nutritionist

Get Motivated NOW

Get Motivated NOW



It's a top-5 question I hear, "Why can't I just get motivated to______?" (workout, meal prep, work on my emotional eating…)


Here's why…you are going about it in the wrong order! Motivation doesn't come first. Rather, motivation comes after we've:


1) Decide to change
2) Start asking better questions
3) Take small action ("5-minute action")
4) Gain momentum
5) MOTIVATION shows up!


If you'd like to learn more, watch the (20-min.) video below that I recorded live last week with more details and suggestions on how to work this process. 

In good health,

Tara

INTRODUCING - CUSTOM Meal Planning!

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**INTRODUCING** CUSTOM Meal Planning!


I had a colleague reach out to me recently asking for my best business advice. The first thing that came to mind is ABL….Always Be Listening.


Those of you who have been hanging with me for a while know that I believe real change takes a lifestyle upgrade, education, practice, and accountability. That being said, you've also been requesting meal plans from me for a while. ;-) 


I get it! I do. I've seen first-hand how a curated meal plan helps me and my family. It also helps to kick-start results and motivation to continue kicking butt! In fact, someone recently emailed me to tell me she lost 4 pounds on my free, 3-day meal plan! Wow!


So, I have decided to listen to your requests. :-) This service is BRAND NEW and now available to YOU.


What does this entail? The cost is $89 for a 7-day, FULLY CUSTOM plan. After you sign up, I will email you a quick intake form to fill out online that gets me all the info. I need to create this plan for you. Once you've filled out that form, you will have your plan in your hands within 3 business days.


Along with the day-by-day, meal-by-meal plan, I will provide you with a complete grocery list and of course all the recipes!


Pretty exciting, right?


The one pictured above is for someone that wanted just 6 days of a vegan plan. But yours will be 7 days…and doesn't have to be vegan. ;-)


What types of things do I take into consideration when I make this for you?

  • Your goals. Are you looking to lose weight, reduce bloating, balance blood sugar, have some new inspiration in the kitchen…?

  • Your allergies / sensitivities. Dairy free. Gluten free. Nut free….

  • Any particular style you like to eat such as plant-based, paleo, keto, mediterranean.

  • Your likes and dislikes. Hate beets? I won't include any in your plan. Like guacamole? Bring on the Mexican dishes!

  • How many people? I can give you a plan for 1 or make sure the servings can feed a whole soccer team if that's what you need. 

  • Leftovers. Yay or nay? You'll see this sample plan pictured above has lots of grayed-out meals. These are leftovers and help save TONS of time in the kitchen. You may want to include lots of leftovers to maximize time, or you may want something new for each meal. Or something in between. Your call.

  • Cooking time. Do you want fancy meals that may take an hour or more? Or would you like me to stick with things that can be thrown together in 20 minutes or less? You decide.

  • AND MORE… I can adjust your meals and snacks to a certain amount of protein, calories, sodium, etc. if you have very specific needs.


Are you ready to sign up for your first-ever, fully customized meal plan for yourself or your family? I can't wait to help you!



In good health,
Tara

15 small dietary tweaks to help you lose weight - Insider & Business Insider

Eek!  Ya know that feeling when you're so excited you wanna scream it from the rooftop?!?

I was featured TWICE in Insider and Business Insider this week.  The article is about small dietary tweaks you can make to help you lose some excess weight.  Check out my tips (the last two) about tea and bread.  :-)

You can read the article here.

I'd love to hear from you.  Have you tried implementing any of these tips already?  

In good health,

Tara

Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching

Some of you have been requesting more information about my new coaching program.  Most importantly, you get me as your coach.  ;-)  I am your partner, guide, educator, cheerleader, and accountability buddy.  I have partnered with another company to bring you the best of the tech world, while allowing me to focus completely on YOU and your health journey.  Along with high-quality videos, we will be communicating through the very portal where you will also view your daily lessons and workout program. 

What does this portal look like once you get started?  Well, here is a sneak peak!

