it has helped me stay on track of making healthy meals at home. As always, I want to be as transparent as possible on this blog to talk about things relating to health, wellness, and living a fulfilling life and today that means talking about a product that has made my life so much easier. Instead of going through every single thing I have made using the Instant Pot thus far, I’ll highlight the pros and cons from my experience so you can decide if it would be a helpful product to keep you on track of your health and/or fitness goals.

Read More


How to Make a Healthy Choice

 

Snapchat-203143087

Understanding how to read a nutrition label is key to understanding how to make an informed decision about what is a healthy product and what is not. This post will be expanding on my previous post, Decoding the Nutrition Label.  Today, I’ll be breaking down what makes a product healthy or unhealthy.

A healthy choice should be one that has protective factors against chronic diseases like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whereas a not-so-healthy choice will include a greater amount of saturated and trans fats along with added sugars, and salt.

Read More


Decoding the Nutrition Label

 

Within the realm of nutrition and health, there are so many products that claim to be “healthy”. How can you really tell whether or not a product is actually good for you? The answer lies on the box of the product in the format of what is known as the nutrition label. Every item that is sold for consumer consumption is required by law to highlight the nutrient breakdown. In other words, the nutrition label breaks down in detail the amounts of macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) within the product. The best way to take charge of your health is to familiarize yourself with reading and understanding the nutrition label. With that being said,  today I’ll be breaking down the information you need to be aware of and what exactly each area means.

Read More


Recipe: Green Smoothies

DSCN0695

One of the most popular “health” foods are green smoothies. While they may be convenient and quick when on the go, not all green smoothies are all that healthy. In fact, many green smoothies are loaded with sugar to compensate for the added vegetables. Although fruits are a healthy choice, they are naturally high in sugar so just like any other sweets, they should be eaten in moderation. Fruits are usually better as a snack in between meals when paired along with a source of fat and protein. When too much fruit is added to a smoothie, it can spike blood sugar levels which will ultimately make you crash. For that reason, I have created two smoothie options that contain both protein and fat to help counter-balance that blood sugar spike. Whether you like fruity smoothies or creamy smoothies, I’m sure that you will find one of two of these recipes will help to satisfy your craving. Both of these recipes contain spinach which is high in vitamins A, C, K, and the mineral folate. These smoothies are very filling and are best suited for a meal replacement.


Read More


Recipe: Panko Crusted Cauliflower

 

20180306_160756.jpg

Hi guys! So I know it’s been awhile since my last blog post, but thank you for being so patient with me. Today I’ll be sharing with you one of my pride and joys and that is my recipe for panko-crusted cauliflower. Growing up, my mom used to make panko crusted chicken and I was obsessed. But as I got older and became more health conscientious I realized her pan-frying method maybe wasn’t the healthiest approach. But because I loved my mom’s recipe so much I was determined to find a healthier alternative that was as equally delicious. That’s when this recipe was born. This is one of my all-time favorite ways to prepare cauliflower because it is filing and so satisfying. The crunch from the panko makes all the difference and it is truly one to try out. These are amazing tossed in just about any sauce you can imagine and are a lighter option for chicken strips and/or nuggets. The flavor combinations are endless and you can use them to top a salad, add to a wrap, or just eat as finger food. Before we get into the recipe, here’s a little background on the star of the show-cauliflower.

Read More


Health Conscientious or Health Obsessive

scale-diet-fat-health-53404.jpeg


Up to this point, I have given insight into the various source of macronutrients, tips on eating healthy, and provided a recipe idea to help inspire you to live a healthier lifestyle. However, before I go any further I wanted to talk about the fine line that exists between being health conscientious and health obsessive. Someone who is health conscientious realizes the true value of their health and understands that there are certain things their body needs to flourish. With that being said, people who are health conscientious also understand the importance of balance and self-love. Whereas someone who is health obsessive does not and instead demonstrates destructive behaviors all for the sake of perfection. The key to living a healthy lifestyle is not about perfection but rather intention. Every single day you are presented with the opportunity to make choices that will either push you toward or away from your goals but it is all up to you. Down below I have included some behaviors that will help you to determine where you lie on the spectrum of health conscientious or health obsessive.

Read More


Simple Snack Solutions

inCollage_20180211_150429411.jpg


Snacking in between meals is extremely important to help maintain a steady flow of energy and to help boost your metabolism. If our blood sugar levels drop too low, we may feel dizzy, nauseous, or light-headed which in turn will cause our bodies to slow our metabolism.  By having “smart snacks” on hand, you can help to boost your dwindling energy levels throughout the day. “Smart snacks” are those that combine a serving of carbs, fat, and protein to help steady our energy levels. Carbohydrates like fruits, veggies, and granola provide the body with a burst of energy. Meanwhile, protein and fat sources like eggs, peanut butter, and hummus help to curb and keep hunger at bay. Down below I’ve included further detail on why these snack options are worth trying out.

Read More


Eating Healthy on a Budget

pexels-photo-533360.jpeg

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase “eating healthy is expensive” I would have been a millionaire by now.  But I’m not, I’m a post-grad student trying to show you that eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. The truth is, the things that are costing you the most money are more than likely the items that are most unhealthy for you like chips, cookies, or frozen dinners. Down below I’ve included my top 6 tips for eating healthy on a budget. These are things I do every time I go grocery shopping that have helped me to lower my food expenses and waste.

Read More


Recipe: Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

stuffed shells.jpg

A few weeks back I created a poll on my Instagram (@lifeatthemesa) asking you guys if you would be interested in my tofu ricotta stuffed shells and the vast majority of you said yes and it is finally here! It took some extra time but after making a few additional tweaks this recipe is perfection. I once made this for my mom without telling her what the shells were stuffed with and she didn’t even detect it. For those of you who voted no for the recipe, I highly encourage you to abandon the assumption of tofu being bland and give this recipe a go. I promise you will not be disappointed.  Now, without further ado here is my pesto tofu ricotta recipe.

Read More


Power in Protein

pexels-photo-824635.jpeg


Since I first began my journey to a career in the field of nutrition, many of the questions I’ve been asked revolve around protein.  Protein is the most sought after macronutrient by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness fanatics because of its role in building muscle. However, the role of protein goes far beyond building muscle and extends into just about every square inch of our body.  Protein plays a role in:

  • Formation of muscles, bones, blood, skin, and cartilage
  • Production of hormones, vitamins, and enzymes
  • Building and repairing tissues

Unlike carbs and fat, protein is not stored in the body for later use and must be supplied through your diet on a daily basis.  While most people get more than enough protein in their diet, it’s not just about the quantity but more importantly the quality.

Read More