healthy kids

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

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!

EATING MORE for weight loss

January is almost over!

How are those resolutions coming along?

I recorded a video LIVE on facebook last week that may help you with your weight loss goals AND hunger pangs.  We got into macros, portion sizes, quality foods, and how to ADD more food into your day while crowding out the junk.  This won't just help your waistline, it will help improve your overall health!

Happy Saturday,

Tara

After School Smoothie Routine

We're heading into the fourth-ish week of school here in New York and at this point, we've changed up our routine quite a bit to accommodate a 3.75 year-old who is now in preschool in the afternoons.  This beautiful child of mine is usually TIRED and HUNGRY!  If not hungry, she's "starving".  Did I mention how hungry she is? Yikes!  I'm assuming she'll be going up a size…or 5…soon with the way she's been putting back food lately.

In this video, I talk about how we're satisfying her hunger, specifically after-school, without skimping on the veggies she so badly needs.

If you are new to smoothies or would like to simplify things a bit for yourself, sign up for my newsletter here and receive my Formula For the Perfect Plant-Based Smoothie.  This PDF can be saved or printed and will help give you fresh ideas to make healthy and balanced smoothies that you and your kids will love.

Tell me, how have you adjusted your schedule with food and/or sleep since the school year began?  Any tips for a newbie school-mama like me?  ;-)

In good health,

Tara

6 Easy Meal Ideas - Mix N' Match Style

Do you want to be able to make a few things on a weekend and have meals to eat for the rest of the week?  I'm not talking about the same meals every night either!

The video is complete with a baby vs. mom battle over a pen. I won, for the record.  Haha!

With just a few extra ingredients, your 1-2 hours in the kitchen on a weekend can create SIX different dinners to put on the table during the hustle and bustle of the weeknights.

Tell me, what's your favorite way to meal prep?

 

In good health,

Tara

Are you sure? Pediasure? That time when I disagreed with my kids' pediatrician...

I had an interesting experience at the pediatrician's office last week with my 1-year old.  Watch the video to find out what happened and what we plan on doing about it.

Have you ever disagreed with advice given to you for your child by his/her doc?  What did you say or do?

***Please note: I respect our pediatrician, her experience, her knowledge, and her kindness a great deal.  She's an amazing professional and mother, from what I can tell.  This in no way means that I have not or do not take other advice she gives.  However, I am very comfortable with the level of knowledge I hold in the field of nutrition.  I am also very aware of the alarmingly low amount of nutrition education given to doctors as they are coming up.  I hope that changes very soon.  Regardless, here I am trying to do my part - as a coach to my clients AND as a mother to my kiddos.  

When you know better, you do better.  Let's do better.

 

In good health,

Tara

Need more veggies? Here are 8 ways to get them in!

"…but I don't like veggies!"

"My kids would never eat that!"

"The fiber…it's no good for my belly."

"I'm saving room for dessert."  :-P

No matter the excuse, most of us know that the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, bioflavenoids (words that just mean plant magic), fiber, and perfectly-slow-digesting carbs that come packaged in food we know as "vegetables" are really important to our overall health goals. 

So, put your big girl (or big boy) panties on and watch this video for 8 tips on increasing the amount of veggies you (and anyone you love or even mildly tolerate) consume in a day.

How do you make sure to get your leafy greens and rainbow-colored veggies in?

 

In good health,

Tara

Raising Healthy Eaters: What about parties?

As a result of several conversations I've had with other mamas over the past week or so all about this topic, I decided it warranted a little 'air time' here.

Are you trying to raise healthy eaters?  Wanting to teach your children about the connection between what they put in their bodies and how they feel, think, and behave?  Or, maybe your kiddos have food allergies or sensitivities.  Regardless of your individual journey, it seems we all share a similar contemplative tug-of-war between our health values and the desire for our children to "fit in" at birthday parties and social events.

As a mama to a 3-year old little girl and 1-year old little boy, I'm well-aware of the fact that we've juuuuuust scratched the surface with our experiences.  We haven't had to deal with buying and sharing school lunches, parties every weekend, or trips to friends' houses without us.  We have, however, had some sticky situations: unexpected snack times at toddler classes, lunch (and dessert) served at 9 AM birthday parties, and daily snack-time at nursery school that often comes served-up with significant doses of food dye, sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

This video was shot on a whim.  It came after yet another conversation with a mama-friend of mine who was fed up with a recent and frustrating experience at birthday party which ended with her kids eating more candy in one sitting than they ever had before.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch this video and weigh in.  I want to hear from all you mamas (and dads, caregivers) out there.  What do you do?  How do you FEEL?  Is this frustrating to you?  If so, how do you manage to bridge the gap between your kiddos' health and your childrens' requests and need to feel included?  Do you BYOF (bring your own food)?

Leave your comments below…I'd love to hear from you!

In health,

Tara

Holistic Cough Medicine

Magnolia has a cough.  Magnolia requests honey about 2,406 times a day.  How are these things related?

We mix up a quick "cough medicine" for her when she's sick or something else is going on that may be compromising her immune system (like when she skips too many naps or happens to have a few dairy-heavy days in a row).  The best part?  Make a bunch and leave it, covered, on the counter.  Honey is the ONLY food that doesn't spoil.

**Please note: honey is not recommended for babies under the age of 1 due to their lessened ability to fight off a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum - which can cause botulism in young babies.**

Here's the "recipe": mix together raw honey, turmeric, and cinnamon.  Feel free to add some powdered probiotics if you'd like for an added immune boost.

