Thursday, April 16, 2020

Friday 5 (4/17)

Hi friends – happy Friday!

In today’s episode of the Friday 5, I’m sharing 5 happier things unrelated to the craziness going on in our world including the most delicious dark chocolate ever, a brand new Beautycounter product launching next week, the secret ingredient to making quarantine meals more exciting, and a new low-sugar snack I’m loving. Also, did you see Peloton is offering 90 days free and Kindle is offering 2 months free? Ooooh, baby!

I’m trying to carry on as “normal” as possible, if you know what I mean. And, if you’re looking for tips and advice for staying healthy, be sure to head over to Instagram and follow my content there. I’ve been sharing a lot of workouts and motivation!

1. Beautycounter All Bright C Serum (brand new product launching 4/21!)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on this not-yet-released product, and OMG I am so excited about it. It’s the daytime “sister” product to my absolute favorite Overnight Resurfacing Peel. So, if you’re wanting double the action on reducing sun spots and brightening your skin tone, this will be your new skincare BFF. I’m here for it! Stay tuned for it’s official debut next Tuesday, April 21!

FYI: If you’re not yet a Band of Beauty member, you can get the Overnight Resurfacing Peel for FREE this month!

** Be sure to join my Beautycounter email list for the latest news on sales, deals, and free samples! **

2. Scout & Cellar Clean Wines

As we’re doing our part to stay home and not leave our house unless we absolutely have to, our Scout & Cellar clean-crafted wine subscription is coming in clutch! It’s keeping us alive during this pandemic, haha!

If you haven’t heard me rave about these wines (no artificial junk in them whatsoever!), check out my review here. I also answered a bunch of FAQs in this post in case you’re a self-proclaimed wino like me! 😉

3. Tahini Berry Bowl

I have been loving this lately as a breakfast or snack. It’s so filling and high in fiber, low in carbs, and helps me managing my cravings. In the mix: frozen mixed berries + tahini, nuked in microwave and then topped with ground flax, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. This has lots of healthy fats, so it won’t spike blood your sugar and will keep you full for awhile. I like eating this on my rest days when I’m craving something sweet, but don’t need the extra carbs and sugar!

4. Pixie Dust & Pizza and Pasta Magic Seasoning

These two spice blends are making boring pandemic meals a little more exciting! I’ve been eating a lot of meat + frozen veggies, so they’ve been a great way to spice up a meal! Pixie Dust is especially good on chicken wings (cooked in the air fryer), chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and mixed into ground turkey. The pizza seasoning is especially great mixed into ground beef, on roasted veggies, pasta, and, yes – pizza!

5. Hu Dark Chocolate

If you love dark chocolate and haven’t tried Hu dark chocolate, you’re missing out! It has minimal ingredients, is lower in sugar, and is some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had! It’s also free of refined sugars, dairy, soy lecithin, and sugar alcohols – which are common ingredients found in chocolate.

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Ask a Health Coach: Why Willpower Doesn’t Work, Primal-Inspired Workouts, and What to Eat for Breakfast

why willpower doesn't workHi folks, in this edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin discusses why fasting might feel harder right now, why you need more than just a good workout plan, and what to eat when you’re sick of having eggs for breakfast every day. Keep your questions coming in the MDA Facebook Group or in the comments below.

Being home all day has been a real test to my willpower. Fasting is harder and I’m hungry all the time. Any tips for navigating this “new normal?” – Stephanie

I’m with you Stephanie. A lot of things feel out of our control right now and with so much uncertainty, just rolling with it might be your best bet for the next few weeks. Does that mean saying “screw it!” and scarfing down a few donuts every morning? Or grazing on chips and cookies throughout the day? No. But it does mean acknowledging your new routine, your new struggles, the fact that you’re under more stress than usual, and of course, the reality that you’re surrounded by food 24/7.

Usually when my clients talk about willpower, I find that they’re white-knuckling it through their day. Flat out resisting the temptation to eat with no strategies other than trying not to think about food. By definition, willpower is simply ignoring hunger. You’re choosing not to eat when your body is begging you to feed it!

Stress Triggers Sugar Cravings

Hunger is a biological survival mechanism triggered by our cells and driven by our brains. When you’re eating food, you’re feeding your cells. And when you’re resisting or restricting it, you’re starving your cells. Also keep in mind that extra stress puts you into fight-or-flight mode, making those donuts, muffins, leftover Easter candies look extra good. Your cells are craving sugar! And when you give in, you start the vicious cycle of sugar high, followed by sugar crash, followed by feeling hungry, hangry, and craving everything in sight.

