Guilt-Free Indulgence... How Sinful Does That Sound?

This is one of my all time favorite recipes because it feels so indulgent and sinful without any of those messy residual feelings of guilt we tend to get when we allow ourselves a big ol' bowlful of dessert! This bowl you can dive right into, swim around in it and get all close and personal with it and walk away with zero regrets. And apparently Tom Brady is a big fan of using these ingredients for his own indulgent purposes so you can add that to your mental imagery as you dive in ;) Food porn at it's best.

When you find yourself with avocados that are on the brink of over-ripeness, pop them into your processor and give this recipe a whirl, you're going to love it!

Blueberry Choco-Coconut Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs coconut milk (or another dairy-free milk)
1 Tbs maple syrup
pinch sea salt
½ tsp vanilla
tsp unsweetened shredded coconut to top

Process all of the ingredients until smooth. Top with the coconut shreds and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pancake (Yum And Yum!) Topped with Healthy Fats!

Ok, my best advice is to make the sweet potato pancake beforehand because I get it, who the hell wants to be this involved in breakfast when you're rushing your ass all over the place trying to get yourself ready (and maybe a kid or two) for the day ahead. No thanks. 

Make ahead of time and pop the pancake in your toaster oven for 1 min or two and boom, you're done... well almost, except for the laborious process of mashing up your avo, but in the name of healthy, I trust you'll take the time for at least that. 

Smoked salmon is in my top ten for super good breakfast food that's super easy to eat. Peel it open, gently finagle a slice free and place on top of something. Or eat it alone. The herbed ones are my favorite, I think in the pic I used the lemon and dill seasoned ones. No brainer. 

And if you'd like a run down of the healthy for these main components, here you go:
Salmon: high in omega-3's, rich in protein, B vitamins and a good source of potassium.
Avocados: high in vitamin C, vitamin K, good course of folate, potassium, monounsaturated fatty acids (goooooood fats), high in fiber and antioxidants.
Sweet potatoes: excellent source of vitamin A. Good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, calcium, selenium, and fiber.

So you got a bunch of vitamins, good fats, and fiber which are all good things when trying to change your unhealthy to healthy. Changing your nutrition doesn't have to be a blandless journey! Try this recipe and ditch the cereal my friend... this recipe alone could spark your whole foods lifestyle change! 

Enjoy :)

Breakfast of babes! 

Breakfast of babes! 

Smoked Salmon Over My Sweet Potato Pancake

2 eggs
2 tsp flour (coconut, almond, all-purpose, whatever you have on hand.)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups shredded sweet potatoes (using a food processor with a shredding disc is ideal or shred them by hand, which could get to be annoying)
Coconut oil for pan frying
4 slices smoked salmon
1/2 avocado, mashed
A few shakes of red pepper flakes

Serves 2

In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs with the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, and sea salt. Mix in the shredded sweet potatoes until well combined. 

Add coconut oil to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Spoon the mixture into the skillet in “cakes” and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side until they hold together, flipping once as you would a regular pancake. 

Layer the potato pancake with the mashed avocado and smoked salmon. Season with a few cranks of sea salt, and red pepper flakes. If you got a lemon, squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Easy peesy. 

I'd love to hear what you think of this recipe and, if the sweet potato pancake is prepped ahead of time, is this something you could easily do for a healthy breakfast one (or many) morning? Let me know!

Sweet Potato Chips Dipped In Chocolate... Yum Yum!

I went there. I took a nutritious veggie (sweet potatoes are high in fiber, Vitamin A and potassium), and I turned it into a sweet and salty snack you can count on to satisfy any craving without packing on the calories and guilt. (Not that we count calories over here at Little Black Dress - oh no, that went out with Jane Fonda videos. We simply eat clean and sensibly, and these snacks are right up there with clean and sensible!) 

Here's the how-to so you can get-to it already! 

Yum yum nom nom!

Yum yum nom nom!

Chocolatey Sweet Potato Chips

1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs olive oil
2 oz (or 4 squares from a baking bar) chocolate (70% cacao or higher)
Sea salt for dusting
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Either with a knife, mandolin or food processor with the slicer blade), thinly slice the sweet potato into even slices. In a bowl, coat the sweet potato slices with olive oil, cinnamon and a little sea salt, and mix well. On a baking dsheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the sweet potato slices and place in oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. (Wait too long to check and you could have an army of blackened chips!)

As they are cooking, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Add in the cayenne pepper and mix well.

When the chips are done to perfection, meaning they're a little crisp on the edges and not soft and mushy, pull them out and let them cool for a few minutes before handling. Once slightly cooled, carefully dip one side into the melted chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper to cool completely.

Enjoy these bad boys pretty much the same day... they won't keep as long as store bought chips will, but I think that's what home cooking/baking is all about... take out the preservatives and eat real food :)

If you're game to give this a go (and I don't see why you wouldn't!) let me know how they turn out for you! I know for me, more times than not, when I follow a recipe the end result doesn't reaaaaaaaalllly look like what I was thinking. This recipe is intended to be easy and pretty much fool-proof, so give it a confident go and let me know how it turns out! If you rock it, you much share it! ;) Happy baking/cooking! 

