5 SIMPLE CLEANSE-FRIENDLY SMOOTHIE RECIPES + TIPS FOR JANUARY RESETS

It seems like 50% of the people I know are cleansing, resetting, detoxing or rebooting in some way this January. There are dozens of popular programs designed to overhaul your diet, restore your health, or simply shed the holiday pounds. People go gaga for the promised results then get a little discouraged when they see the "eat this not that" list. I feel ya. It can get a little confusing and frustrating when the "don't even" list looks way longer than the "go for it" list. 

Below are some simple, nourishing and delicious smoothie recipes to take the headache out of creating a compliant meal in 10 minutes or less. These recipes comply with most of the popular protocols (including Whole30, 21 Day Sugar Detox or my fave, the Clean Program ) and are also wonderful on-the-go meals any time of year!

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FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY EATING - PART I

As someone that started her health journey as a broke 23-year-old who thought Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and vodka sodas were healthy, I remember too well what it's like to stare down the path to healthy eating feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter if you start neck deep in cupcakes or encounter all sorts of tricky hurdles along the way. It IS possible to get to a place where you're harnessing all the nourishing, healing, anti-aging, disease-fighting benefits of a healthy diet every day. And it does NOT have to be overwhelming, confusing or inaccessible. 

The goal of this MFW Fundamentals series is to provide the support you need to make healthy eating feel possible, in the form of a step-by-step guide. We'll start at the beginning, keep things simple and have some fun along the way. So my only question is this: are you ready to see where a healthier diet will take you? 

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SMOOTHIES 101: HIGHLIGHTS FROM MFW + CLASSPASS WORKSHOP

Smoothies, smoothie bowls, acai bowls and ALL the blended things continue to be popular staples on the health food scene. Why is everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Katie Couric to little ol' me such a big fan?

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MEAL PREP 101 - HIGHLIGHTS FROM MFW + YELP WORKSHOP

My meal prep routine is a little different each week, depending on what's on the calendar for the week ahead, if we're traveling, how much time I have to dedicate to cooking on the weekend and of course what kind of mood I'm in (cause human). Regardless of these constantly changing factors, preparing at least a little food at home is an integral part of any healthy diet and relationship with food, so I try to make it happen to some extent (even if that's just steaming some greens)! Whether you have a little time or plenty, or can cook like a pro or don't know how to boil water, below are some fool proof steps, tips and things to consider when setting yourself up for a week of healthier eating fueled by meal prep. 

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AMAZE-BOWL SMOOTHIE RECIPE: STRAWBERRY ACAI DREAM

Store-bought acai bowls are usually loaded with more fruit, added sugar and piles of granola than any single person needs to consume in one sitting (unless you're about to run a marathon). This well balanced variation features the same glorious texture of those crave-worthy acai bowls and just the right amount of fruit to add yummy flavor without sending your blood sugar through the roof. And because I believe smoothies should always be nutrient dense AND fulfilling, there is plenty of protein, healthy fat and fiber to make this a powerful, filling and deeply satisfying meal! Oh and you know I snuck some veggies in there too :)

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WHY I'M OBSESSED WITH MEDITATING (AND WANT YOU TO BE TOO)

Who would have thought that the simple act of sitting down to check in with yourself for a moment could be such an eye-opening experience? So many of us are so disconnected from what we're feeling in our bodies and what's going on in the back of our minds, often because we think it's the only way to survive the crazy pace of life these days. I was a big fan of "self unawareness" for a long time, until I realized that actually paying attention to my brain, body and emotions is a valuable exercise in self exploration; one that has led to a lot of personal growth AND has allowed me to more compassionately address my needs and the needs of those around me. 

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FROM SKEPTIC TO ADVOCATE: MY PATH TO DAILY MEDITATION

I remember the first time my therapist suggested I start practicing mindfulness with little counting exercises and/or daily meditation. Poor sweet Dr. F was on the receiving end of an imperceptive eye roll, insincere smile and dismissive nod. In my defense, I was in my mid-twenties and barely 5 years off the plane from Boston where "that hippie shit" just didn't fly. Raised in an Irish Catholic household in a conservative Republican town in Connecticut, I wasn’t exactly primed to receive alternative approaches to stress management or behavioral change very well. As is the tradition in such circles, emotions are not to be indulged, feelings are not to be had, therapy is not to be invested in, meditation is for the birds.   

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A COZY FALL BREAKFAST RECIPE: PECAN PUMPKIN PIE POWER OATS

This cozy bowl of oats has just the right amounts of pumpkin flavor, warming spices and nourishing superfoods to satisfy the seasonal itch AND keep your belly full and body fueled through a busy morning. Loads of fiber, protein from restorative collagen peptides and healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds all work together to keep blood sugar stable and hormones balanced too! What more could you ask for from a healthy breakfast?!

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WHAT WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WOMEN'S HEALTH

As I learn more and more about what it takes to keep my female body and mind well, I’m finding that it doesn’t always have to be as complicated and confusing as it often seems. My personal health journey has taught me that when empowered with sufficient information, informed about all the options and supported by the right caregivers, our health and wellbeing can actually feel attainable and sustainable. But without these things, we are simply are not well equipped enough to navigate the inevitable challenges that come with puberty, menstrual cycles, childbirth, menopause, aging, or mental and physical illnesses unique to our female bodies.

