Eat With LB

BUZZY INGREDIENTS

Image via IG    @gabbois

Image via IG @gabbois

I think we can all agree that more greens and fewer items that come from the middle, highly processed aisles of the grocery store are key to a healthier diet. I definitely subscribe to a KISS (keep it simple, stupid) approach with food, but I also am fascinated by the science of nutrition and alternative approaches and fun ingredients. Sometimes, technical food terms can get complex so I wanted to break down a few food-related buzzwords and my thoughts on each: probiotics, probiotics, adaptogens, and fermentation.

A prebiotic is an ingredient that our bodies cannot digest and stimulates growth of positive microorganisms inside. A probiotic is a live microorganism like bacteria similar to those in our body already that we ingest for healthy gut benefits. They have been shown to aid in digestion.

The use of prebiotics and probiotics together to benefit gut health is called microbiome therapy. You don’t need to ingest a prebiotic for probiotics to work, but eating them through foods or a doctor-approved dietary supplement might make your probiotics more effective. Prebiotics act as a food for probiotics, and they can be found in fiber-filled foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Probiotics occur naturally in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and tempeh. So far, there’s been less scientific research on the benefits of prebiotics than probiotics. A happy gut means a better immune system, better sleep, better mood, and overall positive health.

In herbal medicine, adaptogens are a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. Common examples of adaptogens are ginseng, licorice, rosemary and aloe vera. Eastern medicine and Ayurvedic traditions incorporate adaptogenic herbs in their healing practices, and they are becoming more common now in a western market. By regulating hormones, adaptogens promote healthy weight maintenance, encourage proper immune system function, can act as an antidepressant, and are can protect against nerve degeneration.

Personally, I like to use ashwaganda & maca in smoothies for their adaptogenic qualities. I swear by Moon Juice’s product line. Ashwaganda is said to relieve stress and increase your ability to concentrate and focus. Maca powder helps to regulate mood swings and increase libido, so into the smoothie it goes!

The final buzzy food practice I want to cover is fermentation. This is the process of converting carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms like yeasts or bacteria. Fermentation and microbiome therapy go hand in hand, since fermenting food promotes the growth of good bacteria, aka probiotics. My favorite fermented food to use in recipes lately is kimchi, which helps with digestion, reduces cholesterol levels, gives you shinier hair… do I have to continue? 

Look out soon for my kimchi taco recipe to reap the benefits of a nutrient dense and delicious fermented food.

FITNESS OVER THE FOURTH

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Air Max 95 via Nike

Did the fourth sneak up on us, or what? I love Independence Day so much: time with my family and friends, fireworks that burst first and then sizzle, and flag-shaped pies made with strawberries and blueberries. This year, we’re heading to Newport Beach for a long weekend and that means four whole days outside of my normal routine. 

Gearing up my motivation to stay consistent on vacation can be tough, so I try to get in either a full 50-minute or shorter, 25-min. Quick Burn Studio LB workout before everyone else wakes up for the morning. This week’s 26-min. Cardio + Sculpt, Brooke is perfect for the holiday week. If I skip it in the morning, inevitably a mimosa finds its way into my hand around brunch time and I lose steam. Other than motivation, logistically getting a workout in on vacation depends on how strategically I pack for the trip. Sometimes I’m so focused on being sure Mars has swimsuits, jammies, extra underwear, etc, that I can leave my own packing to the very last minute.

This time I’m packing my Oh Joy! weekender bag to set me up for success to stay on track fitness and nutrition wise, and wanted to share my four key staples: loops, chia seeds, supplements, and sneakers. Even though Newport Beach is just a quick drive for us this time, all four of these staples are carry-on friendly for when I’m flying too.

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Studio LB Loops

It’s not realistic for me to travel with a set of 8 or 10 pound weights, but loops are basically weightless and perfect to toss in my bag. My loops set includes light, medium, and heavy resistance bands to sculpt the booty, hips, thighs and upper body. If you scroll down in the Explore page of the Studio LB app and click “Search by Prop,” you’ll find Sculpting and Cardio workouts incorporating loops that you can do while traveling.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium. I like to either prep chia pudding and leave it overnight in the fridge if I have access to a kitchenette, or add them on top of my salads throughout the day. I definitely prefer soaking chia seeds to eating them dry, since hydrated chia helps me feel full longer and is easier to digest.

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Supplements

I portion out scoops of Moon Juice protein powder into travel storage containers rather than bringing the entire tub with me, and aim to make one nutrient dense smoothie per day. It’s helpful to toss single serving packets of MCT oil in my carry on too to boost brain function, digestion, and overall energy.

