Blueberry Muffins - Nut free & Healthified

Hey guys,

It’s no secret that I care - a lot - about my family eating healthfully. It’s also no secret that when they’re in school, there’s a certain amount of control we give up. There are birthday parties and holiday parties and beginning of the year parties and middle of the year parties….

It can all get a bit out of hand. If you are a mama / parent / caregiver of young children like I am, then you might find yourself in a similar debacle from time to time. Not only that, but so much of my homemade treats include alternative flours like almond flour - which is an obvious no-no in our nut-free schools.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here is a blueberry muffin recipe that I made recently during a particularly party-heavy time at school. My kids got to enjoy a treat that I felt good about and we were very cautious about other kiddos’ allergies. :-)

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Blueberry Muffins

(Makes 10 muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour

  • 5 eggs

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (make sure not to use nut milk if strictly nut-free)

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 2/3 cup blueberries

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

  • pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender, except blueberries.

  3. Fold in blueberries.

  4. Line a muffins tray with liners.

  5. Fill each muffin cup until 2/3 full.

  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the muffin.

  7. Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

Safer Make-up

Save the date! 


This beautiful lady below, Kathryn Lattimer, will be sharing her background story and some important wisdom about safer cosmetics with us!  Not only that, but for those of us (ahem...me!) that are make-up challenged, she will be wrapping up our conversation by doing a make-up tutorial for everyone!

WHEN: Saturday, November 10th at 12:30 PM, Eastern

WHERE: Wherever the heck you have cell service!!  Just be inside my private Facebook group, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.

WHAT IF I'M BUSY?  No worries!  The replay will be made available for you to watch when you have the time.  ;-)


"See you" inside the group!


In good health,
Tara

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Welcome to November…and the onslaught of decadent holiday recipes coming your way!

Last week was Halloween and the way we circumvent tons of junky junk is by substituting it with healthy junk. ;-) These Oatmeal Raisin Cookies got sent in with my kiddos to school when they had their parties so that they would have a healthier alternative that would still taste great and feel like a special treat for them.

Mission accomplished.

I needed it to be gluten free, dairy free, nut free (school rules), and no refined sugar.

Here’s what we came up with…

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(Makes 24 cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 2/3 cup ground flaxseeds

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1 egg

  • 2 T water

  • 1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum-free)

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • Optional: add 1/4 cup chocolate chips. walnuts, or dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the raisins in a bowl and add water until covered. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.(You can skip this step, but your raisins will be dry in the cookies).

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and water.

  5. Mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.

  6. Fold in raisins and any additional mix-ins, if desired.

  7. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with back of spoon.

  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

  9. Enjoy!

WIll you be trying these? Let us know!

In good health,

Tara

Healthy Halloween - here's what we did

Hey guys,

I shot a quick video a few days ago to share what my family was doing to have ALL THE FUN on Halloween and none of the garbage!

  • Do we give out candy?

  • What about the school parties?

  • How do we deal with the trick or treating results?

I get into it all in this video.

Please note: This is what we choose to do as a family. This is by no means a judgment on your choices. ;-)

In good health,

Tara

My virtual nutrition & fitness coaching program - behind-the-scenes

Hey guys,

I'm peeling the curtain back and taking you behind the scenes...

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If you have heard me talking about my VIRTUAL, one-on-one nutrition and fitness coaching program, you may have wondered HOW it all works.


HOW do I deliver the habits and daily lessons?
HOW do the workouts work?
HOW do we stay in communication?
WHAT the heck does the software look like?


These are some of the questions I reveal in THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL in which I turn the camera onto my laptop and show you EXACTLY how it all works.  :-)

If you would like some more information about my program - Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching - check it out and hit 'reply' to this email with any of your questions.  I read and answer every single one myself.


Have a fabulous day and week!

In good health,
Tara


P.S. Here is that tutorial again:



Pistachio-Apple Bars

These Pistachio-Apple bars are amazing!


Magnolia and Jagger’s schools don’t allow nuts due to children’s allergies, so we rely a lot on nuts at home. These bars are the perfect after-school snack or dessert!

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Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds (Servings 14)


Ingredients:


• 1/3 cup cashew butter 

• 1/3 cup honey 

• 1 tablespoon olive oil 

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

• 1/2 teaspoon salt 

• 1 1/4 cups puffed rice

• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 

• 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apple 

• 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries 

• 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted pistachios

• 1 teaspoon black chia seeds


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix cashew butter, honey, olive oil, vanilla, and salt. 

3. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. 

4. In a separate bowl, combine puffed rice, oats, apple, cranberries, and pistachios. 

5. Pour cashew mixture over puffed rice mixture, and toss gently to combine. 

6. Press into an 11 x 7-inch, greased glass baking dish. 

7. Sprinkle the top with chia seeds, pressing down lightly to stick them to the mixture.

8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool, slice, and enjoy!


