A Wholesome Recipe For Anyone - Lentil Vegetable Soup

One of the biggest challenges to healthy eating is finding THE TIME to cook, especially for all of us working long days.  So one thing I preach is the principle of “cook once, eat twice.”

One of the easiest, healthy dinner recipes that is great for leftovers is a lentil and vegetable soup. Its nutritious, filling, and something that can be served for the whole family. Find some time in your Sunday to cook the soup (and you can multitask while it cooks!), and then you can have it once or twice more during the week, depending on how many you’re cooking for.

Lentils are filled with protein and fiber,  which fill you up quickly, and have the added benefit of lowering cholesterol and balancing sugar levels. Lentils are also good sources of folate and magnesium, contributing to heart health. And lastly, as a relatively low calorie food, they are great for weight loss, especially when combined with vegetables!

So I’ll share with you a recipe that I make very often and highly suggest you try:

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Easy, Delicious Dinner for a Perfect Sleep

Dinner is one of the hardest meals for many of us. At the end of the day, we’re tired, we want something comforting, but are lazy to cook up something elaborate (and often we just don’t crave something too elaborate).  And there is a reason for that. Your body usually craves a simple meal that is easy to digest, simple yet comforting and balanced.

Before bed, you want a meal that will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you sleep better and burn more fat and promote weight loss (if that’s a goal).

A dinner that is EASY-TO-DIGEST is also key to not disrupt your sleep. You need your body to rest while sleeping (and not be working overtime to digest your dinner).

You also want to look for foods that help promote restful sleep.

READ MORE to get my favorite super easy dinner recipe that promotes great sleep and is, of course, delicious and healthy.

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The Perfect Healthy Entertaining Recipe: Sweet Potato Bites 3 Ways (for the omnivore, vegetarian & vegan)

I love entertaining, but it can be tricky to keep everyone happy with your choice of food/appetizer, while also keeping the preparation fairly easy.

For me its key to have a healthy “Balance with Mariana” approved dish, while also pleasing everyone else, including the guys who need something a bit more substantial after a few gin tonics.

 I’ve come up with the PERFECT entertaining appetizer recipe that’s fairly easy to make, yet seems super “gourmet” and of course, it’s DELICIOUS. The only part that takes long (the pulled pork) can be done the day before. And I use the same base ingredients to make 3 different appetizers – one to please vegans, one to please vegetarians, and a third version to please the omnivores (probably the majority, so make extra of these!).

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February Love Food: Beets

Many times people fear beets because of their sweetness and high sugar content, but by cutting them out of your diet, you’re missing out on all their awesome, healthy-boosting properties.

And actually, beets can help you stay slim, have balanced hormones, balanced energy, and more.

READ MORE to learn more about the awesome benefits, HOW to eat beets, and get my super easy hormone-balancing juice recipe.

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A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving: 5 healthy tips for a guilt-free holiday + Pumpkin Pie recipe

Thanksgiving is about GIVING THANKS; a time to be with loved ones and celebrate all the awesome things in life. AND it's about delicious comforting food. Who doesn't love Thanksgiving food, pumpkins (or ayote), wine, and family time?

Problem is, many of us health-conscious people simultaneously dread the aftermath of waking up bloated and feeling heavy the next day, and possibly even gaining weight in just one weekend.

Luckily I've discovered that doesn't need to be the case. IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE TO ENJOY A HEALTHY THANKSGIVING, while staying guilt-free. Of course indulging a bit (because indulging is OK once in a while), but if you balance it out with some healthier (and even more delicious) recipes, and a few more tips (that I share with you today and in other past blogs), you can fully enjoy the holiday without any negative consequences.

HERE ARE 5 TIPS THAT I PERSONALLY PRACTICE, then check out my blogs for more tips and recipes for a Healthy Thanksgiving

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Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding Parfait with Papaya Jam

The combo of gut-friendly probiotics and healthy fats from the Coconut Yogurt, together with the omega-3’s, protein, fiber, iron and magnesium from Chia Seeds, makes this Papaya Coconut Chia Pudding an extremely nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest, metabolism-boosting and filling breakfast. This will keep you full more than any cereal, breakfast bar, oatmeal and more than most smoothies!

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I'm a Health Coach. Here is What I Eat in a Day.

As a certified holistic Health Coach (and barre teacher), I practice what I preach; I live a healthy lifestyle and get my daily fill of greens.

