Eat With LB

5 Signs You Need Activation

A few signs that you need this trip of a lifetime…


You can’t remember the last time you had a girl’s trip.

Activation is a week of HIGH QUALITY girl time, and going away with other women is proven to be great for your health. Activation is a lot like your college days where you met new people, made new friends, let loose, and had fun!

When was the last time you got away with just the girls for a whole week? Or when was the last time you put yourself in a position to make a new group of friends? There’s nothing that creates instant bonds quite like laughing, sweating, exploring, breathing in mother nature’s beauty with women who lift you up.  Let’s face it, girl time isn’t just an excuse to have fun, it’s good for the soul and something you should try to make time for at least once or twice per year.


You want to become healthy, strong, and look amazing right before Summer.

Activations are literally that…they get the ball rolling and keep it going. It’s one week where it’s all about YOU. As women, most of us are guilty of regularly putting the needs of others before our own. However, at some point we all need to hit that reset button and spend a little time focusing on us, so that we can be our best for everyone else in our lives. Activation lets you do just that.

You’ll explore a new place, experience culture outside of the US, slow down, relax at the beach, become stronger, pamper yourself, try new things, and meet new people. Best of all, you can enjoy the sunset with your feet in the sand and a fresh coconut or cocktail in hand and not even have to think about cooking dinner since there’s a chef taking care of everything for you.


You need a Smartphone intervention.

Eyes up, babe! Has your screen time reached epic levels? Do your wrist and thumbs hurt? How many times a day do you check your phone, email, talk to Alexa, etc.? Probably multiple times per hour. A 2018 Neilsen audience report found that American adults spend more than 11 hours per day interacting with media, and most of that happens on our Smartphones.

No, you aren’t totally disconnected on Activation unless you desire to be. It’s more like we’re untethered and balanced. I like to think of it as creating healthy digital boundaries where there’s no FOMO. Really, it’s the ultimate freedom.


You haven’t felt pure Joy in a while.

You know…that heart-bursting joy? There’s nothing that beats slow food, slow living, and spending time in nature getting sandy, salty, and sweaty. Everyone always mentions how they love playing all day and getting aligned with their circadian rhythms and going to bed EXHAUSTED at 8:30PM.

Incorporating the ocean into your daily life, feeling the warm sun on your skin, breathing in the fresh jungle air… it truly gives you life.  That joy the main reason we escape the USA… it’s just not the same if you don’t leave your comfort zone. Spending time in nature stripped of the things you feel are life necessities is pure magic. It’s healing, inspiring, and refreshing. It may sound cliché, but it’s really as simple as the saying goes, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.


You don’t feel like you are your best self.

Activations have a way of helping you find your inner goddess and truly love yourself.  It’s almost impossible to put into words and it’s really something that you have to experience to understand, but I’ll try my best to explain.

First off, it’s a week of working out and being pushed to new limits. You leave feeling infinitely stronger than you did before the trip and these results stay with you for the next 6+ months. Secondly, you spend that week letting go of schedules and the stress of your daily life, which allows the tension you normally carry melt away. On top of that, you’re surrounded by women who are there for the same reasons as you. There’s no competition, or catty-ness. Instead, it’s a week of having fun and lifting each other up. You leave with new friends, feeling completely empowered and accomplished. Finally, you come back super fit, sun-kissed and exploding with confidence ready to take on summer. You spend a week putting yourself first and it reminds you just how amazing YOU are.

LB PROATS

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I'm have a full-fledge love affair with oatmeal. It's rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, is gluten-free, and with added protein, it keeps me going and going. In fact, proats have become one of my top training/nutrition secrets. I usually don't add sweetener to my food but you'll need it to counteract the protein powder in this recipe. I use monkfruit to sweeten my oats. Try not to use sugar or honey. Sugar contains no nutrients. It only makes you gain weight, contributes to tooth decay and raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes.  And although honey does contain nutrients, it's loaded with sugar and calories. I recommend replacing sugar with monkfruit or stevia. I prep and batch cook my oats on Sunday. This recipe makes 2-3 servings. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (I use the good stuff - Bob's Red Mill Rolled Oats)

  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I use Moon Juice Vanilla Mushroom protein)

  • 1 tsp. of Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener or Stevia 

  • cinnamon to taste 

  • handful of blueberries 

  • A drizzle of nut butter (I use Sunbutter b/c it's drizzle-able)

Directions

1. In a small pot, boil 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt. Add oats, and cinnamon. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10-20 minutes (depending on the consistency that you prefer), stirring occasionally. 