This is a 12-month program.  12 months will pass whether you make a change or not.  I want you to be the person you've always imagined one year from today.  And, I want you to start seeing and feeling this progress as soon as we start working together!

Hit me up with all of your questions!  Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com

 

In good health,

Tara

Bringing Your Own Food

Hey Superstar (felt like an appropriate greeting for this rainy, Monday afternoon),

Have you ever tried to bring your own food somewhere and been denied?  Maybe you or your kiddos have food allergies or you're just trying to feed real food to your family?

This is something we are faced with all the time.  Usually it's no big deal - we just bring our little cooler bag everywhere with us.  However, there are some instances where outside food is not permitted.  

What do YOU do?  What has your experience been like?

Let's change the culture!  If there is a facility that cannot accommodate allergies and those looking to eat mostly unprocessed food, then they should be allowing outside food.  We're more than happy to buy silly souvenirs to make sure you make money on us.  :-P

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

Organic Landscaping - weeding through the options

Check out my latest video in which I am asking you for help.

Weeds, and lawns, and organic landscaping…oh my!

Just another decision to make in the "real world".  Another set of priorities to reconcile.  This is life!  We want our children to have a beautiful, lush lawn to run around on, get their fair share of grass stains on, play ball on, and take their obligatory prom pictures on.  We want to have BBQs, cookouts, and fun with friends and family.  We want to sit around the (baby) pool and under the shade while we take too many pictures on our kiddos.

AND, we want to do all of this without the use of industrial pesticides.  No Monsanto.  No Glyphosate.  No thank you!

So, where does this leave us?  What to do?  This is a real question!  Please weigh in and help us with our dilemma.

P.S. We live on Long Island (New York) and are open to both organic landscaping company recommendations and DIY options.

Thanks!

In good health amongst the weeds,

Tara

Banana Bread ---> grain-free, dairy-free

It's Spring break, Easter, and Passover all this week!  You may need a good dessert that doubles as breakfast and snacks for the kids this week.  It should hold up well in the freezer, be delicious, taste like a treat, and be nourishing to you, your kids, and your guests.  Am-I-right?!?!  

This Banana Bread was born out of the need to use up my mushy bananas.  I already have a freezer stash to use for smoothies and to make 'nice cream', so I wanted to make bread.  For us, it needed to be gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugars, full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.  I'm fueling my busy & active body along with my family's.  And, with the things my toddler says on the regular, let me tell you, her brain is very happy with the kinds of fuel it's been getting!  ;-)  

Example from today:

Magnolia to Jagger:  "Jagger, please stop jumping in your crib.  We worked very hard for that bed and I wouldn't want to have to buy a new one and put it together again."

So, I'm sure your kiddos are just as hilarious - especially when they're getting in that good nutrition!  Leave me a comment and tell me what funny things they've said recently.  

And, make this bread immediately (if there are no egg or nut allergies in the house).  It's a good one to have on hand for a busy & special week like this one.

Banana Bread

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

 

Ingredients:

 

4 large eggs

4 bananas (ripe or overripe)

½ cup almond butter (sub: peanut butter)

4 T coconut oil, melted (plus extra to grease pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/5 cup hazelnut flour (sub: almond flour)

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Combine all wet ingredients in a blender.

3.    Add dry ingredients to blender and mix well.

4.    Grease an 8X8 cake pan (ok to use loaf pan, but cooking times will vary).

5.    Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  Top of bread should be golden-brown and center should be set.

6.    Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Spring is here - what should I eat now?

There may still be some patches on snow hunkering down here in New York, but the calendar has moved on.  Spring has SPRUNG!  Along with all of the extra cleaning, organizing, outside walks, and Summer vacation planning that people seem to always squeeze into the first week of Spring, we're usually ready to change up our food.  WIth lots of green and sprouts starting to come up this time of the year, Spring makes for the perfect time to introduce new greens into your diet.  When we are more conscious of eating in-season, we derive health-benefits from fresher and less pesticide-ridden foods, can enjoy locally grown plants, and save money (!) in the process (Remember that whole supply and demand thing from High School Economics class?).

