CHC

Stretch and Relax

Last month I was asked to come into the very friendly and progressive company, National Business Capital, to have a bit of fun with the employees and take them through a nice stretching routine that they can implement into their busy days right at or next to their desks!  We laughed, we took deep breaths, we got the blood flowing.  I received several awesome emails afterwards letting me know about different ways in which that morning visit improved their day.  :-)

It's a new year and as such, I see many companies embracing employee wellness programs now more than ever.  Yay for 2017!  Yay for smart management!  WIth increased employee satisfaction and productivity and decreased sick days, you can see how the value and ROI far surpasses the investment.

Do you own or work for a company like this?  Do you want to see more companies - large AND small - taking time to educate and motivate their employees to take good care of their minds & bodies?  

Employee wellness programs may include stretching breaks, yoga, meditation, workout classes or personal trainers, nutrition consults, cooking demos, one-on-one health coaching, vital signs and consultations, a group sport, race, or contest.

I challenge you to speak with your boss about a potential employee wellness program being implemented or upgraded in your company.  If you ARE the boss, keep this in mind… healthy and productive employees are your biggest asset!

Pictured:  Silly activity at National Business Capital to "break the ice" before we started Stretch and Relax.  (Sorry to those I did not capture in the picture!  Next time I'll try to take more pictures).

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Baby it's cold outside!  And, with the holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and uber-sweet festivities practically upon us, we need a new cookie recipe!!!  

For me, baking Christmas cookies with my mom is an annual tradition and one we haven't missed for even one year.  We follow my Grandmother's recipe and I feel bittersweet knowing although I never had the chance to meet her, that we are now 4 generations of girls/women (plus Jagger and sometimes my husband) being connected every year while we follow the instructions on this well-loved piece of paper that is stained, falling apart, and very hard to read.  But, it was hers!  There are just some things that don't need upgrading.

However, with shortening, loads of butter, mounds of sugar, bleached / refined flour, and artificial food dye, I just can't let that go over with my very young toddler.  We'll reevaluate as she gets older (this motherhood thing is a constant moving target), but as for now, she eats only foods that *cause* health.  As for baby Jagger, well, he won't be eating (or missing out) on any of these cookies this year.

So, what's a sensitive-daughter-and-granddaughter slash health-conscious-mama slash Christmas-tradition-lover to do?  Come up with a new recipe that's just as fun to make, tastes like a treat, and adds some extra fuel to our day!  It's almost-Winter and absolutely cold & flu season - let's stack the deck….ok?  ;-)

These cookies are easy to make and work well with your favorite cookie cutters.  Feel free to decorate them as you choose.  

What they have: protein & fiber.

What they don't have: refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, flour/grains, artificial anything, trans fats.

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

HOLIDAY SPICED SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut flour (for dusting cookie cutters and rolling out)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor, mixer, or with (clean!) hands.
  3. Flatten dough to about 1/3 - 1/2 inch thickness.  Cover and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Place dough between wax paper, sprinkle with coconut flour, and roll out with rolling pin. 
  5. Dust again with coconut flour before using cookie cutters.
  6. Collect "scraps" and repeat steps 4 & 5 until all dough is used.
  7. Place cookies on a baking sheet greased with coconut oil.
  8. Decorate as desired or leave cookies plain.
  9. Bake 7-10 minutes (until edges start to turn golden-brown).  Thin cookies will cook faster - keep your eye on them.

They were a big hit and I didn't get any pictures on the finished product.  I'll take that as a good sign instead of an oversight.  ;-)

Please leave me a comment or an email if you make these cookies.  I'd love to hear about your holiday celebrations!

Peace, Joy, and Health,

Tara

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It's the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and most folks are either traveling to be closer with friends and family or hunkering down to get their meal prep on.  It's also day 3 of my GREAT and GRATEFUL week here at Tara Allen Health.  I'm grateful to have spent previous years helping patients in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.  There's nothing quite like seeing how important you are in someone's day than when you are caring for them on a holiday while they're missing out on their own traditions back home.  Therefore, as I enjoy a day off with my family tomorrow (well, limited work - I am an entrepreneur!), I am grateful for the nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, and ALL service professionals that will be working hard tomorrow to keep this country running as safely and healthfully as possible.  I'm grateful for all experiences that have lead me to where I'm at currently - as a wife and mama to an infant and toddler, and a business owner that gets to CHANGE lives in the best way on a daily basis with a schedule flexible enough to allow me to "mom" when i need to "mom".  GRATEFUL!