2. Add protein powder and Monkfruit or stevia during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Stir. This prevents it from becoming thick and tacky. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. 

3. Top with blueberries and a drizzle of nut butter. 

LB's Minestrone Soup

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Warm up with this plant-based and blender-made minestrone soup! Minestrone is a hearty Italian veggie soup usually made with a tomato broth and rice or pasta.

Minestrone was traditionally made to use up leftover veggies, so you can use any seasonal vegetables and greens you have on hand. I used zucchini for the soup you see above, and it was perfect. It’s easy to make (20 minutes), it’s filling and pairs really well with a salad for lunch or dinner. This recipe yields eight cups so reduce by half if you’d prefer less. I batch cook this on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. One cup is approximately 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 2g of sugar, and 6g of protein. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered or 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup spinach

  • 1/2 garlic clove, peeled

  • 1/2 small carrot

  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and halved

  • 1 stalk celery stalk, halved

  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/8 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp. salt or Jake’s Prime

  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup chick peas, drained

  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas all work), cubed and steamed.

  • 1 cup kidney beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned corn

  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the broth, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, carrot, onion, celery, pepper, oregano, basil, salt, and tomato paste into high speed blender and secure lid.

  2. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to high.

  3. Blend for 6-7 minutes or until steam escapes from lid.

  4. Reduce speed and add steamed veggies, chick peas, kidney beans, corn and cheese.

  5. Leave beans and zucchini whole or blend for 10-20 seconds.

LB'S CHEESY LOADED BAKED POTATO

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Break out your blender and get ready for a seriously satisfying meal that everyone will adore. I LOVE a great baked potato and this one has that rich and creamy queso taste and feel. The “cheesy” flavor comes from nutritional yeast, which also adds protein, B vitamins and a cheesy golden hue.

BAKED POTATO INGREDIENTS

4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and DRIED

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt or Jake’s Prime

ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure the potatoes are dry. The drier the skin, the crispier the potato. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Rub with oil and season generously with salt and pepper and place on a foiled baking sheet. 

  2. Bake until potatoes are crispy and easily pierced with a fork, 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. 

  3. Top with cheesy sauce and veggies of choice.

ROASTED JALAPENO (OPTIONAL) QUESO INGREDIENTS (2 tbsp = 69 calories)

1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked)

2 small jalapeños (1 small pepper for less kick)

1/2 cup BRAGG Nutritional yeast

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt or Jake’s Prime

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak your cashews in hot water for 1 hour before starting this recipe. Drain and then proceed with recipe. If you have a Vitamix soaking may not be necessary.

  2. Preheat oven to medium broil and add jalapeños to a baking sheet. Broil on the top oven rack for about 10 minutes until slightly blackened. Carefully peel outside skin away and remove any stems.

  3. Add soaked, drained cashews and jalapeños to a blender along with nutritional yeast, water, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.

  4. Blend, adding more water as needed to create a creamy, cheese sauce.

  5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

  6. Serve immediately. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop.


LB's Med Stuffed Peppers

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Katie and I developed this recipe in LA and it's AMAZING.  It seems like a PITA, but it's not if you prepare your quinoa and lentils ahead of time.  I like to make a batch on Sunday; t's great stuffed in the peppers as the recipe calls for, in collards, or over greens with feta.  

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers

1  yellow/white onion (diced)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 jalapeño (diced)  *optional 

3-4 handfuls of spinach

1 (14.5oz) can of fire-roasted tomatoes

1 c. cooked quinoa 

1 c. cooked lentils

3/4 cup of cilantro

1 handful fresh basil 

1/2 lemon juiced

oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, & peper to taste

 

Instructions: 

1. Prepare quinoa and lentils if they are not already cooked. 

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Once warm add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Next add diced jalapeño and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  

4. Add spinach and cover with a lid.  Stir occasionally until all of the spinach is wilted. 

5. Add the fire roasted tomatoes and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from the heat.

6. Wash the bell peppers, cut the tops off, remove inside seeds.  Sprinkle a little olive oil on the baking dish and lay the peppers out.  (I like to do this while the spinach cooks.)*

7.  Add quinoa, lentils, cilantro, basil, lemon juice, spices and sautéd veggies to a mixing bowl.  Mix well and taste. Add more spices to your liking. 