Sure, you might just be bored or procrastinating on a looming deadline, but if you’re genuinely hungry, put a sheet of bacon in the oven, fry up a few eggs with butter, and sit down to a meal. Actually sit down — don’t check emails, do chores, or stand in front of the fridge with the door wide open. And when it comes to intermittent fasting, no one’s going to come knocking on your door and tell you you’re doing it wrong. There’s no fasting police. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you usually fast for 20 hours and now you’re fasting for 12. As a matter of fact, there’s research that proves that fasting for as few as 10 hours has solid benefits.

Finally, if you are working from home, make sure your setup isn’t at the kitchen table. I know a lot of people have limited space, but having a designated place to work that doesn’t involve you smelling your family members’ lunches or putting you at arm’s reach from the fridge will serve you well.

I’ve been following Mark’s Daily Apple for 6 months, but I still have 30 pounds to lose. What’s the best workout for someone on a Primal diet? -Gerald

I love that you have a specific goal, Gerald. Determining your end point is so important for long-term success. It could be losing 30 pounds like you mentioned, or improving the way your joints feel, or being able to chase your kids around the yard without stopping to catch your breath.

Honestly, there are tons of workouts out there. Free ones too. In fact, I just Googled “workout plans for Primal diet” and came up with this, this, and this  in about 1.5 seconds. But it’s not just about picking a plan and following it. If it were that easy, everyone would do it.

Identify your Obstacles and Make a Plan to Get Past Them

Wellness is a journey. One that requires navigating obstacles and determining the path of least resistance. So, before you dive into your first set of squats, take some time to think about what barriers might stand in your way. Do you have the right exercise equipment at home to complete your workouts? Do you have the support of your family? Have you carved out time and space to exercise? You need to get real about what your obstacles are, so you can devise a plan to get past them and reach your goal. If you need a hand with this step, online health coaches and personal trainers can be a great resource.

A plan is just a plan. It’s two-dimensional. And things always come up. That’s why it’s crucial to have a strategy for all the ups, downs, and unexpected in-betweens that come with your individual journey.

I’m tired of eating eggs for breakfast every day. Got recommendations for changing things up? – Jeanine

You were probably in a nutrition rut before you started the eggs-for-breakfast routine. Let me guess: a light yogurt and banana before work, sandwich for lunch, instant oatmeal packets, cans of soup, take out… Somehow you got yourself out of that rut and into another one.

Listen, everyone likes the things they’re familiar with, and most people don’t like change. It’s a human truth. You were familiar with eggs. You liked them. You started making them every day. And now you’re completely sick of them. Totally understandable.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

I’m in the business of getting people out of their comfort zones, but I don’t do meal plans or recipes, simply because they’re too fussy. If I say, “how about venison patties and chopped up veggies” and you don’t happen to like those, what good does it do?” As a health coach, I supply my clients with a comprehensive list of supportive foods they should be eating. I provide the education, but I expect them to go out into the world and figure out what that looks like for them, so they don’t need me to tell them specifically what to eat at every meal.

Like I’m sure you are, I’m a big fan of protein-rich breakfasts since they’re known to keep you feeling satiated throughout the day. Remember that breakfast doesn’t have to look like a typical breakfast though. There are lots of great protein sources out there — everything from bone broth, beef, and bison to salmon, sardines, and sausage, just to name a few.

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Dusted By Pollen

It’s almost that time of the spring when you can’t sit down outside wearing black. Or a gust of wind leaves you feeling like you have sand in your eyes. Virginia is turning pollen grellow! (I hope the wind is not also carrying virus particles…) Speaking of grellow, Mazen, Thomas and I all have very...

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Homemade Hash Browns Recipe

This homemade hash browns recipe is made with only four ingredients and is really simple to make!

Hash browns are a delicious addition to any breakfast. But if you’ve ever read the ingredient list on the pre-made ones in the freezer section at the store, you may be scratching your head a little. I mean, who needs all those extra ingredients? Hash browns are just potatoes, right?

This Homemade Hash Browns Recipe has been served on a white platter. A big stack of golden brown hash browns sits on a white plate, ready to eat.

Right! Hash browns SHOULD just be made of potatoes and a couple other simple ingredients. Not the laundry list you see on those ready-made ingredients lists. Yuck. And the best part is, they are super easy to make! Let me show you how.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HASH BROWNS CRISPY

Some people like their hash browns mushy, and some like them crispy. A good hash brown should be crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. A good balance of the two textures. So how do you achieve this?

