Easy-Peasy Breakfast Recipes

Easy-Peasy Breakfast Recipes

Image courtesy of  satit_srihin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of satit_srihin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s the most important meal of the day? It’s been drilled into us for many years now, but sometimes we can’t resist skipping breakfast as we rush out the door. If you feel that you don’t have enough time, we’ve compiled a list of simple yet delicious ideas for you to try!

1. Green smoothie (mixed baby greens, kale, green bell peppers, blueberries, strawberries) For those of you that follow us on either Facebook or Instagram have seen our smoothies for years! We hope that this will give you incentive to make your own delicious versions. The best part about this is that it’s easily customized, so you can pick and choose depending on what fruits and veggies are available at the local farmers markets! Expert tip: prepare and wash the night before, so you can just toss them into the blender in the morning.

2. Yogurt (look for the type with live active cultures, like Trader Joe’s). Personally, we love yogurt– they’re great to snack on, though we make sure to buy the ones with less sugar. We’ve mentioned this in a previous post here, but Greek yogurt is absolutely fantastic. To customize, add granola or freshly cut fruit!

3. 1 minute Quaker oatmeal. You may think this is rather bland, but it’s incredibly simple to make. We love adding almonds and other types of nuts to make us full. Other ideas include adding frozen organic corn and a dash of salt to turn this into salty porridge (think Taiwanese style porridge that you often find at dim sum. But without too many calories and MSG).

"Antsonalogb" by Lkmassey28 - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antsonalogb.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Antsonalogb.jpg

“Antsonalogb” by Lkmassey28 – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antsonalogb.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Antsonalogb.jpg

4. Ants on a log: this one isn’t quite as scary as it sounds! This delicious idea consists of raisins on peanut butter, slathered over organic celery (idea from childhood books). Opt for organic if you can, especially since celery is one of the mostly heavily pesticide-laden crops.

5. Free range scrambled eggs over whole wheat toast– this has to be a staple, seen especially at comfort food diners. However, why bother with all of the added cholesterol? Try scrambling organic and free-range brown eggs with your choice of healthy oil (organic coconut oil perhaps?). We love this over lightly toasted whole wheat bread, offset by a side of fresh melon.

6. Fruit: This is easily prepared the night before, and can be partly used for the green smoothie listed at #1. Fruit is so much more delicious than GMO-processed candy, and sweet as a pie. We suggest slicing up organic apples, bananas, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, and danjou pears. If you have any left over, why not save extra to bring to work as a snack?

7. Fitness Buff Breakfast: We’ve had suggestions from athletes who love grapefruit, hard-boiled eggs, and a protein smoothie with bananas, whey, and almonds. This is simple to make too, and we’re definitely going to have to try this on our workout days.

The best part is, most of these can double as healthy snacks! What’s your favorite breakfast? Let us know in the comments below!

DIY Mini-Spa for Home

diy-mini-spaHave any of you been to spas? I used to LOVE going to them in Taiwan. The spas felt like total luxury, with scents of tantalizing essential oil blends in the air, and calming music in the background. In the U.S., I know they can be incredibly expensive.

So what can you do at home, you ask? A mini-spa is relaxing, yet invigorating. A fun but simple routine I like to do once a week is a facial steam, which is simple and effective. First, remove all makeup from your face. For a facial steam, boil enough hot and distilled water, and pour carefully into your most lovely ceramic bowls at home. You then add fresh flowers, herbs, or drops of essential oils into the bowl.

Next, position your face over the bowl, and breathe in deeply. Put the towel so it covers your head and the bowl. (See an example here on Wikihow). Close your eyes, and breathe, enjoying the scents of the facial steam. After ten minutes, remove the towel, and dispose of the water and herbs carefully.

Some of my favorite ingredients are rose petals, lavender buds, peppermint leaves, and green tea leaves. Of course, you can pick and choose, depending on your mood. diy-mini-spa-rosesAs you can see in the photo on the right, I chose to use an herbal tea bag filled with roses! The best part is that the bag is biodegradable, so you can simply dispose of it once you’re done.

