Fall is the perfect time to cozy up at home and eat delicious soup! I’m so happy for the cooler temperatures and finally did just that this weekend. It was amazing! I wanted to share the soup I made since I know you guys love Whole30 too and will definitely want to try this!
This is a sweet potato soup with bacon (YUM!) and it’s really hearty and filling and noruishing and everything else tht you would want in a fall soup. I am obsessed! Try it for your self and let me know if you agree!
6 slices sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon (like this from US Wellness Meats)
1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout
1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced thin
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
garnish: fresh or dried chives
1. Cut bacon into 1/4-inch slices and place in a cold soup pot. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until it’s crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towels and set aside to drain and crisp.
2. Keep 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan and discard the rest. Re-heat the fat over medium-high heat, then add the onions, Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
4.Working in batches and being careful (please be careful, friends!), purée the soup in a food processor or blender until it’s smooth. Return to the pot, taste, and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls, then sprinkle with a little bacon and chives. Both the bacon and soup hold up well in the fridge for a few days.
I’ve done a number of Whole30 challenges in the past and always love how I feel after! I find it too restrictive to eat this way all the time, but I do continue to incorporate Whole30 style recipes into my diet about 80% of time for the rest of the year. I feel best when eating whole foods and no sugar and once you figure that out, it’s hard to go back to filling your body with crap. 🙂
A few months ago I found another blogger on Instagram that posts a lot of Whole30 recipes and her food photography is BEAUTIFUL! Check out the cover image for example. Anyways she seems like the sweetest person so I wanted you to be able to discover her too. Her website is unboundwellness.com and here is an amazing recipe she recently posted I am obsessed with.
For the chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast (or about 2 thin breasts)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin (omit for AIP)
- optional – 1 tsp paprika (omit for AIP)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
For the salad
- 4-5 cups mixed greens
- 1-2 cucumbers, sliced
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- 1-1.5 cups berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp honey (omit for whole30)
For the chicken
- Set the oven to 400 F. Combine the seasonings in a bowl and coat the chicken on both sides. Set aside.
- Using a cast iron pan, heat the avocado oil until it’s very hot. Add the chicken to the pan and sear for about 5 minutes on each side, until a blackened crust is formed. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
- Remove from the pan and allow to rest before slicing to serve over the salads.
For the salad and dressing
- Using a high-speed blender, combine all of the salad dressing ingredients until smooth. Set aside and save any unused dressing in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.
- Prepare the salads with 2 bowls (more if you’d prefer to scale down, or less if you’d rather a larger salad) and layer on the greens, then the chicken, sliced cucumber, avocado, and berries. Finish with the dressing and serve.
I love the perspective a new year brings. It’s like all of a sudden you’re given a fresh start and you get to do whatever you want with that. Some people decide to do nothing and some (like me) kick it into high gear.
I have huge goals for myself in all areas of my life and a new year is a great excuse to reflect on what I’ve accomplished over the last year and what I need to work on. It’s not easy to admit you need to make changes but that self realization is so important for growth.
So far this year I have been crushing my exercise and eating goals. I try to reach 10,000 steps a day plus 3-4 HITT style workouts a week. I know January is when everyone goes hard and then you don’t hear from them again but I’m here to say it’s February and I’m still doing it!
I’ve also been eating super healthy trying to eat Whole30 style for the most part. I’m done eating crap like donuts and calling it balance. Treats like that make me feel like shit so there is no balance there for me. Nowadays, a treat for me is a matcha latte or a smoothie. And I have those treats all the time cuz they’re not unhealthy!
Another goal that I’m still working on is self care. I always do so much in a day that I rarely leave time to take care of myself. I’ve been trying to meditate a few times a week and also have “me” nights like taking a bubble bath or doing a face mask. This goal is harder for me and I’m not crushing it as much as my others but I am improving, little by little!
Tell me about your goals for 2018 and how they’re going!
Hey lovelies! It probably comes as no surprise health and wellness means everything to me. I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my health and water is one of those simple wins I come back to time after time. I really do notice a difference when I drink at least 2L of water a day. That can be challenging when you’re traveling or on the do so I make sure to always have a reusable water bottle with me and fill it up as I go. I also drink 1 large glass of water when I wake up (about 500ml) and that is an amazing way to start the day after 8 hours of rest with no water. It definitely helps flush out any toxins and re-hydrate me for a busy day to come. I’m also craeful not to drink water when I’m eating as that is not great for digestion. Instead I wait about 1 hour before and after eating to drink my water. That is a really hard shift to make at first but once you start doing it and becoming aware that drinking water while eating actually inhibits digestions it makes me want to do my best.
My goal is 1L of water before lunch and 1L after. I sometimes even manage 2L after lunch if it’s a particularly hot day or I have been sweating/exercising a lot. One thing I have noticed is that everyone is different and so 2L may be too much or too little water for another person. For me I feel best at 2L but I encourage you to test yourself and see what’s best. I naturally drink more water in the summer than winter too which makes sense.
I highly encourage everyone to drink more water and see how it makes you feel!
As I mentioned in my last post I recently completed the Whole30 challenge. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes I found online during this diet that tasted so good I couldn’t believe that it was part of this restricted eating regime! If you Google Whole30 challenge you’ll find so many amazing recipes so I encourage you if you’re considering this challenge to do more research online and find all of the recipes that won’t make you miss bread as much as you thought!
Check out this recipe I found below and let me know what you think in the comments! I just made this last night and it’s so good!