Making smarter, healthier food choices is tough at first, but it gets easier with practice and consistency, and I strongly believe that everyone can change the way they eat to feel better inside and out.

I still sometimes struggle with balancing my long days of work, social life, and making time to cook, not to mention that my sweet tooth keeps me from having a perfectly healthy diet.

But I strongly believe in finding a good BALANCE that works for you, while always prioritizing your health and making sure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients on your plate possible.

I’ll take you through my typical day of meals.

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An Easy, Probiotic Mask for Clear, Hydrated, Glowing Skin

Natural DIY face masks are a great "facial" option that can work wonders on your face in just minutes, and are especially helpful when you can't make it every month to your facialist. Plus, you can do them while multitasking!

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite face masks – great for all skin types - that will help you keep a healthy skin microbiome and restore a healthy glow in your skin. I've been doing it a lot recently and am always AMAZED by the instant boost I see in my skin.

This mask is soothing, refreshing and cooling (hello yogurt!), moisturizing, helps balance your pH, remove dead cells, brightens your overall complexion, and fights off any blemishes, leaving your skin feeling baby soft and CLEAN.

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Did you know…? Benefits of COCONUT YOGURT (+ bonus recipe!)

Focusing on gut health can help prevent (even help eliminate) many diseases at their root, and is part of the foundation for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. To support your gut, it’s key to add PROBIOTICS to our diet, via fermented foods and/or supplements.

One easy and delicious way to get your probiotics is with yogurt, BUT most traditional store-bought yogurts are highly processed, filled with sugar, and your common dairy-milk version can be irritating to the gut for many people, therefore canceling out the positive effects of the probiotics!

So instead, I suggest trying dairy-free (unsweetened) Coconut Yogurt!

Read more to learn BENEFITS of Coconut Yogurt, easy ways to use it, and a delicious recipe that you’ll LOVE!

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Did You Know...? Why I Avoid PEANUTS and what to eat instead

Nuts are the perfect snack, filled with nutrients (including B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium and vitamin E, with the nutritional profile differing slightly depending on the nut), healthy fats, fiber and protein. They fill you up and nourish you. And they’re so yummy and versatile – great for adding a crunch to recipes, to make pestos, creamy sauces, and more.

However, many people mistakenly put peanuts under the same category as tree nuts  - when actually, peanuts are NOT tree nuts, they are LEGUMES. While they do carry some of the above benefits of tree nuts, they also have many qualities that personally keep me away from peanuts.

READ MORE to learn two key reasons to AVOID Peanuts, AND get two delicious peanut-free nut butter recipes.

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Healthy Recipes for Your Summer Picnic

If you’re trying to stay healthy this summer (maybe you’ve even committed to doing a detox, or are trying to do a low-carb eating plan like Keto or Paleo, or just cut back on gluten and refined sugar), then making your own compliant dishes is the easiest way to enjoy eating with friends while having food you can eat!

Plus, it’s a great opportunity to have fun in the kitchen, and impress your friends!

So I’ve put together some of my favorite “summer picnic” recipes, which are mostly detox-friendly, or adaptable, and free of processed sugar, gluten, grains and dairy. At the same time, they are crowd pleasers!

  • Chicken Zucchini Burgers

  • Kale & Avocado Pancakes

  • Simple Holiday Salad (great for ALL holidays and large meals!)

  • Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

  • Sweet Potato Tater-Tots

  • Two-minute Guacamole

  • Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

  • Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Brownies

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The Healthiest Chocolate Cupcakes - a delicious & easy recipe for you and the kids

Are you interested in trying a healthy yet delicious sweet treat for you and your kids that 1) isn’t filled with sugar and 2) actually contains healthy ingredients that supports your ( and your kids') overall health?

Check out my awesome, yummy and easy cupcake recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth yet keep you healthy!

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A Digestive-Friendly Hormone Balancing, Energy Boosting Smoothie (+ Ayurvedic Smoothie Tips)

Today I’m sharing my DELICIOUS, hormone-balancing, digestive-friendly, energy-boosting smoothie - which takes into consideration Ayurvedic wisdom to make it extra healthy, balancing, warming and easy-to-digest. This smoothie is filled with superfoods, and is vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten free, dairy free, grain-free, contains no added sugars, is filled with fiber and plant-based protein, and is super yummy and easy to make.