8. Scoop into bell peppers, cover w/ aluminum foil and bake for  approx. 30 minutes. Cook longer if you like you bell peppers softer, cook shorter to keep them crunchy.

 

LAUREN'S 160-CALORIE PIZZA

Crush your cravings with my 160-calorie, ultra-thin pizza using my absolute favorite lavash! Not only is it delicious, but it can be topped with tons of veggies and get this... you can eat the entire square (1 lavash: 120 cals, 3 g. fat, 10g. protein + cheese and marinara). 

I haven't met a human that hasn't loved this recipe, and it's a breeze to make.  My girlfriend MJ introduced me to lavash as a pizza crust, but I didn't find a Studio LB worthy lavash until I discovered Joseph's.  Enjoy!

*As a test, Katie and I enjoyed this pizza four times in one week and did have a bit of bloat (could be fiber-related) so I wouldn't recommend eating it more than twice a week.  

Ingredients
1 lavash per person
olive oil
1 tbsp Marinara or pizza sauce
1 tbsp of mozzarella or shredded cheese of choice

Instructions
1. Line baking sheet with foil.  
2. LIGHTLY brush or spray lavash with a tiny bit of olive oil (too much will make it soggy).  Sometimes I brush the foil and then allow the lavash to absorb it on both sides.  
3. Top with marinara (too much will make it soggy) and mozzarella.
4. Bake at 425 for 4-5 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Watch it ...these cook very fast, and if you allow it to cook one minute too long it will burn.  

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The content of my posts are all items that I genuinely love and I will only work with affiliates and companies that are a good fit the LB brand.  Live Better contains some contextual affiliate links. An affiliate link means that we receive commission on sales of the products that are linked. 

Any products which have been gifted or LB for review is noted with an i/k (in kind) at the bottom of the post and are only posted if a good fit for the LB brand. Any sponsored giveaways or posts will be noted.

Lauren's Loaded Potatoes

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Guys, craving loaded potatoes?  This recipe is SO good and better than the O.G. because the potatoes are dip-able like nachos!  This recipe makes three-four servings, and is perfect for dinner, as an after-school snack, or an evening get together.  I like to add quinoa and make a bowl out of it.  

Ingredients

  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or olive oil
  • Jakes Prime or sea salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cashew sour cream (recipe below) 
  • 1 cup black bean dip (recipe below)
  • Mashed avocado + chopped tomato blend (cilantro is a great addition, too)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Slice potatoes into thin rounds (can go up to 1/4” thick if want thicker portions).
  3. In a bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil.
  4. On foiled baking sheets, place potato rounds in single layer. Sprinkle with jake's prime or salt.
  5. Bake for 30-35 min. or until potatoes are golden and start to crisp at edges.
  6. When cool, put potato rounds into 3-4 bowls with beans, cashew sour cream + tomato/avo blend.  I also add quinoa to mine (yum). 
  7. If serving family-style, arrange potato rounds on a large platter with bowls of beans, avocado-tomato blend, cashew sour cream, and cilantro (if using).

 

CASHEW SOUR CREAM

This dairy-free cashew sour cream is healthy, tangy, creamy, protein-rich and the perfect compliment for any spicy dish that calls for sour cream.  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1-2 hours (if you own a high speed blender, no soaking necessary)
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Water to blend

Directions

  1. Drain cashews and place in blender.
  2. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt.
  3. Pour in just enough water to cover the cashews.
  4. Blend on high approx 2-3 min. until mixture is smooth and creamy.

 

BLACK BEAN DIP

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 14-ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 lemon or lime squeezed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp La Boite Hawayej spice (sub with taco seasoning)
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into high speed blender.
  2. Start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 1 min, or desired texture.   