How do these sound to you?

In good health,

Tara

P.S. You can totally reduce the honey to make these even healthier. I’ve made them with about 1/2 the amount for a lower glycemic version (because...PCOS) and they were delicious!

How to achieve ANY goal you have!

Do you want to lose weight? Do you wish you could eat better more consistently? Have you been putting off your workouts?

In the video below, I share everything you need to know to break down ANY goal you have into action steps and daily practices. I discuss The Habit Loop and The Cycle that you can apply to any area of your life that you’re looking to upgrade.

**Warning: The video gets wonky around minute 4 but then picks up around minute 7 or so. This was a livestream and my internet connection was poor. However, you don’t miss much at all (what the heck was I talking about for those 3 minutes, anyway?!?) and I believe you will gain so much from watching this if you are looking to achieve something in particular.



If you are not on my email list, hop on ASAP so you can receive the companion worksheet I mentioned that’s heading to an inbox near you on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. :-) Sign up right here!

In good health,

Tara

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you, but I’m a soup lover! Unfortunately, creamy soups with a dairy base don’t love me back these days. And while I’m not selling artwork at fancy galleries or able to knit beautiful sweaters to save my life, my creativity often shows up in the kitchen when I’m trying to make healthier versions of my childhood favorites so that my family and I can enjoy them.

This is a new recipe that was inspired by the first frosty, October morning here in NY recently. No joke - we had our air conditioner on one day and 3 days later, the heat! It’s been wild. In fact, the extra dose of vitamin C from this tomato soup won’t hurt either with all of the weather changes and school germs aloft. ;-)


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Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

• 2 x 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup veggie broth or water
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/3 cup packed fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 can full fat coconut milk

Directions:

1. In a blender, stir together the tomatoes, broth or water, pepper, salt, basil, and oil.

2. Pour into a large pot.

3. Place on stovetop on medium heat.

4. Cook 5 minutes. Then, add in coconut milk and stir to combine.

5. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy!


In good health,

Tara

Sweet Potato Quinoa Crockpot Chili

There’s a chill in the air….finally! ;-)

Hey guys, I like the heck out of Summer like the best of ‘em (except the mosquitos…and under-boob sweat brought on by humidity…). And yet, there’s something so exciting and refreshing about the first time I can put on a sweater and a vest with a crockpot meal working overtime for me.

I’m gonna cut to the chase and keep it short and SWEET today. This chili is the perfect Fall dinner when you need something fast, warm, hearty, plant-based, and/or gluten free.


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Sweet Potato Quinoa Crockpot Chili


Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, diced

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, diced

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans

  • 1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 3 (or 4*) cups broth, any kind

  • 1/2 cup dry, uncooked quinoa

  • 1 T chili powder

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • pinch cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste


Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker / crockpot.

  2. Cook on high for 4 hours.

  3. Allow to cook on low until time to serve.


*Add up to 1 additional cup of broth or water if consistency is too thick for you.

**Optional: Serve with avocado on top - just because!


Hope you enjoy!


In good health,

Tara

Why my virtual coaching program is 12 months!

Hey people!

Have you ever noticed the ridiculous claims some health and weight loss coaches make?

“Drop 20 pounds in 21 days!”

“Lose 3 pants sizes in a week!”

Blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaah.

Why are we drawn to such statements? Well, because we want to believe it’s true, even though we’re skeptical. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. The other truth is, even if it DID work that way, when you when back to doing life after the week or 21 days, it would all. come. back (sometimes with interest).

My private, virtual coaching is a longer-term commitment at 12 months and I LOVE IT that way. It works. Check out this video to find out why. :-)

Happy weekend!

In good health,

Tara

Wrapping up 2018 with a WIN

October is HERE!

Isn’t that bananas?! I can’t believe we have entered the final 3 months of the year…the last 90 days…the 4th quarter…

Anywho, here’s what’s awesome about that: YOU get to decide how you want to end 2018. YOU get to choose to hold your head up and see this year out with tons of momentum going into the New Year. The holidays certainly bring up some unique hurdles and traditions, but it never has to mean that they have control over you. Never. YOU are always the one in control.

If you’ve been feeling like you want to focus on something - a goal - to wrap up the year and feel accomplished, then this video is perfect for you. We get into the 7 steps you need to choose what to focus on.

HOW do you want to feel on December 31st as you’re counting down 10-9-8-7…?

HOW do you want to show up for yourself?

HOW do you want your energy, your strength, your immune system, your confidence, your patience, and your life to look? Give yourself the edge this year and COMMIT to something.

It’s your journey. What will you choose?