The following is a list of vegetables that are in-season for this time of year here in the U.S.  Some of these grow year-round or are harvested during multiple seasons, so if you thought of any as Winter or Summer crops, you may not be wrong.  However, these are all great choices for *at least* March, April, and May.  

Pick up your favorites and maybe challenge yourself to try a new veggie every week or 2.  Let the Spring meal planning and cooking begin!

 

Artichokes

Arugula

Asparagus

Beets

Bok Choy

Broccoli Rabe

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Celery

Chard

Chicory

Collard Greens

Cress

Dandelion Greens

Endive

Fava Beans

Fava Greens

Fennel

Garlic

Kale

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lettuce

Mushrooms

Mustard Greens

Nettles

Onions

Parsnips

Pea Shoots

Peas

Purslane

Radishes

Rutabagas

Scallions

Spinach

Sprouts

Turnips

 

In good health,

Tara

Stretch and Relax….and eat muffins!

You know what I love almost as much as helping people for a living?  I love, love, LOVE, the diversity in my days and weeks.  I enjoy working one-on-one with my clients, and then heading to a corporate wellness event.  With a parent expo, speaking engagement, and LIVE (what!?!?) show all coming up in the next week, taking the time to visit my friends at National Business Capital here on Long Island last week to STRETCH and RELAX came at a good time.  Besides, it was about 12 hours after the Blizzard and everyone's tired backs needed the break!

We started with a silly little game to warm up our bodies, minds, and hearts.  Followed that up with some deep breathing and full-body stretching.  Topped it off with healthy muffins for everyone…"You get a muffin, you get a muffin, YOU get a muffin too!" (in my best Oprah voice).

Thanks for having me back, National Business Capital.  You guys rock!

Tip for you all:  Take a few minutes extra in your warm shower.  As you're washing your body, take an inventory of how things are feeling.  What's tight, what's achy?  Then after you've shampooed (or do you shampoo first?  Hmmm), do a little self-massage on tight areas and practice some range-of-motion right there under the warm stream of water.  Your muscles will be looser and more forgiving when they are warm. Plus, it's a nice quiet place to get an uninterrupted minute or two.  Well, unless you have young children.  :-/  They follow us everywhere.  

Let me know how it goes.  Disclaimer:  NO slipping allowed!  We're not talking about big, sweeping movements that should leave you off-balance, but if you're a bit unsteady on your feet, do the stretching after the shower instead.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

In good health,

Tara

Red Velvet LOVE Brownies

February is in full swing as we are approaching the middle of the month already.  How?!?  With the famous groundhog forecasting 6 more weeks of Winter, I suppose we should've been expecting the blizzard we were met with today on Long Island.

Snow and all, February is a time for love, heart-shaped everything, shades of pink and red, heart health, and lots and lots of…chocolate!!

So, what if you're on a roll with upgrading your health so far in 2017, but still looking for something that looks and tastes like an indulgence?  What if you or a family member have some food allergies / sensitivities that prevent you from being able to eat most of the store-bought or homemade recipes out there?  I hope this Red Velvet Love Brownie recipe fills that void for you!

These bad boys are gluten-free, dairy-free, high in protein and fiber, and contain healthy fats plus a full serving of veggies.  They're chocolate-y, yet low glycemic…how's that for showing your heart some love this month?!

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Red Velvet Love Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can of black beans, rinsed (BPA-free can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup beets (sliced and cooked - either roast in oven or buy a jar)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened / dairy-free / gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in food processor, high-speed blender (keep scraping sides down), or with a mixer.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into well-greased muffin tin or line with paper liners.  This makes adorable, round brownies with slightly crispy edges that are like getting the highly sought-after corner piece each time.  ;-)
  6. For the look pictured up top (with the heart in the middle), cut a beet slice into the heart shape and press onto top.  Other ideas for toppings include: chocolate chips, hemp seeds, walnuts, or anything else your creative mind comes up with.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes - until edges start to pull away from muffin tin and become slightly crispy.
  8. Share with your favorite people!
Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Alright guys…will you dare to try these?  It is definitely "different" to bake with black beans, but they taste so chocolate-y and are healthycome on now!  Brownies for lunch, anyone?

