Morning Rituals • Cold Showers

 
 

While on vacation in Mexico, I had the opportunity to try cold water immersion at our hotel spa. The experience consisted of a handful of small heated pools at different temperatures and one freezing cold pool. As someone who is always cold, the idea of leaving the jacuzzi to submerge myself under frigid water did not immediately appeal to me. However, after reading about the benefits of cold water immersion I decided to give it a try. 

To my surprise, I loved it. After coming out of the water, I felt my body awaken, my muscles, my mind and my attitude shift, and I knew this was something I had to keep doing. Though it may be a challenging task, the benefits associated with this practice are highly beneficial to the body. 

The Potential Benefits [source] 
Increases alertness
Refines hair and skin
Improves immunity and circulation
Stimulates weight loss
Speeds up muscle soreness and recovery
Eases stress
Helps relieve depression

There are many ways to integrate cold water immersion into your daily life. Cold showers work like a charm for me, especially when I need to wake up and be alert. Since starting a new semester at school I have also been trying cold water showers before my late night classes to give me a burst of energy. 

If you're interested in learning more about cold water immersion YouTube is filled with great introductory videos and tips! 

Dark Chocolate Superfood Cookies

 
 

Cookies are without a doubt my favorite dessert, maybe even one of my favorite foods. There’s nothing better than biting into a warm, gooey cookie, fresh out of the oven. With the New Year here, I’ve been mindful to monitor the foods that I eat, aiming to consume more plants and other earth-based foods. In addition, I’ve begun to dedicate my weekends to prepping vegetables, grains and dinners for the work week.

While most of my meal prepping consists of chopping veggies, boiling grains and so forth, this week I made a batch of healthy cookies to store in the freezer for mid-afternoon munching. From my experience, the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is by balancing your diet. Instead of restricting myself from eating dessert, I love to make heathy dessert options available should the craving call. 

These Dark Chocolate Superfood Cookies are outrageously delicious. Filled with fiber, plant-based carbohydrates, fats and proteins, these satiating treats are the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of afternoon coffee, tea or a late night snack!  

 
 

DARK CHOCOLATE SUPERFOOD COOKIES

Makes: 20 cookies
Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients 
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
6 tablespoons filtered water
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Place the almond flour, oatmeal, coconut sugar, chia seeds, cinnamon, sea salt and ground flax in a bowl and mix well. Add in the vanilla extract, coconut oil and water and mix until dough forms. Add in the dark chocolate chips to combine. 

3. Lightly dampen your hands with water and roll the dough into small balls. Place each dough ball on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper and flatten with your palm. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are golden. 

Nutrition Facts (per cookie)
109 calories, 7g fat, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 3g protein

 

Almond Butter Apple Toast

 

This afternoon I am sitting at my desk with the window wide open, welcoming the unseasonably warm breeze to fill my bedroom. With temperatures skyrocketing to high 60s, I’ve decided to soak in the day as much as possible (despite how much catching-up is in order). The last week has been a whirlwind. Between traveling home from Mexico, starting a new semester of graduate school, getting back into the swing of things at work and trying to keep up with my blog, things have certainly been crazy around here!

With hours of the day flying by (quite literally), I have found myself failing to sit down for a meal, but rather endlessly munching on whatever foods I have stocked up in my fridge. While usually I condemn this kind of eating, sometimes life calls for quick bites.

In my case, Almond Butter Apple Toast has been my savior this week, along with it’s popular counterpart, avocado toast. Inspired by a toast made by Heirloom DC, this treat is the perfect bite for breakfast, snacktime or even dessert! 

** In this recipe you'll see that I suggest using coconut sugar as an additional topping. Coconut sugar is derived from the coconut palm tree and can be found at most grocery stores. Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar contains "minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants." While it's always better to get your sugar directly from fruit, coconut sugar is a great alternative for those with a sweet tooth! 

 
 

Almond Butter Apple Toast

Serves One
Time: 2 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 piece of toast sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1/2 an apple, sliced thinly

Additional toppings: 
drizzled honey
cinnamon
shredded coconut
coconut sugar
sliced almonds

Directions:
Take a piece of toast and slice it diagonally. Smother each piece with with almond butter and top with sliced apples. Additionally, top with any of the following: honey, cinnamon, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, sliced almonds, etc. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving w/o additional toppings) 
233 calories, 10.5g fat, 32g carbs, 11g sugar, 7g protein 

 

2016 Recipe Roundup

With only a few days away from the New Year, I thought I’d share a roundup of some of the most popular She Well recipes of 2016. Celebrating a year’s worth of gratitude and excitement, what better way to sign off on 2016 than by reflecting on the year's best recipes! 


Chunky Monkey Morning Oats
An ode to my two favorite men, Ben & Jerry, these ice cream inspired oats are definitely the most popular recipe on my blog. If you like banana, peanut butter and chocolate this recipe is for you. 

 

Simple Butternut Squash Lasagna
Craving comfort food, but don't want to bust your healthy diet? Look no further than this delicious butternut squash lasagna. With only 15 minutes of prep time, this dish is sure to become a 2017 household staple. 

 

Creamy Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Hail to this dessert-like smoothie featured in BuzzFeed's "21 Easy, Healthy Snacks For When You’re Trying To Lose Weight." Filled to the brim with creamy deliciousness, this vegan smoothie is sure to seriously get you excited about eating healthy.