BLT Breakfast Salad With Soft Boiled Eggs & Avocado
2 generous servings
- 1 bag of cruciferous greens blend from Trader Joe’s (you can substitute a head or two of kale chopped into ribbons if you can’t find this blend.)
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs, soft boiled
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- In a large bowl combine your cruciferous greens blend, onion, tomato, sunflower seeds and chopped up crispy bacon. If you need help on how to cook bacon, you might find this tutorial helpful.
- Place all of your salad dressing ingredients together in a mason jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake until the dressing has completely come together. Pour the dressing over your salad and work it into the leaves. Use your hands if necessary. Set the salad aside.
- Soft boil your eggs. I find that six minutes in boiling water tends to be my sweet spot for the perfect soft boiled egg. Once the eggs are done, peel them, slice them open and serve them on top of your salad with some avocado slices.
As you might know I’m all about health and fitness! I go to the gym almost every day and I also exercise at home or on the go. My usual day looks something like this: wake up at 6 AM and have cayenne and lemon water and a small snack like a banana or an apple, go to the gym for 6:30 AM spin class, go home to shower and get ready for work, go to work, go for a 30 minute power walk on my lunch break, get home to make dinner, and then go for a bike ride in the evening with my boyfriend before bed. As you can see I exercise a lot in a day! I believe in breaking a sweat daily and I try to incorporate exercise whenever I can. I do take rest days however; sometimes I don’t go to the gym in the morning or I don’t go for my walk at lunchtime. But I always make sure to do one of my three favorite tasks a day: fitness class, walk or leisurely bike ride. I also make sure to eat healthy food and a lot of it throughout the day to keep my body nourished and full. When you exercise as much as I do it’s important to eat enough to make back all of the calories burned. Some fitness trainers like to restrict the calories they eat in a day while is I let myself eat as much healthy food like vegetables and lean protein as my body craves.
I also find that for the early mornings fitness classes work best for me. I have a hard time motivating myself to go to the gym if I’m just going to going to lift weights or run on the treadmill. But if I have a class with an instructor to look forward to I can’t wait to get to the gym in the morning! As I mentioned I often do spin class at 6:30 AM but my gym also offers other classes such as HITT and yoga. For those days that I’m feeling more tired and need some stretching yoga is a great alternative. I also do a lot of stretching on my own after working out beyond what the instructor has us do for about 10 minutes after they work us. I like to stretch and foam roll for about 30 minutes every day given the amount of exercise I do and how sore my muscles become.
Tell me more about your daily fitness routine! I’d love to learn more about my readers and also if you have any requests for work out or meal ideas please comment below and I’ll make sure to incorporate your ideas in the future posts!
I exercise a lot and used to struggle to eat enough protein to help me build muscle and keep me full. Enter protein powder! I usually drink one protein shake a day as a snack which gives me about 20 gram of protein. Sometimes I add a couple scoops to my breakfast smoothie but usually I mix it with just water and have after a workout in the afternoon.
I’ve tested so many brands over the years and I’ve learned the whey ones so popular with body builders hurt my tummy so I’ve switched to vegan varieties. Some vegan ones hurt my tummy too if they’re made with pea protein and I also HATE the taste of stevia, so the one I like right now is Trader Joe’s organic hemp protein powder. I get the chocolate one and it only has hemp seeds, palm sugar and cocoa powder. It only has 10 grams of protein per scoop so I usually have two scoops with water in a shaker bottle. The chocolate taste is so yummy and it’s not too sweet!
I’ve been using protein powder for about 5 years and I definitely find it helps me build and maintain muscle mass. Before I started using it I had like zero definition even though I worked out all the time. I also make a point of eating more protein in general usually in the form of lean meat like chicken and turkey. I also aim for 8-9 servings of vegetables a day and right now I’m trying a grain free diet to see how that works for me.
A healthy diet is key to any exercise regime and protein powder is just one tool I keep in my back pocket! What are your tips for incorporating more protein into your diet?
I must have hundreds of motivational quotes saved on my phone, including one on my lock screen that I change up every few weeks. I am a huge believer that motivational quotes and affirmations can help cultivate a mindset of success and happiness. I use positive affirmations written on sticky notes around my home to start my day off on the right note, and I find myself reviewing motivational quotes saved on my phone throughout the day, especially when I’m feeling stressed or angry. I thought this would be the perfect place to share some of my favorite quotes with my readers in hopes of helping you set your days up for success. They say happiness is a choice and I truly believe that. Try reading two motivational quotes and repeating two affirmations out loud every day for a week and see how that changes your life. Below I will share some of my favorites to get you started!
Well, it’s a new year and time to refresh things from a health and wellness perspective! I’ve recently been starting my mornings with a drink of lemon and cayenne water. It sounded not particularly tasty at first but it’s actually great!
Apparently this mixture is excellent for detoxifying the body and assisting the digestive system. The lemon is packed with vitamin C which combats toxins. Lemons are also filled with antioxidants and electrolytes. Not only that, but lemons help neutralize the body’s pH. Because digestion is so important, this drink is a great way to set the stage for your day.
Cayenne pepper is also known to stimulate the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It also boosts the temperature of your body and kick-starts your metabolism.
So, how does it work? As soon as you wake up, warm up a half litre of water (but not too hot), add the juice from a full lemon, and sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper. Be sure to buy non-irradiated cayenne pepper, since irradiation reduces the nutritional profile and natural medicinal properties of herbs and spices. Once that’s done, mix everything together and drink it! I also like to rinse my mouth out with about a half glass of water when I’m done. Waiting about 30 minutes before eating breakfast for best results!