In good health,

Tara

Game Day Recipe

Whether you're hosting your friends and family or visiting someone else to watch The Big Game (a.k.a. Superbowl) this Sunday, there's a few things that remain top of mind on this not-quite-a-holiday holiday…football, half-time shows (wardrobe malfunctions?), commercials, and…FOOD!

What are you making?  What are you bringing?

This Crunchy Cauliflower recipe is perfect for Game Day.  It works as a snack, an appetizer, or a side dish.  It's delicious as-is, or can be paired with your favorite dip or sauce if you want to be fancy.  This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, high protein, high fiber, and of course a serving of veggies!  And…it's toddler-approved (actually, toddler-obsessed!).

Crunchy Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets.  Place in large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Add coconut oil and then beaten egg in the bowl with the cauliflower.  Mix well.
  5. Add dry mixture from medium bowl into bowl with the cauliflower and mix until evenly coated.
  6. Spread cauliflower evenly onto a greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake 7-8 minutes, flip, and bake another 7-8 minutes.  The cauliflower should be crispy and a bit brown on the edges.
  8. Eat up!

Happy Friday, everyone!

In health,

Tara

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

Staying Healthy for the Holidays - Interviewed by Kimberly Chacon

A few weeks ago, I got the pleasure of being interviewed by a very special, local Mommy blogger.  We chatted about life, mama stuff, kiddos, and her journey as a young breast cancer survivor.  

Kimberly Chacon is a graduate of New York University.  Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, she taught English for ten years in New York City.  When she's not running after her 18 month old twins and eight month old baby, she blogs about kids, food, and motherhood at partyoffiveblog.com.

Thanks for taking the time to write this, Kimberly!  Here's the article and a quick picture we managed to sneak in (Kimberly, Magnolia, Jagger, and I):

I don't know about you, but winter always starts out great. I love the chill in the air and the approaching holidays, goodies, and gatherings. Then, I inevitably eat too many cookies at EVERY celebration and I fall into the "I'll get healthy in January" mindset. This year is different. I've been working hard to lose the baby weight and I don't want to go backwards. In addition to weight loss, it is also about keeping my energy up and staying healthy. So, I spoke with an expert to help me figure it out.

I sat down with Tara Allen to discuss health and winter woes. Her credentials include Registered Nurse, Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer and mom. But I want you to know something else: when you meet Tara she glows with good nutrition. Clear skin, lots of energy, and just "something"that tells you she's healthy. Additionally, I got to meet her darling kids, Jagger and Magnolia. As soon as Magnolia, three years old, sat down with her crayons she wanted to write a grocery list that included Brussel sprouts and green beans. Yes, that happened. At that moment I knew that Tara was the real deal, not just talking the talk, but walking the walk! Surrounded by kids and coffee we had a great chat.

K: Tara! Save me from myself this holiday season. I love ALL THE TREATS. I inevitably eat too many cookies and goodies at every celebration. Help! 

T: Don't show up to a holiday party starving. Just don't do it. Eat a light meal before and then think carefully about your choices. Choose which treat you are going to have and really savor it. If you love pumpkin pie, then wait until you have the best quality, most delicious pumpkin pie and enjoy it! Don't deprive yourself from all the treats or that will backfire. Also, always be prepared. If you know you are going out for a long day of holiday shopping, make sure to have trail mix or a fruit packed in your purse. This will help you avoid eating junk while you are out.

K: Ok, what about this dilemma? My main exercise has been walking, but now it's getting colder and it gets dark at 4 p.m. What workouts do you recommend for winter?

