SNACK ATTACK: YUMMY & NOURISHING SNACKS AT HOME & ON THE GO

Arming yourself with nutrient dense whole food-centric snacks made with simple, real ingredients is the best way to nourish your body in a pinch without having to overthink it. Check out my favorite store-bought, on-the-go, travel and work snacks in this post!

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FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY EATING PART V - WHY WHOLE FOODS?

When I started eating more whole, real food at the ripe age of 23 (I was a processed food junkie before that), I was sure it was going to be torture. After all, I did hide my broccoli under my napkin until I moved out of my house for college and then ate mostly heaping bowls of cereal washed down with orange soda and beer for 4 years straight. My palate wasn't exactly primed for Brussels sprouts and dry roasted nuts.

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GRAIN-FREE BREAKFAST BOWL + MY GUT STORY

Ever get crampy after eating quinoa or uncomfortably bloated after a big bowl of forbidden rice? How about sleepy after a bowl of oatmeal? Compromised gut health, lack of sufficient digestive enzymes or mindless speed-eating (womp) can make whole grains difficult to digest for a lot of people (including myself). Cue this warm and cozy breakfast bowl. It boasts a well-rounded nutrient profile, a super satisfying texture and all the coziness offered by the cereal grain alternatives. P.S. It's free from added sugar and loaded with fiber and healthy fats so it's also the perfect way to feel full, satisfied and energized without negatively impacting your blood sugar or hormones!

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FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY EATING PART IV - EAT LESS ADDED SUGAR

The average American is eating 22 TEASPOONS of added sugar a day. And before you say "not me! I drink my coffee black and choose diet soda!"consider this: most people are completely unaware of how much added sugar they're eating until they start reading labels. On your next trip to the grocery store, examine the labels on the yummies you're throwing in that cart and you'll likely be surprised to see how much sugar is added to everything from seemingly "healthy" bread to savory crackers to vegan dips and paleo protein bars. But why should you care?

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JUICY HERBED PALEO-FRIENDLY TURKEY BURGERS

I'm not paleo or grain-free, but I do love easier to digest, vegetable heavy, whole food meals. I'm a big advocate of getting creative with veggies in the kitchen, as doing so can be transformative for your health. So stop rolling your eyes at my squash/sweet potato buns and give something new a try, ok? I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised by how well the sweet roasted veggie discs complement the savory herby goodness of the juicy burger patty. With your favorite pickles and condiments, this baby is a flavor explosion that will have you rolling your eyes at those dried out processed tasteless burger buns in no time.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY EATING PART III: EAT MORE GREEN VEGETABLES

So! You're ready to dig that fork of yours into a big pile of health and wellness and wake up a changed woman, eh? But what the heck actually goes on that fork?

The conversation around nutrition in this country has grown maddeningly confusing. It can seem impossible to get straight answers to questions around whether or not things like red meat, gluten, saturated fats, or even little ol' brown rice are harmful or perfectly healthy. Add increasingly high rates of food allergies, hormonal imbalances, gut issues, and autoimmune diseases and no wonder many of us feel beyond overwhelmed.

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7 MINUTES IN HEAVEN: LOW-SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH BALLZ

7 Ingredients. 7 minutes or less from bowl to mouth. These fast & easy snack ballz are a healthy but delish throwback to my days of devouring mounds of raw cookie dough right out of the bowl. They'll satisfy any hankering for a yummy little treat  without spiking blood sugar, all while packing a sneaky nutritional punch. Super easy to throw together thanks to a substitution-friendly recipe, the ingredient ratios are also conducive to scaling up to a big batch in just a few minutes. I usually make these as singles because I can't control myself with something that so closely resembles the cookie dough of my childhood, especially if I have the "but they're healthy" excuse. Welp. If you're better off in the willpower department, simply multiply the quantities by the number of ballz you want to end up with :)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF HEALTHY EATING - PART II: DISCOVERY PHASE

A combination of personal experience, extensive research and observation over the past 2 decades has made me a firm believer in slow, incremental change and bio-individuality. Because change can be daunting, and figuring out what works best for your biologically unique body can be even more daunting, we're going to start with simple, foundational changes that are low maintenance and high impact for anyone and everyone - regardless of your physical condition, health goals and available resources.

Up first is mindful eating, a skill you can use it at every stage in your healthy eating evolution. The best part? You can get rolling while still clutching a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos if you want - although I can promise you won't feel the same about them when we're through. 

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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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