Now to share something GREAT in celebration...

A little birdie told me you may be in a pinch for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe.  This pumpkin pie comes together quickly and is something you can feed your guests, young and old, and feel good about!  It takes about 5 minutes to prep, so throw it in the oven while you relax, chase your kiddos, or figure out how the heck to carve that turkey.  ;-)

Cheers to a peaceful, smiley, laughter-filled Thanksgiving to you all!

In health and gratitude,

Tara

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

 

 

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

 

 

Ingredients:

 

15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

3 eggs

¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup (ok to sub with 1 T stevia for an even lower glycemic index)

¼ cup crushed walnuts or pecans

2 T chia seeds

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

coconut oil (to grease pan)

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Grease baking pan with coconut oil.

3.    Mix all ingredients in blender, except crushed nuts.

4.    Pour mixture into pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

5.    Top with crushed pecans / walnuts and allow to cool.

6.    Serve yourself a slice before it gets eaten all up.  ;-)

Immune-Boosting Latte

You guys, I have barely been able to get used to it being September already and now September is coming to an end this week?!?  What the what?!  Wow!  

Well, I'll tell you what….at least the time is flying with things happening behind the scenes.  ;-)  Hint hint; wink wink.  You've asked and I'm listening.

Fall is upon us and there's something about this season that truly energizes me - more than in an I'm-shivering-for-the-first-time-in-half-a-year kinda way.  I suppose you can liken it the calling of a deep clean that Spring thrusts upon us.  Maybe it's my mind's rebellion against the days getting shorter.  Or, maybe it's the bubbling of excitement over the holidays coming.  I like a good party - can you blame me?  These days the onslaught of holidays start with my daughter's birthday next month and will end with my son's birthday in January.  Who knows (and who cares) though, right?!  When I can reign in the flurry of ideas just a bit, I am super-productive in the Fall.  I'm just going with it. (Note: Super-productive IS a relative term with a toddler, baby, new house, clients, etc.)

So….Autumn is here.  Bugs will be buggin' off soon and germs will be multiplying in their place.  Did you know whether you get sick or not has a lot less to do with what you "catch" and a lot more to do with how strong your immune system is?  We're filthy beings…covered in germs all the time despite the best hygiene.  Working on your health from the inside out is a great place to begin to ward off many colds/viruses or at least kick them out a day or 2 earlier.

The idea for the immune-boosting latte came to me while I was making my morning cup o' joe one day.  I was headed to the gym and wanted a little energy before my workout, but not a full meal.  While adding coconut oil to my coffee for a little taste and energy, I couldn't help but think about how this would be a great time to consume some turmeric, as the coconut oil aids in its absorption.  So does black pepper.  Then I needed something else to help mask that flavor while bringing added health benefits: cinnamon!  I used a tad bit of honey to sweeten as an experiment because raw honey is excellent in helping to fight all kinds of microbes.  I added my cashew milk as usual.  Wouldn't ya know - blended all together it actually tasted GREAT!  Not only was the taste on point, but the texture was creamy with a little froth on top.  A fancy latte for a fraction of the price, a 20 foot commute to the kitchen, no refined sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no weirdness anywhere in the recipe, and a good deed done for my immune system (you're welcome). Yup!

Here you have it: IMMUNE-BOOSTING LATTE...

"Sugar and Spice" - Tinkerbell mug for this Immune-Boosting Latte.

"Sugar and Spice" - Tinkerbell mug for this Immune-Boosting Latte.

 

To a blender, add:

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp - 1 T honey or sweetener of choice (depending on taste preference)
  • pinch of black pepper

Blend and enjoy the creamy, frothy goodness!

P.S. Use a Tinkerbell mug as pictured to complete the pleasurable experience.  ;-)

Should Women Lift Heavy?

I take a quick dive into this juicy topic in today's video.  Watch up!

Do you know any ladies that want to workout but are afraid of 'bulking up'?  Do you have anyone in your life that you believe would benefit from health talks, healthy recipes, family wellness info, etc.?  Send them this way!  

Do you want the bonus content that I send to my most fabulous and loyal peeps? Be sure to join my email list.  Sign up is over on the home page.  It's free and guess what?  You get a pretty "cool" smoothie formula PDF just for signing up to hang with me.  :-)