Light my fire

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This smoothie is pure skin food (major vitamin-c), is a great immune-booster, and doesn't taste at all like baby food.  Despite its name, the sweet potato doesn't belong to the same family as the potato.  Potatoes are tubers, and sweet potatoes are roots.  Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and C, fiber, potassium, and iron, and are a fresh, low-calorie addition to your smoothie blend.

if you're in a rush, there's no need to bake the sweeties, first.  You can grate raw sweet potatoes for easier blending, but the frozen chunks make it super simple to toss directly into the blender and help keep the whole thing cold.   

Light My Fire
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/2 c. filtered h20
1/2 c. frozen sweet potato (baked then frozen)
1/4 avocado
juice of 1-2 lg. lemons
1" knob ginger
1" knob turmeric
1/2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
Optional: pinch of cayenne, black pepper

Studio LB Mochachino

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Craving a different kind of buzz?  Get your greens, caffeine and protein all in one cup.  It's delish, and totally developing a cult following here at Studio LB.  

LB's Mochachino
1/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup coffee (we love cold brew)
heaping handful of spinach  
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 avocado
10 almonds
1 tbsp. cacao
1/2 date, pitted
pinch of cinnamon + cayenne
ice

LB's Mexican-ish Salad

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I love a great salad, and I've been eating this one for lunch (a lot).  When I really like something I tend to stick with it and repeat often.  This salad in particular is a great example of our salad formula in action.  With different textures, protein, and healthy fats, it keeps me full and my cravings at bay. 

On Sunday, I shop and prep so it's easy to throw together during the week when things get hectic.  I saute the chicken with Jakes Prime and cumin, cook brown basmati rice (I use the quick-cook from Trader Joe's - done in 15 min), chop the veggies, and house everything in clear containers in the fridge so that there is little to no prep work during the week.    

What's in this salad?  You're looking at:  Baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, black beans, red bell peppers, avocado (only 1/4), corn, fresh jalapeno, cilantro, hemp seeds, brown basmati rice, and chicken. I dress it with a little olive oil, Braggs liquid aminos and lime.  I've made this salad with beef and shrimp and subbed quinoa for rice and it's just as good.  Make it your own with your favorite protein!  

Studio LB Detox Smoothie

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Fresh, low-cal, and delicious with all the greens (kale, spinach, cucumber, broccoli, and parsley) in one glass.  Avocado lends the perfect amount of creaminess, while the lemon, ginger and cayenne add a little kick and up the immunity ante.    

Studio LB Detox
1 cup filtered h20
1 heaping handful of kale
1 " " spinach
1 sm. cucumber
1/3 - 1/2 c. broccoli
1/2 - 3/4 c. parsley
1/4 avocado
knob of ginger
juice of 1 lg. or 2 sm. lemons
dash of cayenne
Ice

Blend until smooth, top with chia (or nothing at all) and watch your skin glow, girl.  

MY SMOOTHIE STORY

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I've always believed that diet is 80-90% of the fitness equation.  So much so, that I started a to-go healthy foods company (Lithe Foods) so that my clients could eat well and really feed their results. 

We sold lean, local and seasonal fare out of our fitness studios. I developed many recipes, did a lot of R & D, worked with great chefs, a nutritionist, and I also drank a shit-ton of cold-pressed juice.  For five years, juice was a part of my everyday (multiple times a day).  I loved it and truly believed in the power of juicing.  And, I still do.  But, everything in moderation, right? 

For many reasons (beyond juice) my body was very different back then.  And I weighed a lot more than I do now.  I can only imagine how many calories I was drinking per week!  I'm not at all anti-juice, but I strongly believe that the right vegetable blends are absolutely key.  Now, for me, low sugar, vegetable-based smoothies are what I'm drinking everyday for health.  

LB's Salted Caramel Smoothie

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Craving something sweet?  This one will transport you straight to halvah heaven in a much healthier way.  This version of a salted caramel packs a protein punch and has less than 20g of sugar.   It tastes like a milkshake, is great as a healthy snack or dessert and is the perfect option for those with nut allergies.   

LB's Salted Caramel
1 c. coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)  
1/4 avocado
2 tbsp tahini
1 date, pitted
1/4 tsp. sea salt
pinch of cardamom + ice

Blend until smooth and top with a pinch of sea salt.  Swoon!