 

Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This may be an oldie, but it sure is a goodie! Perfect for anyone who is vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free and tastes delicious on salads! Pack this for lunch - you won't be disappointed. 

 

Shamrock Shake
It doesn't have to be St. Patrick's Day to enjoy this delicious treat! Loaded with heaps of spinach, healthy fats from avocado, protein from brown rice protein powder and potassium from bananas, this shake is definitely a winner.

Rosemary Chipotle Nuts

 

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is making Ina Garten’s Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts for the holidays. Every year during the Christmas season we pile our shopping cart high with nuts, herbs and spices, all in preparation for this timeless treat. Complete with roasted cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, sugar, herbs and spices, this holiday snack is great for gifting or filling your candy jars with! 

Happy holidays! 

 
 

Rosemary Chipotle Nuts 

Makes 20 servings
Time: 35 Minutes
Recipe from the Food Network

Ingredients
coconut oil
3 cups whole roasted raw cashews
2 cups whole walnut halves
2 cups whole pecan halves
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
3 teaspoons sea salt, divided

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using a brush, cover the bottom of a large baking sheet with coconut oil. Place the nuts, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder in a large bowl and mix well. Once combined, transfer the nuts onto the large greased baking sheet and spread evenly over the surface. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves and 2 teaspoons sea salt over the nut mix.

3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, stirring the nuts every 5-7 minutes or so to ensure that they cook evenly. 

4. Once the 25 minutes are up, remove from heat and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside to cool.

*Store in an airtight container or freeze for later

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
292 calories, 25g fat, 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 6g protein

 

Spiced Gingerbread Oatmeal

 

Tis the season for cozy gingerbread oats! With temperatures plummeting well below 30 degrees today on the East Coast, what better way to warm up than with a heaping bowl of warm spiced oatmeal?!

As a self-declared lover of all things oat-y, I’ve developed an easy holiday recipe you can enjoy at any hour of the day - Spiced Gingerbread Oatmeal. Packed to the brim with energy-packed carbohydrates and plant-based fiber, these oats make the perfect breakfast or snack during the holidays! 

P.S. If you haven’t downloaded my free one-day holiday detox, now is your chance! The ebook will be available only until December 31st!

 
 

Spiced Gingerbread Oatmeal

Serves 1
Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 
1/4 cup of old fashioned oats
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 tablespoon brown or coconut sugar
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Optional toppings:
1 tablespoon white chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts 

Directions:
Place all of the ingredients into a small pot on medium heat. Allow the oats to cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until they bubble. Lower heat and allow to cook until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Nutrition Facts (per 1 serving without toppings) 
190 calories, 5g fat, 35g carbs, 7g fiber, 15g sugar, 6g protein

 

4 Ingredient Chocolate Hazelnut Bars

 

Do you like chocolate? Do you like a hazelnuts? How about together? Then I think you’re going to LOVE these Healthy 4 Ingredient Chocolate Hazelnut Bars! 

This past fall I started grad school and realized that I had a major dilemma on my plate… I had no good to-go snacks. With post-work classes at the peak hours of dinner time, I knew I was going to need to invest in some grub that would hold me over… but what? 

As a student, most of the healthier bars on the market are priced at $2-3 a pop, something I just couldn't afford. It was then that I realized that I had to take matters into my own hands. I went on Amazon, bought a box of 100 sealable snack baggies and got to work.

The result? These insanely decadent Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Bars made with only 4 ingredients: dates, hazelnuts, cocoa powder and sea salt! I individually packaged each bar and placed in a large zip-lock bag in my freezer for whenever I need a quick snack out the door.

The best part? They’re suuuuper pretty when you drizzle them with chocolate and last in the freezer for-ev-er!

 
 

Healthy 4 Ingredient Chocolate Hazelnut Bars

Makes 7 large bars
Time: 20 minutes (5 minutes for raw) 

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh medjool dates, pitted! 
1 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

* Note: You can eat these bars raw, however if you'd like to enjoy them at room temperature or pack them for later, I recommend cooking them as instructed.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Place 1 cup of hazelnuts into a food processor and chop until the hazelnuts turn into a flour-like substance (not paste). Remove from the food processor and set aside in a large mixing bowl

3. Place the pitted medjool dates in a food processor and grind to a paste. If the dates are failing to combine, feel free to add a tablespoon of warm water. In addition, if you’re using dried dates this process will take a little longer. Place the dried dates in a bowl of warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes of so until they become soft. Remove the dates from water and place in a food processor to blend. Add warm water slowly by the tablespoon if necessary to get a paste like substance. Be sure not to add too much water!

4. Once you have your date paste, add it to the large mixing bowl with the hazelnut flour. Add two tablespoons of cocoa powder and sea salt and mix well with a spoon to combine.

5. Take a loaf pan and spray the bottom with oil. Line the oiled pan with parchment paper and add the batter. Using a spatula, spread the batter so that it lays evenly in the pan and the batter is leveled. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

6. After 30 minutes or so, remove the bars from the freezer and cut into 7 or 14 individual bars. Remove the parchment paper from the pan with the bars still on it and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 15 minutes and set aside to cool. 

Nutrition Facts (per one large bar)
200 calories, 12g fat, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 17g sugar, 4g protein