Sneakers

It’s no secret I’m obsessed with sneakers. I justify my devotion to them saying they’re basically my work wardrobe... right? Whether you choose to wear them on your flight or tuck them in the base of your roller bag, don’t leave them at home. You can find time on your trip to get a sweat sesh in. Since moving to California, I’ve really come to love hiking as a social way to get in my workout and sneakers are key. If you do forget them, I learned recently that Westin Hotels have a fitness gear lending program which is so awesome.

So that’s my basic packing plan for Independence Day to make sure I stay on track food and fitness wise! This trip I feel really prepared to stick with my regular routines even during an excellent, fun, celebratory holiday weekend. Text me on the hotline if you have any questions or ideas about fitness over the Fourth 424-327-5470. 

LB Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Sub in this Stuffed Pepper recipe for your next Taco Tuesday! It makes the most delicious and healthy (with just a little heat) stuffed poblano peppers you'll ever taste. The best part is that the people in your life will also love these and you’ll have plenty of filling left over for burrito bowls in a pinch.

Ingredients

  • 4 poblano peppers halved and seeds removed

  • 1 pound turkey, lean ground beef OR tofu

  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice or brown rice 

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn, drained

  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted), drained

  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles, diced

  • 1/4-cup (or just a sprinkle) grated mozzarella, Cotija or cashew cream

  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Arrange halved poblano peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that they aren't overlapping. Bake for 10-15 minutes while you move on to the next step. 

  2. Add ground beef (or preferred meat choice, see Note 2) and rice to a large skillet and season with the cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Saute over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until meat is browned and cooked through. 

  3. Stir in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Spoon mixture into the peppers, sprinkle with cheese, and return to oven for another 10 minutes or so until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving. 

LB Meze Plate

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Meze makes the perfect party spread - It’s fun, bursting with flavor, and SO great for you. Our Meze plate combines falafel, hummus, and an Israeli salad (my fave). It’s delicious, healthy, easy to prepare and great for dinner or lunch. I like to make a larger batch so that I have enough for a few easy meals throughout the week.

Spicy Falafel

2 cups of cooked lentils (It’s best to leave a tiny bit of crunch versus overcooking the lentils)

1 cup of chopped cilantro (stems included)

1 cup of chopped parsley (stems included)

juice of 1/2 of small to medium lemon

4 tsp of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of salt

2-3 tbsp of almond flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients except for the almond flour in your food processor or high speed blender. You want to leave some larger pieces of lentils when blending. Next, mix in 1-2 tbsp almond flour. Test a sample to see if if the mixture sticks together when you roll it into a ball, if it doesn’t add more almond flour. Take about a tablespoon at a time, roll in into a ball and place on your baking sheet. Press each ball down to slightly flatten. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden brown and then flip and cook for another 5-10 minutes until both sides are lightly browned.

Hummus

I like to use the Vitamix recipe (below) because it’s fast and easy or buy store bought hummus for the sake of time.

2 cans of chickpeas, liquid reserved from 1 can

1/4 c. sesame seeds

1 tbsp of olive oil

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 garlic clove

1 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp salt

Place ingredients in your Vitamix or high speed blender in the order they are listed in. Increase to max speed and blend for 1 minute. Season with paprika (optional).

Med Salad

2 large cucumbers

5-7 roma tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 /2 cup parsley chopped (stems included)

1 lemon juiced

Salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and parsley into small pieces and place in medium mixing bowl. Mix in lemon juice, salt and pepper.

FUELING YOUR WORKOUT

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One of my favorite topics is how food affects performance, recovery and results. It’s by far the most important part of the equation and one that many of us experience on Activation. Just how do we achieve those results? The food and the fitness really work hand in hand.

Wondering what foods to eat in order to fuel your workout, maximize results and speed up recovery? Let’s dive into some complex carbs, polyunsaturated fatty acids and everything in between to figure out what you can eat pre- and post-workout to optimize your performance. Obviously, everyone subscribes to a different style of eating, so for example if you are following Intermittent Fasting you’ll have to adjust to fit your own style.

Regardless of whether you eat or don't eat prior to exercise, research shows the body burns the same amount of fat. However, you can cause muscle loss if you regularly work out with no fuel in your tank. When you're hungry, your body draws protein from muscle (which causes muscle loss and a slowed metabolism) instead of from your kidneys and liver, where the body normally takes protein from.

We recently talked about Intuitive Eating, and often what my body is telling me is I need to fuel lightly prior to a workout and after rather than a heavy meal one or the other. Yours may be different, so please take all of this with a grain of salt.