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CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT RASPBERRY BOWL

This delectable smoothie bowl is a powerful, nutritious start to your morning (or any time of day!) because it's packed with clean protein, healthy fats, superfoods AND some sneaky veggies - all things that fuel mental and physical performance and health. Throw in some collagen to promote gut, skin and joint health and you're covering the "food is medicine" bases too. The best part? You're getting all this goodness in a blended meal that's easy on the digestion while tasting even more delish than that tempting bowl of Cap'n Crunch you were considering.

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AIN'T NO SHAME IN THAT SELF LOVE GAME: 9 WAYS TO SHOW YOURSELF THE LOVE

I'm a realist first and a dreamer second; always pragmatic and only (very) occasionally wistful. So you're not going to find me frolicking around chanting affirmations in the moonlight or tattooing an image of my naked body across my back. Yet. Honestly, I hope I dig myself enough to do those things someday with unbridled enthusiasm, but for now the below are quick, easy self love baby steps that even the most practiced in self-criticism can bear. 

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WHY EVERYONE SHOULD TRY YOGA + SOME TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED

In addition to improving flexibility, increasing strength, relaxing your busy mind and improving your stress response, yoga is also affordable (or free if you use an app in your own home) and can be done almost anywhere. If cheap, accessible and relaxing isn’t enough for you, here’s why I believe you should give it a shot!

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QUICK LUNCH RECIPE + BRAND REVIEW: 10 MINUTE FISH TACOS

Fish tacos are probably up there in my top 10 favorite meals, but I avoided cooking them at home for a long time because I assumed it would be too much of a pain to make ones half as good as at my favorite Mexican restaurants. I whipped up this simple 10 minute lunch to prove myself (and doubting husband) wrong. Fresh fish, pillowy tortillas, crunchy slaw, creamy avocado and the simple yet bold flavors of lime and Mexican seasonings deliver restaurant quality in minimal time. We're talking good enough to make your partner steal your tacos when you turn the other way.

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QUICK LUNCH RECIPE: SPICY MEXICAN BUDDHA BOWL

This amaze-bowl lunch (see what I did there?) is fabulously flavorful AND nourishing thanks to a satisfying combo of fresh greens, creamy avocado and bean dip, roasty toasty sweet potato wedges, snappy lil' scallions and fulfilling brown rice. Top it off with the crunch of pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), bright citrusy lime juice and that killer MFW chipotle sauce and you'll be ready for round 2 before round 1 is even over. 

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QUICK LUNCH RECIPE + BRAND REVIEW: MEDITERRANEAN VEGGIE WRAP

This is an absolute EXPLOSION of flavors all rolled up into a raw wrap that is in itself loaded with fruits, veggies and superfoods. You've got everything to make your mouth happy in this vegetarian delight: creamy hummus and olives, cool cucumbers, sweet peppers, juicy tomato and the tang of red wine vinegar dressed greens. This is an excellent light lunch for a meatless Monday or post yoga snack, but if you're after something more substantial you can always add a little feta cheese or grilled chicken breast.

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2 DIPS TO MAKE SNACKING HEAVENLY

Once you make this hummus at home you'll wonder why you ever bothered with the store-bought stuff. This takes about 7 minutes from can-opening to noshing and the flavor, texture and consistency is just right. Hummus is a great dip to have on hand to encourage healthy snacking, but it's also a yummy protein-packed base for vegetarian wraps and sandwiches...which I'll be posting about tomorrow! 

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YOUR NEW FAVORITE SALAD DRESSING

I suggest you clean out your tubs ladies, because you're going to want to bathe in this dressing it's so damn good. We drown our meal-sized salads in it, use it as a dip, and sometimes even a finishing sauce. It's delightful on any salad really, but it's especially good when combined with roasted vegetables and fall produce like squash and Brussels sprouts. Oh! We use this on our turkey burger salads and side salads too, you really can't go wrong with it!

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THIS SWEET & SPICY CHIPOTLE SAUCE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Thanks to just the right balance of sweet, spice and citrus, I can pretty much guarantee this recipe will become a go-to for spicing up tacos, salads, buddha bowls, veggies - heck, you can pour it on the bottom of your shoe and it would taste good. 

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THE 4-INGREDIENT HERB DRIZZLE RECIPE YOU NEED NOW

I'm obsessed with the vibrant flavor fresh herbs give to vegetables, fish, poultry, heck anything. I love the bright, bold flavors BUT I'm not always in the mood to spend a ton of time washing, drying, snipping, coddling 7 different herbs to go into a sauce. That laziness inspired this simple 4 ingredient drizzle that will change. Your. Life. If you're looking for proof that fast and easy can still taste mind-blowing, you've found it. Smear it on sandwiches or wraps, drizzle it on top of grilled fish or chicken, spread it on roasted veggies or use it as a dip...basically use it everywhere and anywhere you won't be too embarrassed to drool on your shirt.  

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