T: You can do workouts at home! Try this while the kids are playing: 10 push ups, 10 squats, walking lunges while wearing or holding your baby, then run up and down the stairs. Repeat this a few times during the day. There is always a way to work it in!  Alternate HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) with long walks and yoga. Also, look on Youtube for free workout videos that you can do in your living room. (Addendum: After our interview, I made it a point to try and work in these kinds of exercises and it is possible, but you have to put your mind to it. The neighbors probably thought I was crazy, but I did squats while holding the baby in the backyard and ab twists using the pumpkins after Halloween. (Tara made a video showing this on her website and I was inspired to recycle my decorations. The pumpkin workout is no joke.)

K: I am trying really hard to avoid that winter "blah" feeling this year. What are some of the things you do to stay healthy during this season?

T: The first thing is that you should eat warming foods at this time of year. I am constantly roasting vegetables during winter. These are easy to pop on a baking sheet and into the oven to eat throughout the week.  I choose one temperature (usually 400 degrees F) and stagger cooking times as needed for each vegetable. In particular, I find myself making a variety of squash, most notably spaghetti and butternut squash.

My second recommendation is take more vitamin D. I love that you wrote a whole blog article about it and women need to know how important it is to their health. One source of vitamin D that people may not be aware of is pastured eggs. These are eggs from chickens that roam free. Their diet is better and makes them a great vitamin source. Also, find a great supplement that works for you. I take up to an extra 1,000 IUs daily during the winter. This helps to build your vitamin D stores when we have less access to sunlight.

K: Do you have any tips for implementing healthy holiday traditions for kids?

T: Actually, yes! My family has a strong tradition of making my grandmother's delicious recipes for Christmas goodies, but as you can imagine, those recipes are laden with shortening and white sugar. But, they are part of our family tradition, so here's what we do: we choose ONE of my grandmother's recipes to make and then make two healthy treats. We use the combination of traditional and healthy treats as gifts for friends and neighbors. This is my most popular "treat" recipe: Healthy Holiday Fudge (scroll down for recipe).

K: You write a lot about kids eating vegetables and I literally just heard your daughter ask for Brussel sprouts. How do you do it?

T: I have tried to make a practice that she eats a vegetable at every meal. I let her choose between two, so her voice is heard, but we eat them together and she loves them. She also helps me with writing grocery lists and meal planning. If you are struggling to get your little ones to eat vegetables, try my recipe for Butternut Squash Apple soup (see below). I suggest starting with it very sweet (more apples at first), then adjusting it to lessen the sweetness over time. It works! 

Thank you for all of these great tips! 

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Healthy Holiday Fudge

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup

 Directions:

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.    Pour into silicone molds or spread evenly in pan.

3.    Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or overnight).

4.    Pop out of molds or cut into squares and place in an air-tight container.

5.    Serve right out of refrigerator, as they will melt if kept at room temperature.

 

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 Butternut squash, raw - peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples, any kind, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste

  

Directions:

 

1.    In a large pot, melt coconut oil.  Sautee onion for 3-5 minutes, until translucent.

2.    Add broth, water, squash, and apples.

3.    Bring to a boil.

4.    Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 35 minutes.

5.    Use an immersion blender or transfer batches of soup into a blender / food processor until it is a pureed consistency.

6.    Add cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and salt and pepper.

7.    Garnish with pumpkin seeds or fresh herbs.

Vegan "Cheesy" Broccoli Soup

This week brought some much-needed rain here on the East Coast of the U.S.  The trees were happy and our bellies wanted us to hunker down and eat some warm soup!  

This vegan and gluten-free Broccoli Soup brought us just the warmth and coziness we were looking for.  For Magnolia, this doubled as a dip - as everything seems to these days.  ;-)

The secret to the creaminess without the cheese in this soup is cashews!  They get soaked for a few hours, drained, and the blended with the other ingredients to get the desired texture; plus extra protein, fiber, and healthy fat!

The cashews are getting a bath before go-time!

The cashews are getting a bath before go-time!

The kiddos enjoying some comfort food!

The kiddos enjoying some comfort food!