In good health,

Tara

Zucchini Fritters

Hey guys,

Last week. I came to you live on Facebook to walk through a little cooking demo (talk-through, really) of how I made Zucchini Fritters. My version is gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free with extra Omega 3s, fiber, and protein.

Here’s that video

For those that requested I write up the recipe, here ya go!

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchinis, grated

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

  • 1/4 cup cheese of choice (I used non-dairy cheese)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • coconut oil for cooking

Directions:

1) Add grated zucchini and salt to a colander and place in the sink for 5 minutes. Allow extra fluid to drain.

2) Place zucchini in a cheese cloth and squeeze out any additional fluid.

3) Add the eggs, nutritional yeast, flaxseeds, and cheese and mix well.

4) Add oil to a pan and over low-medium heat, cook 1-2 T of fritter mixture at a time (like a pancake). Once edges start to brown, flip over. This takes approx. 3 minutes per side.

5) Keep extras for up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in toaster or oven.

Enjoy!

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In good health,

Tara

Is that a protein bar...or a carb bar?

As a health coach - slash - nutritionist - slash - personal trainer - slash - RN, you can imagine that while I work with lots of ‘general health’ requests, weight loss is a top priority for many of my clients.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make on their weight loss journey is mislabeling their food groups. Watch the video below to find out if you, too, are making this common mistake. The good news is that with a few simple swaps, you may be right back on track with your weight loss goals.

If these videos are helping, make sure you sign up for my newsletter list so you don’t miss any!

“See” you soon!

In good health,

Tara

Sweet Potato Bruschetta

Hello!

With back-to-school coming at us full-force, many of us find September to be like a second New Years in terms of being able to re-establish goals, schedules, and commit to new habits.  I notice this to be the trend even amongst my friends that don't have young children.

A large factor for success here comes down to priorities and time management skills.  We need recipes we love that will nourish ourselves and our family and either be SUPER quick or at least allow us some 'hands off' time (like while something is in the oven) to be able to multitask.  This is a good chance to clean up, help with homework, make that phone call, or shoot off a quick email. 

The following recipe is a delicious side dish or app, but can easily be turned into a main dish by adding a protein source such as white beans, tuna, or chicken.

If you have any friends that could use some healthy inspiration / recipes, please let them know about my newsletter.  It is my mission to help as many people with their health / nutrition / fitness as possible - regardless of whether or not they ever hire me.  Sharing is caring!  ;-)

On to this delicious recipe...

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Sweet Potato “Bruschetta” (Servings 4-8)

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup packed basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  

2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Place sweet potato slices in a mixing bowl and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil.

4. Spread sweet potato slices out evenly on baking sheets, giving each slice a little space.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.  Flip to the other side and bake for 10 more minutes until golden brown.

6. Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

7. When sweet potatoes are done, let cool. 

8. Top sweet potato slices with tomato mixture, and enjoy!

 

Do you plan on trying this recipe?  It works if you're looking to ditch the bread or have someone that is gluten-free that you're cooking for.

 

In good health,

Tara

To Purell or Not To Purell...?

Now, for the more sour part.  My daughter, Magnolia, is starting Kindergarten in 2 days and one of the items on her list of school supplies was…Purell antibacterial hand sanitizer!  

Some of you may be thinking, "OK.  What's the big deal?" Others might be appalled. So, I decided to shoot a quick video all about how I feel about this and how I will be handling it.  Check out the video below!

I want to first point out that I did not get into too many details here - kept it pretty general.  There is so much more to know (like how it isn't as effective as we've been told and that it can cause infertility and estrogenic weight gain / obesity, etc.)  Rather, this video is to start the discussion and open the topic to continue to talk and / or allow you to dive into some more research on it.

If you'd like to continue the discussion on this topic, or ANYthing health / nutrition / fitness related, please head on over to my Facebook group - Lean In with Tara Allen Health - and join us.  It's a FREE resource for you.  :-)




In good health,
Tara


P.S. Are we friends on social yet?!?!  Check out my Facebook and Instagram pages and let's connect over there!

Chia Watermelon Fresca

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Watermelon, watermelon...everywhere!  Want to put this fruit to good use before it's out of season?  Try this deliciously refreshing recipe!

 

Chia Watermelon Fresca (Serves 1)

 

Ingredients: 

• 1 1/2 cups seedless watermelon cubes

• 3 tbsp. water

• 1 tbsp. chia seeds

• 1 slice lime, for garnish

• Sprig of mint, or strawberries, for garnish

• Ice

 

Directions: 

1. In a blender, puree watermelon and water until smooth. 

2. Stir in chia seeds and let them sit for about 5 minutes (to thicken up). 

3. Stir again, and let it thicken for as long as you’d like!

4. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with lime and sprig of mint or strawberries.

 

Enjoy!