  1. Make sure you rinse your potatoes after grating them. This will wash off some of the starch. Starch in your potatoes makes them mushy, so rinse them well.
  2. Make sure you remove as much water from your potatoes as possible. Potatoes have a lot of water in them. Removing this will help them get crispy during cooking.
  3. If you really want to go the extra mile here, you can mix in an egg and some flour. But that becomes almost more like a Latke than a hash brown. It also adds a lot more calories, and since you’ll be cooking these in oil or butter, it’s probably best to avoid this unless you truly love them that way.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH HASH BROWNS

Hash browns are versatile lil’ buggers. They pair well with almost any breakfast food you care to serve them with. They go great with:

  • Cheese (especially cheddar)
  • Eggs
  • Savory sauces
  • Chili
  • Apple sauce
  • Sour cream
  • Breakfast meats

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • unsalted butter – as needed for cooking

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HASH BROWNS

  1. Thoroughly rinse the potatoes and peel them.
  2. Use a box grater to grate.
  3. You can place the grated potatoes in a large bowl filled with water to prevent the grated potatoes discoloring, additionally this will serve to “rinse” the potatoes and remove excess starch. Continue to peel and grate all of the potatoes.
  4. Once finished drain into a colander. Rinse the bowl you used and set aside.
  5. Place a clean kitchen towel on your counter and into add a couple handfuls of the drained potatoes. Bring up all ends of the towels, over the sink, twist the towel to squeeze out all of the excess moisture from potatoes. After doing so place the potatoes into the mixing bowl and repeat the process until all of the potatoes have been rung out on the kitchen towel.
  6. Next sprinkle in the salt and the ground black pepper and mix until well combined. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to help release even more liquid from the potatoes as well as allow the seasoning to stick to the potatoes better. You’ll notice liquid releasing, as it begins to you can bunch up the potatoes into one corner to separate them.
  7. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter. Use a spoon or your hand to scoop about a handful of the seasoned potatoes into the pan. Use a spatula to help the potatoes take on a round shape and be as an even thickness as possible. Repeat but don’t over crowd the pan, you need to have enough room to gently flip over the hash browns.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes then flip over, you’ll know they’re ready to flip because the edges turn a golden brown and the potatoes turn a lighter white. Cook for another 5 minutes then place on a serving plate and repeat until all of the grated potatoes have been used.
  9. Serve as desired!
  10. NOTES & TIPS: Either Russet or New Potatoes may be used, the recipe has been tested with both types of potatoes. While the Russet are starchier and tend to bind together a bit easier, the New Potato variety works just as great but is less starchy option.
  11. Some people also like to mix in flour and egg into the grated and seasoned potatoes to help them bind together better but also it helps make them a bit crispy.

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Enjoy!

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

HOMEMADE HASH BROWNS RECIPE:

Homemade Hash Browns Recipe

Hash browns are one of the easiest foods anyone can learn to make. You really only need 4 simple ingredients!

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Yield: 8 hash browns

Calories: 66 kcal

Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes (or 2 large potatoes)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • unsalted butter as needed to cook the potatoes (oil works too)

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly rinse the potatoes and peel them.

  2. Use a box grater to grate.

  3. You can place the grated potatoes in a large bowl filled with water to prevent the grated potatoes discoloring, additionally this will serve to “rinse” the potatoes and remove excess starch. Continue to peel and grate all of the potatoes.

  4. Once finished drain into a colander. Rinse the bowl you used and set aside.

  5. Place a clean kitchen towel on your counter and into add a couple handfuls of the drained potatoes. Bring up all ends of the towels, over the sink, twist the towel to squeeze out all of the excess moisture from potatoes. After doing so place the potatoes into the mixing bowl and repeat the process until all of the potatoes have been rung out on the kitchen towel.

  6. Next sprinkle in the salt and the ground black pepper and mix until well combined. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to help release even more liquid from the potatoes as well as allow the seasoning to stick to the potatoes better. You’ll notice liquid releasing, as it begins to you can bunch up the potatoes into one corner to separate them.

  7. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter. Use a spoon or your hand to scoop about a handful of the seasoned potatoes into the pan. Use a spatula to help the potatoes take on a round shape and be as an even thickness as possible. Repeat but don’t over crowd the pan, you need to have enough room to gently flip over the hash browns.

  8. Cook for 5 minutes then flip over, you’ll know they’re ready to flip because the edges turn a golden brown and the potatoes turn a lighter white. Cook for another 5 minutes then place on a serving plate and repeat until all of the grated potatoes have been used.

NOTES & TIPS:

  1. Either Russet or New Potatoes may be used, the recipe has been tested with both types of potatoes. While the Russet are starchier and tend to bind together a bit easier, the New Potato variety works just as great but is less starchy option.

  2. Some people also like to mix in flour and egg into the grated and seasoned potatoes to help them bind together better but also it helps make them a bit crispy. 

Recipe Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Note that this data does not include the butter used for cooking.

Nutrition Facts

Homemade Hash Browns Recipe

Amount Per Serving (1 hash brown)

Calories 66 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 244mg11%

Potassium 358mg10%

Carbohydrates 15g5%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin C 17mg21%

Calcium 10mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 7/26/10. Recipe has been changed for updating.



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