Recipe: Maple-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

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At this time of year, I often get asked about what I eat over the holidays as I eat a plant-based diet. It always surprises me, because most of the traditional side dishes we eat can easily be made plant-based. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing recipes for the dishes that have been a bit hit with my family and friends – and are healthy as well.

Include the following dish in your Thanksgiving feast, and your friends and family will forget all notions of what brussels sprouts used to taste like. These sprouts are roasted at a high temperature to bring out the natural sugars and caramelize the edges. Brussel sprouts, in season now, are also a nutrient dense power-house. Health benefits of eating them include boosting your immune system and supporting with bone and brain health.

Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

IMG_0083Makes about 4 servings
Vegan, Gluten-free

1 lb. of brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and halved
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

img_0085.jpgPreheat oven to 400. Toss the sprouts, oil, salt and pepper. Put onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times, until just starting to brown. Stir in the maple syrup and nuts if using. Roast for another 10 minutes – they will turn dark brown, caramelized and crispy.

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Holistic Beauty Rituals – Meet Blair!

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Welcome to the next installment from my series all about holistic beauty! I’m sharing interviews with a variety of women asking about their holistic beauty rituals. Some are beauty experts, some are just regular gals like you and me. Let the holistic beauty secrets begin!

blairMeet Blair, bad-ass yoga instructor, mom, therapist and friend who practices life with love, perseverance, passion and truth. This busy woman is raising 2 young children, teaching yoga, hosting yoga retreats, and has a private psycho-therapy practice. She connects most to herself when she is in nature snowboarding, mountain biking, slack-lining, dancing at concerts and spending time with her children and boyfriend. I’m so grateful to have Blair in my life as a friend and yoga mentor! I think you will enjoy her simple, holistic approach to beauty and self care.

How do you approach aging and beauty?
Daily mantra of loving myself, especially the places on my body that I use to judge when I was younger. Practicing a consistent bed-time. A daily yoga practice. Mindfulness & conversation around self-care.

tea-1090672_640What are your daily beauty rituals?
Daily affirmations of the awakening to the feminine. Me time with hot decaf tea at night before bed. Love flossing. Face serum with a spritzer as I lay in bed.

What are some rituals that you feel all women should be doing?  
Daily affirmations when looking in the mirror of self-love and self-acceptance. Some yoga and mediation. Listening to music.

22489651_10154897062086156_3393870894292403076_nDo you have any beauty rituals or natural products that you have recently tried and/or incorporated into your routine?
Creme De Jardin Face Serum and Dream Weaver Mist.

How do you eat for beauty?
I eat a vegetarian diet.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?
Sleep more, the face brush, and sun-screen.

What else do you do to support vibrancy and beauty?  
Empower women and teenagers through groups or private therapy sessions. Being present with my children.

If you want to take a yoga class from Blair (and you do for sure), you can find her at Kindness Yoga (Stanley Market Place), Denver Athletic Club, Anschutz Medical Campus Health and Wellness Center, Pura Vida Spa, & corporate yoga.

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I’m joining Blair at a yoga retreat she is hosting on November 17-19 at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. Space is limited, contact me ASAP if you are interested in attending! For Blair’s private therapy practIce please visit Blairvaughn.com.


Have a morning routine.

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Having a morning routine that I love makes me a happier person. I thought I’d share my routine with you, and give you some more ideas so that you can create your own morning routine. And, I’d love to hear from you what your morning routine is!

First, why is having a morning routine so important? Well, how your morning goes sets the tone for the rest of the day. How many times have you had a bad or rushed morning and your entire day follows suit? My morning routine clears my mind and grounds me for a more focused day.

The key to a successful morning routine is blocking out some time to do it. Time before you get the kids ready for school, leave for work, walk the dog, etc. This might mean getting up earlier… Yes, it’s hard to get out of bed early. I get it. But, you’ll get used to it and will even start to look forward to your routine.

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I challenge you to think about what you want your morning routine to look like – make a list – and then figure out how you will accomplish this. Then do this for 21 days and see how you feel! Are you in? It doesn’t have to be some big list – it could simply be getting up 10 minutes early to meditate. My morning routine looks like a lot, but because I’ve made it a habit, I don’t even think about it.

Here are some ideas for your routine:

  • white-2523978_1920Journaling (gratitude journal, morning pages)
  • Meditation (guided meditation or just sit and breath)
  • Prayer (religious or mala beads)
  • Big glass of water with lemon
  • Tea or turmeric latte
  • Exercise (yoga, walk, run, etc.)
  • Read an inspirational book
  • Make a list of the top 3 things to accomplish for the day
  • Diffuse some essential oils
  • Time with your family

Here is my current morning routine:

  • Wake up, let my dogs out.
  • Scrape my tongue, then oil pulling for 10-15 minutes (while letting dogs out, doing other things)
  • Brush my teeth
  • Huge glass of lukewarm water with half a lemon.
  • Prep my breakfast and lunch for my work day
  • Meditate for 12 minutes (if it doesn’t get done now, I usually won’t make the time)
  • Shower, get dressed.
  • Cup of green tea while walking my dogs.
  • Breakfast (often taken to work with me)

If I have extra time:

  • Daily reading or journaling
  • 15 minutes of yoga or go to a yoga class
  • Go for a run
  • Diffuse some essential oils

More reading on morning habits:

10 Morning Habits of Highly Successful People

Good Morning Habits

7 Things Healthy People do Every Morning


New Recipe: Tortilla Soup (Instant Pot Recipe)

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Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Gather:
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chopped jalapeno
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small bag frozen corn (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn)
5 small corn tortillas, chopped
1 cup red lentils
1 vegan bouillon cube
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano

Make:

Put all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot. Cover with water 1-2 inches. Cook on manual setting for 20 minutes. Let it depressurize for at least 10 minutes. Then remove lid and blend with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can let the soup cool a bit and blend in your blender. Serve with rice and enjoy!