 

In good health,

Tara

How to save time so you can COOK more

Hey there,

With my husband out of town, it dawned on me that I am NOT the only mama (or parent, or busy person) that struggles with time management and being able to feed myself and my family the healthiest food I can.  In fact, it requires quite a bit of planning, prep work, and thinking ahead to the 'what ifs' (What if someone gets sick?  What if I have a last minute client or meeting that pops up?).  

With the 5 tips I share in today's video, you will find you have some more time to be able to allow cooking to rise higher on your priority list than it has been lately.  :-)

I hope this helps!  Let me know in the comments below...will you be trying any of these tips or do you have any tips of your own to share?

In good health,

Tara

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

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So I have to start by letting you know I forgot to snap a decent picture of these waffles for you, and instead have this paper towel quickie that I sent my hubby to let him know we had breakfast to bring on our road trip.  :-)

Now that that's out, do NOT let it take away from the fact that these are DELICIOUS and should be made immediately - even before Starbucks announces that it's pumpkin season this year.  

These waffles worked as breakfast on-the-go as well as a snack in our hotel room the following day.  They are gluten free, dairy free, have no added sugar, and are packed with protein, healthy fat, fiber, and some veggies!  

***Swap the nut butter for seed butter to make these friendly for nut allergens if you have allergies in your family or school rules to follow.***

Are you ready?!

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Ingredients:

Wet:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup walnut butter (it's what we had - any nut butter will work)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Dry:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1.5 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Mix all wet ingredients in a blender.

2. Add dry ingredients and blend until well-combined.

3. Cook in a greased waffle iron. Makes about 8 waffles (pictured are waffles cut in quarters).

4. Enjoy!!

 

WIll you be trying these??  Let me know!

How to Build a Green Smoothie - The Template

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Ahhh....the green smoothie.  It's tasty, convenient, great for the young and old alike, and helps us stay on track with our goals.

But...

Sometimes it doesn't come out right!  Sometimes it's too thick, or too watery, or not sweet enough.  How do you know if it's balanced, anyway?

No worries.  I put together a Green Smoothie Template for you.  Share it, print it, stick it on your fridge.  Use it as a checklist for when you make your next smoothie.  You will be left with delicious, smooth, healthy, balanced green smoothies every time!

Grab your copy of the template right here.

***Would you like to stay 'in the know' and receive more of my resources, healthified recipes, weight loss videos, and wellness tips?  Subscribe to my newsletter so you won't miss a thing!***

In good health,

Tara

White Bean and Spinach Stew

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These days, many people are looking for more plant-based meals for various reasons and still crave a hearty meal. Plant-based can still mean something with sustenance, warmth, vibrant colors, and flavors to help fill your belly and your soul!  Stews are a great way to satisfy that need for a heartier meal.  They can be served warm in the colder months, and cold on a hot and humid day.  

The spinach in this meal delivers a serving of low-glycemic vegetables, gut-promoting fiber, and vitamin K, A, C and folate.  The iron in spinach plays a role in well-functioning red blood cells which help to transport oxygen around the body.

The phytochemicals ("plant magic") in onions can reduce the amount of damaging free radicals circulating in your body.  The sulfur and chromium work in tandem to help reduce blood sugar.

Olive oil is rich in heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat.  This helps us absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in the dish, promote healthy hormones, and nourish our skin and hair.  Olive oil also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a staple in health-promoting Mediterranean Diet.

Thyme is known to help sore throats...as well as lowering high blood pressure and helping to manage elevated cholesterol in the blood.

Garlic is highly nutritious, yet low in calories.  The powerful compounds in garlic can help to reduce and stabilize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Cannelli beans brings a plant-based serving of protein to help heal damaged tissues and promote and strong and lean body.  These white beans are also full of fiber which promote a diverse microbiome, weight management, and regular bowel movements.

The lycopene (that red hue) in tomatoes are activated most during the cooking process.  It has been shown to promote the health of the skin, prostate, heart, bones, and blood vessels.

 

White Bean and Spinach Stew (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients: 

• 1 tablespoon olive oil 

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 4 cloves garlic, minced 

• 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried) 

• 2 x 16-oz. cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed & drained 

• 1/2 cup water 

• 4 canned plum tomatoes, drained (organic if possible)

• 1 x 14-ounce low sodium veggie broth (organic if possible)

• 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

• 1/4 tsp. sea salt 

• 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions: 

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. 

2.  Add garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute. 

3.  Add the beans, water, tomatoes, and broth. Increase heat to high until stew begins to simmer. 

4.  Reduce heat; let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add more water, if needed.

5. Stir in the spinach, and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

***If you want to make sure you catch my recipes, weight loss videos, and wellness tips, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter list here.***

In good health,

Tara