Ideally, a snack or meal you eat prior to exercising will include a protein and a complex carbohydrate and try to finish at least 30 minutes to an hour before you begin your workout. Complex carbs are found in whole grains, starchy vegetables and fruit and are more slowly absorbed by the body than simple refined sugars. Having a mix of complex carbohydrates and lean protein will help you release energy in a slow and steady manner over the course of your workout. 

Good ideas to nosh on prior to your workout that incorporate both complex carbs and protein are my LB Proats, a piece of fruit with a tablespoon of nut butter, or my Crispy Roasted Chickpeas. For the chickpeas, try using Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame seasoning and thank me later. Nut butter and chickpeas are both great natural ways to access branched-chain amino acids, which have been shown to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise.

I should mention I’m not a fan of “pre-workout” packaged goods marketed toward gym goers. Most pre-workout supplements are jam packed with caffeine and artificial sweeteners and while you may feel a burst of energy, that’s just the caffeine talking. I’d rather you drink a cup of black coffee, matcha or caffeinated tea instead of a packaged powder with a list of ingredients longer than a CVS receipt.

Post workout, it’s time to restore your glycogen reserves via more complex carbs burned up during cardio and strength training. I also support incorporating a moderate amount of polyunsaturated fat via Omega-3 fatty acids to help with muscle recovery. You can find these anti-inflammatory fatty acids in food like salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. To get a good mix of carbs/fat/protein, try building a Mexican-ish Salad or dig into a Tuna Wrap about an hour after your workout.

For both beauty benefits and workout performance, collagen supports muscle growth and joint health any time so get it in when you can! It’s great for your hair, skin and nail health, and you can boost collagen with bone broths or a supplement like Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.

Remember to drink water before, during, and after your workout. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel fatigued, sluggish, crampy, and unable to work to your best potential. Food and water are your fuel to make it through our workouts together, and failing to prepare properly can leave you lightheaded, nauseated or lethargic and more prone to injury. I’m always open to hearing your recs for pre- and post-workout meals so make sure to share them over on our Studio LB facebook group or text me on the hotline 424-327-5470.

INTUITIVE EATING

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Michael Pollan says to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Dr. Atkins suggested, “eat either three regular-size meals a day or four or five smaller meals. Do not skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating.” In French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano writes “French women love bread and would never consider a life without carbs.” And then there’s J. Lo challenging her 93 million Instagram followers to cut sugar, carbs, condiments, most fruits, alcohol and dairy from their diet for 10 days to become super lean.

I’m not necessarily knocking any of this as purely bad advice, but it definitely can become very overwhelming trying to weed out the good from the wack when it comes to our diet. When I say diet here, I should clarify that I mean purely the food that we eat on a daily basis rather than a restrictive set of behaviors.

I love sharing recipes with you, and try to give some insight into what I eat both here on the blog and also via Instagram. In my opinion, food can be nourishing, fun, and communal which is why I like to post photos and share interesting seasonal ingredients that I’m loving. What I never want to do when sharing my food ideas or even meal plans for challenges is to make you feel anxious or overwhelmed with respect to your relationship with food. IF you’re actively trying to lose weight, take this all with a grain of salt, as I strongly believe in the science of proper portion sizes, calorie counting, and listening to your body’s cues - like, stopping or slowing down when you take that first big inhale (if you’ve been on Activation with me, you’ve heard all this).

With all that being said, I wanted to talk about Intuitive Eating, an approach to nutrition that respects your body and aims to break a toxic diet mentality. An intuitive eater is defined by a few main behaviors (there are actually 10 principles  to the approach but we’ll focus on just a few here):

  • Makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma

  • Honors hunger

  • Respects fullness

  • Enjoys the pleasure of eating

Sounds simple, right? Not so much if you’re a person who has chronically restricted food or weight cycled over the years. Without realizing, we internalize so many aspects of diet culture like categorizing foods as Good/Clean versus Bad/Sinful. Breaking yourself of that mindset is one of the first steps toward eating intuitively and growing a respectful relationship with food.

Another key component is discovering what hunger feels like to you. Intuitive eating encourages you to discover what your personal cues for satisfaction and fullness feel like, and meet those needs. Also, it can help you realize that allowing yourself to become excessively hungry sends all of your intentions of moderate, conscious eating running for the hills. Determining your biological signals and respecting them is important (and not always easy to do)!