After the facial steam, I use a hydrosol as a toner, then one of the Wonderland Organic facial oils on my face and neck. This experience feels amazing– I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. Let me know if you’re interested in buying samples of the Wonderland Organic oils!

Ingredients:

  • boiled hot water
  • bowl
  • flowers, herbs, or EO (essential oils)
  • towel

Tips:

  • Be careful of scalding yourselves with the hot water
  • Do this in the morning- it’s an amazing feeling before you start your day

Thanks so much for your input, fellow readers! This blog exists solely for you– as always, feel free to leave comments as to what you’d like to read. Has anyone tried a facial steam? What are your favorite ingredients to use?

 

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Healthy Smoothie Recipe

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Healthy Smoothie Recipe

diy-recipe-wednesday-5.28.14What’s a super quick and simple recipe for the morning? If any of you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably seen the many smoothies I’ve created in my trusty old Blendtec blender.

One of the great things about juicing is that you can use veggies that may not taste so delicious, and it’ll be mixed into your juicing for the day. For instance, I dislike the taste of arugula, but once it’s great blended into the sweet scent of succulent strawberries.

According to a new University College London (UCL) study, consuming 7 or more portions of fruits/vegetables per day reduces your risk of death by 42%, when compared to consuming less than one portion.

Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic reason to start eating more vegetables? According to Walter C. Willett of Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, uncooked vegetables are better because heat may destroy phytochemicals that are present. In this case, wash your chosen fruits and vegetables carefully before placing them in your blender. If you’re not able to find fresh vegetables, frozen may be just as good as the ones that you would find in the farmer’s market. There’s been many instances that I’ve purchased fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, just to find them rotting once I’ve returned home. diy-recipe-wed-strawberries-5.28.14

There’s been a few reports stating that you should not incorporate fruits into your blended creations, which is why I prefer to keep half of what I’ve sliced as a mini snack for later (it’s like getting two for one!)

Of course, this shouldn’t be the only thing that you have for breakfast: you can try quick oatmeal with flaxseeds and nuts to keep you nice and full before you head out to work. Without further ado, here’s the juicing recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Blender
  • Organic dark & leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc)
  • Organic bell peppers
  • Organic bananas
  • Organic apples
  • Oranges
  • Organic strawberries diy-recipe-wed-oranges-5.28.14
  • A little bit of distilled water

Tips:

  • As a first rinse, you can use ACV (apple cider vinegar) as you scrub your fruits and bell peppers- ACV is edible
  • You can prepare some of the fruits and vegetables for the next few days into your juicing
  • Buy as much as you can from your local farmer’s market! The oranges you see to the right were just $8 in total
  • Buy organic strawberries and bell peppers: there have been a large number of pesticides found on these two crops

Have any of you tried juicing in your home? What do you like about it?

References:

University College London. “New evidence linking fruit and vegetable consumption with lower mortality.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331194030.htm>.

Willett, Walter C., and P. J. Skerrett. “Chapter 7.” Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating ; a Harvard Medical School Book Co-developed with the Harvard School of Public Health:. New York: Free, 2005. 145. Print.

 

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Salmon and Veggies

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Salmon and Veggies

diywednesdaysfish2Do we have any cooks out there? Personally, I never cooked much in college (Berkeley has so much amazing food), and Taiwan is most known for their delicious meals. On the other hand, quite a few of my friends continuously have saliva-inducing photos up on Instagram of their food creations.

I’m with you guys- sometimes it’s just a long day, and you’re feeling too tired to stand over a hot stove. However, it’s a good idea to cook, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your mouth. I find that it can occasionally be therapeutic, and the satisfaction derived after creating something delicious.

