Marinara Sauce

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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend! Today I wanted to share with you a quick & easy marinara recipe that was a result of not having gone to the grocery store to pick up my usual premade sauce. About 2 weeks ago, I was in the mood for pasta but realized I had no sauce on hand. Usually I would have gone to the store but I have made it a goal of mine this year to avoid going to the store for just 1 item. As I rummaged through my pantry I found some fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce &  few other spices and figured I would give it a shot at making my own sauce! That was hands down one of the best decisions I could have made because it was well worth it. This sauce tasted so much better than any store bought variety I had tried & was so cheap to make. You can use this sauce for pasta, pizza, meatball subs or really just about anything your heart desires! Now without further ado let’s get into the recipe!

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Healthy Banana Bars

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School is finally over and I cannot tell you how relieved I am. After a difficult semester, the first thing I wanted to do was get back into the kitchen to test out some new recipes! This is one of the many to come and let me just tell you, I cannot stop eating it. Guys, these banana bars are so addictive and have been approved by some of my toughest critics (thanks Adriana & Dan). Not only are these banana bars delicious but they are also surprisingly nutritious! Free of refined sugar and loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this bar will make you think twice about healthy eating.

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My Go-To Groceries

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If you’ve recently decided to change the way you fuel your body then I’m sure  you’ve already asked yourself, “what should I buy when I go to the grocery store?” The truth is, your first trip to the grocery store following your decision to change your lifestyle may be a little bit intimidating because of the abundance of product choices. There are hundreds of thousands of products that use the word “natural” which may confuse you as to whether or not it is a good choice. The true nutritional value of any product can be discovered by familiarizing yourself with the nutrition label (to learn more about how to read the nutrition label, click here).

Now, for those of you who are still a little bit stumped as to what you should add to your grocery list, don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. Today I’ll be sharing with you an example of what a typical trip to the grocery store looks like for me. I’ll share some of my favorite things to keep in stock and explain why they are a great choice to help keep you full and satisfied.


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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.

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Recipe: Panko Crusted Cauliflower

 

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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.

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Recipe: Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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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.

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The Facts on Fat

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Importance of Fat

Fat- the macronutrient we all love to hate. If you find yourself nitpicking at any flap of extra skin you should know that fat serves an important function in the body and each of us need it. Fat makes up the inner lining of our skin and hair and helps the body to absorb vitamins A, K, E, and D. In addition, fat helps to provide protection to our organs and leaves us feeling full and satisfied when included in a meal. Fat can come from both plants and animals but if you can guess, some are more beneficial than others. Although all sources of fat contribute the same 9 calories per gram, the unsaturated types of fat have been linked to certain health benefits, while saturated and trans fats have been linked to heart disease. When choosing fats, save yourself the heartache and opt for the unsaturated types in moderation. Down below are the sources of fats to limit and fats to include.

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Let’s Talk Carbs

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To kick-start our discussion on all things relating to diet and health, I think it’s important to start with the macronutrient that has somehow earned itself a negative reputation carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have been given a bad name for their attribution to weight gain and metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.  However, labeling an entire food group as “bad” or “harmful” is unfair because not all carbs are made the same.  Before you jump on the no/ low carb diet bandwagon it is important to understand the difference between the various sources of carbs and what the right choice can do for your body. Without further ado, let’s talk carbs.

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Revisiting Your New Year’s Resolutions

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We are officially two weeks into January which means those of us who made new year’s resolutions are two weeks closer to achieving our goals.  However, for many this is the point in which the momentum to change may have faded.  If you have abandoned your new year’s resolutions or just feel less motivated, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Many of the goals we set for ourselves in the new year tend to be far-fetched and unrealistic.  To be more specific I mean that maybe your goal to eat seven vegetables a day and drink eight glasses of water was too drastic of a jump from the lifestyle you led last year. In order to make a lasting change especially in terms of your lifestyle, it is important to make your goals specificrealistic, measurable, and achievable.  With that being said below I have listed my 10 tips to help you achieve your new year’s resolutions. Best of luck ♥

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