  • The honey contains antioxidants, is antibacterial and anti-fungal, soothes a cough and sore throat, and aids in fighting allergies if using a local, raw honey.
  • What does the turmeric do?  This is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant!  Therefore, it helps relieve pain and promote healing.
  • Cinnamon not only helps to mask the strong taste of the turmeric, but it helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin responses (which an important player in our health and immunity.  It is also anti-microbial and contains antioxidants (see a pattern here?).  Oh, and it aids blood circulation so your little one's own defenses can get to work!
  • Probiotics boost the health of our "gut".  Think of these as soldier reinforcements…more good guys to help fight the bad guys.  :-)

This is a safe, effective, and relatively inexpensive staple to keep in your household this Fall / Winter to give to any child or adult over the age of 1 as prevention or as an extra boost when a cold or cough appears.  1-3 teaspoons spread out throughout the day works well!  I hope your kiddos request this "medicine" as much as mine does.  

In health,

Tara

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Have you ever just thought to yourself, 'Gee, I really need a cookie that's':

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free
  • High in protein
  • Has a low glycemic index
  • Lots of healthy fats / omega 3s
  • Is quick, easy, and has just a few ingredients
  • Is a serving of fruit AND veggies
  • Smells as delicious as it tastes
  • Can be prepared ahead of time for the whole week / whole family
  • Is tasty enough for dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast or lunch boxes

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Yes?!?!  Well, today is your lucky day then!  Ok, I'm a bit of a nerd (you knew that, right?).  :-)  But, if this even piques your interest a little bit, check out my new recipe:

 

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 large, ripe banana (mashed)
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds, ground
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I suggest pure hemp or pea protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional mix-ins: 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, or any combination.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (add optional mix-ins last).
  3. Scoop cookie-sized amount of batter spaced-out onto greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 - 14 minutes - until edges are golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and remove with a spatula.
  6. Gobble them up!
The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

Would you like to learn about nutrition once and for all?  How to: lose weight, lose fat, clear the brain fog, increase energy and productivity, decrease fatigue, clear those pesky skin conditions, and just feel AMAZING in your body once and for all?  Check out my nutrition email course!  We go over all of this and more in a very compact (read: easy and not time-consuming) way.  Here's how it works… for 4 weeks, you will receive a weekly email from me with everything in one spot.  This includes:

  • The lesson for the week
  • Goals and action steps for the week
  • Recipes that relate to that week's content
  • Bonus resources that can be printed out to help further (meal prep guides, ingredients to avoid at the food store, etc.)

And…. you get email support from me throughout the 4 weeks together as well!  Need me to help you understand one of the lessons better?  I will do that!  Want me to make suggestions on tweaking a recipe to your needs/tastes?  Just ask!

P.S. No official homework!  Nothing to turn in - it's not that kinda class.  This is to educate you on the biggest asset you have for yourself, your family, and your livelihood - HEALTH!  You will get through the reading in just 20 minutes a week that can be done whenever it's convenient for you.  The recipes are yours to keep and play with whenever you are ready.  The information is priceless and will transform your life.  I know that's a bold statement, but it's the truth.  ;-)  Once you feel energetic and fabulous, think about how that changes your day-to-day!

Read what some former students said about the course...

Tara is a miracle worker! I’m not even done with the course yet and I find myself sleeping better and making healthier choices.
— A.N.
My migraines are gone. I didn’t take the course thinking that would be an area I see an improvement in. I will never go back to my old ways now.
— L.R.
I have a long ways to go, but I lost 7 pounds just by following Tara’s special formula for balancing meals and snacks. I’m never hungry with all this healthy food. It’s the first time in my life I am losing weight and not feeling deprived. No products or gimmicks.
— O.B.

These testimonials make what I do feel so, SO amazing!  Thanks for sharing, guys!

Are you ready for a transformation (or at least a leg-up on this whole nutrition/health thing)?  The investment is $47.  Check out this program and my one-on-one coaching programs under "Online Booking".

Have a wonderful day!

In health,

Tara

Banana Sushi Shenanigans

Do you ever plan to make something really elaborate to bring to a party only to realize you have 5 minutes left to pull something together?  Please tell me it's not just me!

This weekend I was busy working hard and momming harder until nearly the time we had to leave.  That's ok!  This is where creativity shows up at just the right time.  I saw my banana hammock and knew I wanted to make something that looked and tasted fancier than it really was.  ;-)  Enter… Banana Sushi! 

P.S.  It truly took only 5 minutes to make.  Then I dropped it everywhere.  Batch #2 took another 5 minutes.  So if you're clumsy like me, allot 5 minutes (batch 1) + 5 minutes (batch 2) + 3 minutes (clean-up) = 13 minutes…still totally doable, right?! 

Side note:  This "chocolate" works for just about any chocolate-y recipe you want.  Feel free to add peanut butter too if you're feeling extra indulgent.  Just please, please, please - for the love of nut butter - make sure your peanut butter has nothing but peanuts listed in the ingredients.  Sugar, hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup have NO business being in YOUR peanut butter.  

Enjoy!

 

Banana Sushi

Ingredients:

 

Bananas

Cacao powder

Coconut oil

Honey

Hemp seeds

 

*Note: no measurements are listed because I just played around with the ingredients until I got the consistency and taste I wanted.   For me, I didn't want it to be too sweet, so I didn't use too much honey.  

 

Directions:

 

1. Cut banana in 1/4 inch slices.

2. In one bowl, mix coconut oil, cacao powder, and honey in a bowl.

3. Pour hemp seeds in a seperate bowl.

4. Dip bananas in chocolate mix until coated and then spoon hemp seeds on half of them.

5. Place coated bananas on wax paper.

6. Freeze for at least an hour before devouring.  ;-)

Banana Sushi waiting for their dip in the freezer

Banana Sushi waiting for their dip in the freezer