The best part is that there’s a sliding scale when it comes to food: there’s no need to whip up a seven course meal (unless you have a dinner party). Today, I’ll show you a simple recipe that involves just a few items.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Salmon (About the size of your palm)
  • Organic broccoli
  • Organic bell peppers
  • White or brown rice
  • Olive oil, or your preferred oil
  • Salt, pepper, or your preferred seasoning
  • Pans
  • Oven or toaster

diywednesdaysfish

Salmon & Veggie Recipe:

  1. Steam the rice in your cooker
  2. Coat salmon gently with olive oil, then add your choice of seasoning
  3. Pre-heat the toaster or oven to 400 F
  4. Put in the salmon on top of a new sheet of aluminum foil
  5. Cook for 18 minutes
  6. Wash the veggies
  7. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto your pan
  8. Stir-fry the vegetables

Tips:

  • Prepare and wash the rice first, since it takes the longest to cook
  • Both veggies are available at your local farmer’s market!
  • Vegetables can be washed by using apple cider vinegar (ACV), followed by water rinse

According to the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines, they recommend about 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds. In layman’s terms, 50 grams of protein per day for someone that’s 140 pounds, and around 65 grams for someone who is 180 pounds.

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*This table taken from Walter C. Willett’s Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, pages 118-119.

Has anyone tried this recipe, or a variation of it? It’s incredibly healthy, and look at the mix of beautiful colors. Your tummy will be sure to thank you for this.

References:

Willett, Walter C., and P. J. Skerrett. “Choose Healthier Sources of Protein.” Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating ; a Harvard Medical School Book Co-developed with the Harvard School of Public Health:. New York: Free, 2005. 118-19. Print.

 

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Oil Pulling

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Oil Pulling

oilpullingOne of the best parts of starting your own business is the fun of research and development! It’s studying articles until your eyes fall out, but there’s so much interesting information out there 🙂 Personally, I’ve tried a lot of different DIY types all in the name of natural research– but oil pulling quite possibly tops them all.

So what is oil pulling?

According to Dr. Mercola, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic tradition of “pulling” bacteria from your mouth using oils like sesame and coconut. Over Mother’s Day weekend, we did a family experiment with coconut oil for ten minutes. We each took a spoonful of organic coconut oil (easily found at your local Trader Joe’s!), and swished it around for ten minutes.

You can slowly build up your tolerance by first brushing your teeth with coconut oil. This is mainly so you won’t feel like throwing up the first time you try oil pulling. Once you’re comfortable with it, then you can do this in 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute increments. When you’re ready to spit out the oil, do this ONLY in your trash! (Oil does not go well down the drain). You’ll notice that it’s actually turned white– this is bacteria literally being “pulled” away from your mouth.

Tip: It’s supposed to be better first thing in the morning, right after you wake up.

Have you ever tried oil pulling? Let us know in the comments below about your experiences!

 

 

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Coconut Masks

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Coconut Masks

exfoliatingmaskOne of the things I love most about skincare is that it can be incredibly simple. When I was working in Taiwan, I’d be looking for something easy to soothe any kind of inflammation for my skin and face. Usually, it’d be from ingredients already lying around my apartment.

Here’s a mask recipe I convinced my cousins and aunt to try out with me:

Coconut Mask

Ingredients Needed:

  • organic coconut oil, honey, and oats
  • a measuring spoon and bowl

Directions:

  • Measure half a tablespoon of the coconut oil
  • Measure half a tablespoon of oats
  • Measure a teaspoon of honey
  • Combine all into a paste
  • Using clean hands, massage the paste gently into your face
  • Close your eyes and leave on for 15 minutes
  • Wash it off

It’s pretty simple! According to Livestrong, oats have been found to be a safe exfoliant, and helps soothe the skin. Honey is anti-bacterial and has anti-inflammatory properties. The best part of this recipe has to be the coconut oil! This oil is one of my favorite oils, with its rich coconut-y scent and lauric acid. The best part is? You can actually eat this delicious recipe 🙂

Stay tuned for more fun posts!

*disclaimer: do not attempt if you are allergic to any of these ingredients. feel free to exchange for other oils like grapeseed oil, macademia oil or sunflower oil*