10 Healthy Hacks That Can Help You Lose Weight!

I'm all about hacks. Whatever can make life a little easier, I'm all in. (Is there a hack for raising obedient and respectful boys who always listen their mom the first time instead of the 100th time when I'm at my wits end and I'm not asking anymore but instead I'm red-faced, with steam exploding out of my ears, hands flying in all directions and I'm saying things my brain can't keep up with? That would be a worthwhile hack to employ.) 

So I've got 10 hacks for you that I really think are going to help make the necessary small changes that will propel you into a momentous whirlwind that will get you creating massive change before you know it and shedding pounds!

But first, I'd like to point out that you are so much more capable than you think. This is a toughie for many of us to swallow, but it's so true, I've witnessed it a million times I tell you. You are stronger than you think. You can make massive change in your life, but you need to believe it to see it. And you need to start slowly. That's what these hacks are intended to do, to help you start slowly and gain momentum. You can do this, you just have to believe in yourself. 

Ok, so... here we go!

1. Use smaller plates. When dining at home, use your salad plate instead of your big mongo dinner plate for all your meals. This will help your brain to think you're eating the perfect amount by seeing your plate all filled up! 

2. Sleep well. If you're not getting a good night's sleep, your body isn't getting the proper recovery time it needs at the end of every day. Instead of taking some over-the-counter meds, try this little concoction I learned from Tim Ferriss (the 4 Hour Workweek, 4 Hour Chef, 4 Hour Body guy) for a blissful night of sleep! Take some warm water and mix in 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbs raw honey. That's all! Enjoy about an hour before light's out.

3. Drink your veggies. I make a smoothie almost everyday and it's my veggie hack. I get in celery, a beet, ginger, a cup of leafy greens, and a small piece of fruit (usually a kiwi since it has high amounts of vitamin C). I also make enough for two... one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. And this is a smoothie, not a juice so I’m keeping all the fiber (because fiber helps to slim the waistline!)

Smoothie_1.jpg

 

4. Make eating out simple. When you're eating out, a simple hack is to order the house salad, and ask if they can throw some shrimp on there or a slice or two of grilled chicken (they'll happily do that), and that's your meal. With water. Done.

5. Eat protein at every meal. If you're a big snacker throughout the day, start eating protein at every meal. Every. Single. Meal. It will help to slow down your digestion and make you feel fuller longer. No more snacking. 

6. Change your vocabulary. (Yes, this is seriously a hack.) What you say to yourself has a HUGE impact on your day. Pay attention. We all know the famous quote, "If you think you can't, then you can't. But if you think you can, then you can" or something very close to that! What you think to yourself makes all the difference. Change out a few of your go to words and see how that can transform how you see yourself and your situation.

7. Know your mantra. I'm a big, huge mantra fan. I'm always saying one to myself and my most recent one is this, "Today I commit to doing 1% more”. This little statement has my consistency rate charging through the roof. I have been the most consistent with my workouts than ever before because I can’t talk myself out of 1%. And some days 1% more is only 10 minutes. It may be small but it makes a difference!

8. Drink more water. Start your morning with warm water and lemon. I know you've heard this one a million times, so just do it already! It's good for the belly.

9. Chew your food. Like really chew it. I'm thinking 40 chews. It'll feel really weird and maybe a little gross at first, but the more you do it, the more consciously aware you become of your food. It slows down the rate that food is storming the belly, and it helps with the digestive procedure. Give your gut a little break from working so hard and chew!

10. Sniff some essential oils. For reals. Orange oils have the ability to boost your mood and reduce anxiety. Lavender has a calming effect and is also an anti-inflammatory. I mix a few drops with coconut oil and place on my palms, rub them together and then inhale and let the calming take over. It smells so nice! You can even get a little infuser and let the smell take over your bedroom which can help you to fall asleep. 

There you have it my friend. 10 healthy hacks that I use that help keep me on the straight and narrow as I journey to make my life a little bit healthier each and every day!

If you have any that you use, please share with me, I'd love to learn from you! And in case you'd like to keep these hacks somewhere where you can always see them, you know I've got a little freebie for you! Download my PDF that has all these written down so you can employ a little hack when you need the help. 

 

 Looking for more strategies to help you set yourself up for weight loss success? Click here to learn my 5 strategies to achieve your fitness goals… without breaking a sweat!

 

Wanna Sass Up Your Food... This Will Do The Trick!

Sassing "it" up means basically anything you make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This. Will. Sass. It. Up. Eggs in the morning, grilled chicken in the afternoon, veggies in the evening, this is your go-to kick. Me? I used it with roasted cauliflower. Weird perhaps, but it gave broccoli's step-sister a little extra zing that sometimes it lacks.

And it's clean. Oh is this clean.

Without further ado...

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño - chopped and seeded
1/4 cup parsley
1/2  fresh lime juice, squeezed with your citrus squeezer (or your hand)
1 scallion - roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Toss it all in your food processor and blend until creamy perfection is achieved.  (If you don't have a food processor, I highly recommend getting one! I don't have many gadgets, but I do have this and it has literally changed my life. Sad as that may sound.) If you don't eat it all up in one shot, store for a couple of days in the fridge. And then let it go if you don't get to it. Just let it go. Don't be like my mom and hold onto it for a couple of weeks. Really. You'll miss out on creamy goodness though, and healthy fats!