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A Valentine's Day Libido-Boosting Smoothie

A healthy, balanced diet will not only help you LOOK better and FEEL more confident (important for sex drive), but also delivers key nutrients to keep your libido high.

In the past Valentine Days, I’ve shared a red beet smoothie, as well as healthy chocolate recipes. This Valentines, I’m giving you a recipe to BOOST YOUR LIBIDO (for both you and your partner)!

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Did you know? Benefits & Uses of TAHINI

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds (basically, the sesame seed version of peanut or almond butter) and is full of copper, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, B1, selenium, fiber, and protein. You’ve probably read about it as an ingredient in hummus, but didn’t realize that, not only is it awesome for your health, but it’s delicious in so many more recipes.  

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3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hopefully you're super psyched about this awesome and meaningful holiday. I now live in a new country that doesn't formally celebrate Thanksgiving, but I was secretly happy to learn that my new family here celebrates this American holiday.

So on top of many other things, I am grateful for that this week.

Thanksgiving is, after all, about GIVING THANKS. It's a time to be with loved ones and celebrate all the awesome things in life. And of course, it's a great time to enjoy delicious food. Who doesn't love Thanksgiving food, wine, and family time?

Problem is, many of us health-conscious people simultaneously slightly dread the holiday because we usually wake up bloated and feeling heavy the next day, and possibly even gain weight in just one weekend.

Luckily I've discovered that doesn't need to be the case. IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE TO ENJOY A HEALTHY THANKSGIVING, while staying guilt-free. Of course indulging a bit is OK, but if you balance it out with some healthier (and even more delicious) recipes, and a few more tips (that I share with you), you can fully enjoy the holiday without any negative consequences.

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Did You Know...? Benefits of Hemp Seeds (+ Recipes!)

Did you know that Hemp Seeds are one of nature's most perfect and nutritious foods? 

These tiny seeds have a concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes, combined with almost no sugar, sodium, starches nor saturated fats. They’re super easy to digest and contain about 13 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons. Plus, like most other seeds, they can be used almost anywhere – from sprinkling on your smoothies/salads/soups to a key ingredient in many yummy plant-based recipes. And personally, I LOVE them!

READ MORE to learn nutritional benefits of hemp seeds, and 4 delicious recipes of mine using hemp seeds.

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4 “Healthy” Breakfasts that are Affecting your Health (and what to eat instead)

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast helps to stabilize you, as you face the day ahead. When your blood sugar is balanced after a balanced and nutritious breakfast, you’ll feel more focused and energized. It also helps to rev up your metabolism to more effectively burn off fat and calories throughout your day. A healthy breakfast isn’t just about being low in calories; a well-balanced breakfast will provide protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats in order to give you lasting energy without spiking up your blood sugar.

Here are 4 COMMON "HEALTHY" BREAKFASTS that may be spiking your blood sugar and contributing to an afternoon energy slump, lack of concentration and more, and EASY WAYS TO FIX THEM in order for them to help you reach your health goals.

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5 Reasons Why I Eat Ginger Every Day (+ recipes)

Luckily for me, I naturally love spicy foods, and I’ve found that a lot of the spices/ herbs/ condiments that I love most are also awesome for my digestion. One of these miracle digestive spices is GINGER.

Ginger is a widely used condiment, that’s part of the same family as turmeric and cardamom, all of which are great for our health. And like turmeric (which most of you know is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent if you read my blogs), Ginger also anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to to tons of other benefits (beyond digestion!). 

Read below for 5 BENEFITS OF GINGER (as well as recipes and tips on how I use ginger in my daily diet).

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Easy & Delicious Homemade Granola

One of my goals has been to cut back on processed foods, in particular, those with a ton of sugar and unnecessary additives – such as cereals, bars and store-bough granola. Why? Because I’d say it’s the #1 factor hurting our digestive (and overall) health.

And while before, the thought of making my own “healthy treats” sounded way too time consuming and complicated, once I tried it, I realized how easy (and fun) it is. I make a large batch of my granola and/or my granola bars once every few weeks and freeze them, and that way I have a homemade sweet treat on hand for when I’m craving a bit of crunch to add to any breakfast or as a snack.

I promise you, its way easier than you think, and really doesn't take much time. Plus, you'll love it!

So let me share with you my home-made recipes for my "superfood" Granola and Granola bars.

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