VEGAN "CHEESY" BROCCOLI SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T turmeric
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews for 4 hours in enough water to cover.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews and set aside.
  3. Put coconut oil, garlic, and onions in large pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth, broccoli, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and turmeric.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook an additional 5-8 minutes - until broccoli is soft.
  7. Use an immersion blender or transfer 1/2 the soup into a regular blender.  Add cashews and blend until smooth.  *Note: Carefully cover top of blender with a towel and hold top on to prevent the hot liquid from leaking out through the top.
  8. Transfer second half of soup to blender and blend until broccoli pieces are smaller, but do not blend until smooth if you'd like more texture in your soup (for a very smooth textured soup, blend both batches completely).

 

Vegan "Cheesy" Broccoli Soup

Vegan "Cheesy" Broccoli Soup

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.  ;-)

Baby Skull Crushers

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's….Jagger (all 20 pounds of him) and we're working out together!

Today is part 2 in my GREAT & GRATEFUL series that coincides with Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  As many of you know, I had an incredibly difficult time both with getting pregnant and during my two pregnancies as well.  After multiple rounds of IVF and two pregnancies with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (check out helpher.org for more about this disease), I might be the luckiest person I know to be on the 'other side' with two wonderful, healthy children.  In today's video, I share a brief, fun moment on the kitchen floor with Jagger.  We workout, we laugh, we play.  Magnolia just so happened to be upstairs avoiding her nap when this was shot.  ;-) Today I mention my journey, my babies, the beautiful life of joy and health we can now share together.  GREAT & GRATEFUL!

Try these at home with the nearest baby, toddler, or gallon of water you have for a good triceps burn.  **Please note: no skulls were actually crushed in the making of this video!  It's a weird name for an exercise, right?

In health and gratitude,

Tara

Guest Kimberly Chacon - Breast Cancer Thriver & Super-Mom

Today's blog post kicks off my GREAT & GRATEFUL SERIES that seems more than appropriate to share during Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  Kimberly Chacon is an amazing woman, breast cancer survivor, mom to 3 under 2(!), teacher, and now pours her heart and soul into spreading awareness about breast cancer diagnosed in young women.  Check out her blog,  www.partyoffiveblog.com.  Kimberly is not just a survivor, but a mighty magnetic individual that I had the pleasure to meet with in-person.  A quick example...she knew I'd be showing up to our meeting with my two kiddos and thought to bring a few seasonal crafts for my toddler to have fun with as we chatted about business and motherhood.  There should be more people like Kimberly in this world!

Read Kimberly's incredible story:

I was 28 when I heard the words that changed my world forever. "You have breast cancer." At the time I was working full time, finishing my graduate degree, and living a healthy life. My diagnosis completely knocked my life into a new reality that was dark and frightening. I did not look or feel sick, but I had a tiny lump that I mentioned to my doctor, and that was where it began.

Going through breast cancer brings with it a palette of mixed emotions. Sadness at those we've lost, pain for those engaged in the battle and hope that we are going to find a cure for this vicious disease. Over the years I have participated in different ways with various organizations, and recently I have made it a point to write about my own experience. This is what I'd like you to know about being a young breast cancer survivor:

1. There is no cure for breast cancer and women continue to die everyday. There is a misconception that this disease is easy to treat. Again, it is still a fact that breast cancer does NOT have a cure and while some prognosis are better than others, breast cancer can come back, even years after you have shown to have NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE.

 

2. Eight years after my diagnosis I still take a daily medication and while you may never hear me complain about it, there are side effects. It is recommended that I take this medication for ten years following my initial treatment. When you are in your 20's and you imagine ten years of medical treatment it seems impossible. It is life saving and a blessing to have it, but it is also a daily reminder of my past with cancer.

2. Medical research saves lives and quite possibly saved mine. Based on the kind of cancer that I had, I was able to take a "new" drug called Herceptin. It only exists because of extensive research which involves lots of $$$$ and brave end-stage patients that agree to try new drugs. This drug became available two years before I was diagnosed and without it my odds of survival would have been much lower. There was even a Lifetime movie made about the breakthrough starring Mr. Harry Connick Jr.
 