Intuitive Eating also stresses the importance of finding fun, happy ways to move your body. If you’re reading this, I hope Studio LB is that positive method for you. By this approach, exercise is supposed to energize you rather than punish your body. If you’re using exercise only as a way to lose weight or to justify eating more food, you will not stick with it and you will inevitably be disappointed.

Finally, food should taste good and be enjoyable to eat. What is the point otherwise? Try savoring your meals and choosing ingredients that make you happy and energized. Keep in mind, this does not have to be the exact same every day. You are the expert of your body, and only you can decide what fullness and satisfaction mean to you.

If finding a balanced, positive approach to eating feels like too much to take on alone, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian or check eatright.org  for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

You can read up on the full Intuitive Eating approach in Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s book, originally published in 1995. 

And I’m always here to chat all things food, ingredients, and recipes on the Studio LB hotline 424-327-5470.

Tuna Wrap

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Ingredients

1 5 oz can of sustainable tuna

1 collard

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1/4 avocado (1 tsp. of mayo if you must)

1 hardboiled egg, diced

1 dill pickle spear, diced

2 tbsp carrot, julienned or diced

2 tbsp celery, diced

salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch of asparagus

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Tuna Wrap

  1. Trim collard green stem so it's thinner and easier to roll. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl add tuna, diced egg, pickle, celery, carrot, avocado, and salt and pepper.  Toss gently until combined.  Taste and add more salt if needed.

  3. Lay collard green out on a flat surface and pile some tuna salad at the bottom of roll.  Fold bottom up and then fold sides inward or reverse. Cut in half if eating immediately.  Wrap in wax paper and store in fridge if batching.  

Asparagus

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash asparagus, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until tender (about 15-20 min).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Storage: Best eaten fresh.

Bikini Ready Soup

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This soup is adapted from a recipe on Cookie and Kate. I love it because it’s healthy but hearty and will leave you feeling full for hours.

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

1 onion (yellow or white), diced

3-4 celery stalks, chopped

3-4 carrots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeños, diced (leaves seeds for extra spice or remove seeds for a milder soup)

4 cup of water

1 28ox can of diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed)

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp of sea salt

1/2 cup of dry uncooked quinoa (rinsed)

1/4 c. fresh cilantro

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in medium to large pot and add onions, garlic, celery, carrots and jalapeños and sauté for 5-8 minutes on medium heat until they are tender and onions are translucent.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling , cover the pot and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Storage: Let cool completely and store in fridge for up to 3 days and the freezer for up to 3 months.

LB Zoodles

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As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I can’t get enough zoodles. This flavorful dish is low in fat and carbs but full of healthy micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It tastes great, and it’s easy to make. Zoodles with a dairy-free pesto is my all time favorite, but sometimes I like to switch it up and swap in a marinara sauce or a creamy, cashew cheese alfredo (recipe coming). You can’t go wrong!

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

1 large or 2 small spiralized zucchini

Dairy Free pesto (Whole Foods makes good one) or sugar free marina sauce

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

1/8 pistachios (optional, but best w/ pesto)

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt

Directions

  1. Cook protein of your choice to your liking.

  2. Heat olive oil in medium to large pan on medium. Add the zoodles and sauce of your choice. The zucchini will release water which will help thin the sauce. Sauté for 3-7 minutes until sauce is warm and zoodles are tender. I prefer my zoodles on the crispier side, so I try to avoid overcooking. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 30 more seconds.

  3. Transfer to a bowl or plate, mix in pistachios (optional) and top with your protein.

Prep Time: 5-20 minutes (depending on whether you need to spiralize your zucchini)
Cook Time: Under 10 minutes
Storage: Best eaten fresh

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

These are SO simple to make and totally addictive! Mars loves these but I don’t tell him that they are full of fiber, zinc, folate and protein. You can use any spice you like. I prefer mine simple with just sea salt OR bagel spice mix. Rosemary is a nice addition, as well.  This recipe makes three servings. Enjoy!

Ingredients

15 ounce canned chickpeas

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt or bagel spice.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Drain chickpeas, rinse, and pat dry (the drier, the better)

  3. In a bowl, mix salt/spices + olive oil together.

  4. Add chickpeas to bowl and stir to coat chickpeas with spices of your choice and olive oil. 

  5. Lay flat on a foiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, making sure to give the pan a shake 1/2 way through so that the chickpeas crisp up evenly.

LB's Blueberry Protein Muffin

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I originally called these cupcakes, but they’re actually muffins. And these muffins are healthy, full of protein via the eggs and protein powder, and really do the trick when you’re craving something carb-y and cake-y.