3. A mastectomy does not mean you get a free, new pair of boobs. Yes, several people made that comment to me while I was in treatment. (Why?? Why would you say that to anyone? Please don't ever say that to anyone.) Quite the contrary. Having a double mastectomy means that you lose a part of yourself and gain significant scars. It means a painful surgery and a long healing process. It means fighting to gain acceptance of a new version of the most intimate parts of your body. It steals a part of your sexuality and it robs you of the basic human choice of breastfeeding your children. It is often all of these things right before beginning six months of chemotherapy. It leaves scars, both physical and emotional. While the procedure and outcomes have improved over the years, do not believe that a mastectomy is an easy solution.

4. Just because your hair has grown back does not mean that you are "finished". After going through the hell that is cancer treatment you are a different person and it takes time to find your new normal. We have gone down a tumultuous road and it takes time to heal. That can mean that relationships change, you make lifestyle changes, or you look at the world in a new way. Be gentle with someone who has gone through treatment, even if it's two years later. Just because we look fine again does not always mean that it's done.

5. As survivors, we are glad there are many awareness campaigns, but we are always concerned about who benefits from all the pink. First, read the fine print on anything you purchase and see what they are actually doing with your dollars. Second, keep in mind that Avon and Komen get tons of money and they have major corporate sponsors, so don't worry about them. What's better than buying pink socks and glitter boas? Donating to organizations that directly benefit research and women like www.metavivor.com or www.pinkdaisyproject.com. If you want to give, make a smart donation.

Becoming a cancer survivor changed my life forever. Chances are that you know someone who has been touched by the disease.  How can you take meaningful action? Make a donation to a research program or an organization that directly helps women in treatment. If you personally know a survivor, reach out. Finally, if you're putting off having yourself checked, please make sure you make that appointment. It could be the most important thing you do.

 

Tara here, again.  Thanks, Kimberly, for sharing your incredible story with us!  

We're celebrating the GREAT and GRATEFUL for Thanksgiving week!  Tell me what is moving you these days.  What is great in your life?  Who are you grateful for?  Please share here or come join the conversation on Facebook at Facebook.com/TaraAllenHealth.com. 

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

Snack Attack - Pumpkin Pudding

Raise your hand if you're on the pumpkin-everything-until-January bandwagon.

I'm right there with ya!  ;-)  If you answered no, first of all, what's wrong with you?  Kidding!  Or am I?  Regardless, you may know someone (like a child, a spouse, a friend) who DOES love pumpkin everything.  Here's a super-quick, easy, and healthy recipe that works well as a snack, a dessert, a dip for fruit, mixed into oatmeal, under granola, or on top of yogurt.  The kitchen is for creativity!  How do you plan to eat this Pumpkin Pudding?

In an earlier social media post, I promised you guys some nutrition facts.  I think there's a time and place for counting calories, protein, etc.  I don't believe it's for everyone or forever, no matter what your situation is.  I'm a strong believer in listening to your body, balancing hormones, reducing stress and cravings, and eventually being able to be so in tune with your own needs, that there's no food journaling or strict tracking needed.  That being said, it IS helpful sometime.  Example: If you want to start your health journey and have NO IDEA how many calories you take in on a typical day, you may want to track for a few days to get a baseline.  Or, as in this case, I created this recipe custom for a client of mine that has Gestational Diabetes.  She needed something high in protein, high in fiber, low in carbs/sugar, and wanted it very "pumpkin-y".  Haha!  So, here you have it...

  • 150 Calories
  • 8g fiber
  • 12g net carbs
  • 11g protein
  • 1 full serving of veggies
Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 T peanut flour (a.k.a. powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

1. This is the easy part - mix all ingredients together in a bowl / mug / cute cup.  That's it!  Enjoy immediately, store in fridge up to 3 days, or freeze and serve at a later date for your holiday party.

Enjoy.  In joy.  In health!

Tara