Ingredients

3 eggs (separate egg whites from the yolk)

3 tbsp of monk fruit sweetener (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

juice of 1/2 lemon

handful of blueberries

2 cups almond flour

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain)

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1 tsp baking powder

vegetable oil spray.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat egg whites by hand or electric mixer until they form white peaks, approximately 2 minutes.

  2. Add the monk fruit (optional), and mix for 1 minute.

  3. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until blended.

  4. Add almond flour, almond milk, protein powder and baking powder

  5. Add blueberries

  6. Spray muffin pan with oil and add mixture until 3/4 covered.

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Storage: Let cool completely and store in an airtight container. Freeze extra muffins for up to 1 month.

Dijon & Panko-Crusted Salmon

Salmon is my go-to fish, with great sources of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development and selenium. Baked salmon slathered with Dijon is probably one of my favorite ways to eat salmon. It’s incredibly easy, flavorful, and the Dijon and panko crust keeps the salmon moist, light and flaky. It’s the perfect healthy dinner recipe and it can be made in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

One 6-8 oz wild salmon fillet ( I love Norwegian or Sockeye)

1/2 - 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (I only use Maille with this recipe )

1 tbsp Panko (I love Ian’s)

salt and pepper

Cauliflower:

1 head of cauliflower chopped into florets and washed

1-2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Line baking dish or banking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place fish skin down on baking sheet.

  3. Season salmon with salt and pepper then coat the top of salmon with Dijon mustard and spreak evenly. Top with panko and bake for 15-20 min or until just cooked through and flaky and panko slightly browned.

  4. Remove and allow salmon to rest for 5-10 minutes.

  5. Add cauliflower florets to mixing bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until it is evenly coated. Add to baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Storage: Let cool completely and store baked fish and cauliflower in fridge for up to 3 days.

Photography via Epicurious

ELEVATED STATE SMOOTHIE

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This is my new morning smoothie obsession…Looks like London Fog, right? Speaking of fog, I’ve been suffering from serious brain fog lately. Whether it’s due to lack of sleep, hormones, or mom-life —this smoothie has been helping me out in a major way. It’s functional, delicious, and keeps me sharp (and full) on my most active days when I film multiple workouts.

It’s not only delicious but it’s super nutritious: Blueberries and spinach provide a powerful antioxidant boost, MCT is a supplement that I often add to my smoothies and salads to keep me satiated. Flaxseeds contains lignans, which are chemical compounds that carry antioxidants and enzymes. Flax is also a good source of a type of soluble fiber and it provides Omega-6 fatty acids and many essential minerals. Nutty hemp seeds are also packed with easily digestible proteins and contain all 10 essential amino acids, putting it among the rare plant-based foods that provide complete protein. Hemp seeds are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a specific omega-6 fatty acid (GLA) not found in any other food. Hemp seeds are high in fiber, rich in minerals and high in protein and unlike flaxseeds, and you don’t need to grind them to reap their benefits. 

Ingredients: 
1 serving protein powder (I use Moon Juice)
1.5 cup H2O
1 tablespoon MCT oil 
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp ground flax seeds 
Handful of spinach 
Handful of blueberries

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend.

LAUREN'S Super MINERAL BROTH

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After drinking (and selling!) bone broth for many years, I felt it was time for an upgrade. I still love bone broth but this super mineral broth is lighter, nutrient-dense, alkaline, plant-based, anti-inflammatory and perfect for warmer months. I like to prep and cook a batch on Sunday and enjoy a cup every morning after lemon water. Give it a shot, you’ll love the umami flavor. This recipe makes approx. 6 quarts.

Ingredients

8 quarts filtered water (I prefer alkaline) 

1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or sea salt

6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds

1 unpeeled white onion, quartered

1 bunch of celery, cut into fourths

3 unpeeled Japanese sweet potatoes, quartered

1 entire leek

3 unpeeled cloves of garlic, cut in half

1 bunch fresh parsley 

1 8” strip of kombu

2 bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

2 tablespoons MCT oil (optional)

1 tablespoon cayenne (optional)

1 tablespoon turmeric (optional)

*I also like to add sliced fresh jalapenos

Prep & Cook

Rinse and cut all veggies, including the kombu. I like to use Veggie Wash. In a large stockpot, combine veggies, kombu, turmeric and cayenne (optional). Fill the pot with the water to 2” below rim, cover, and bring to a boil.

After you bring broth to a boil, remove lid, and decrease heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for three-four hours…The longer the better. As the broth simmers, you’ll need to add more water if the veggies begin to show. Then, strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve then add MCT, Bragg or salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 - 4 hours
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for 4 months.

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.