vegetarian

"Tara, what do YOU eat?!"

Hey there,

There's been one question that I've been hearing for years and years now..."Tara, what do YOU eat?!"  Ever since I became a vegetarian at the age of 8, people have been wondering what a day in the life of....my plate....looks like.  :-)

Well, today I figured I'd address this question as I reveal an exciting announcement.  My next 10-Day Healthy New You Reset is now open for enrollment at the early bird pricing!  This reset is for you if you're interested in heading into the Summer with a body you love living in.  You can expect weight loss, increased energy levels, and decreased sugar cravings, to name a few things.  Check out this page to read the testimonials and find all of the details!  

Spots are limited and the early bird pricing is only up until tomorrow at 11:59 PM, so grab your spot NOW and join us!

In good health,

Tara

What is the MICROBIOME and why it matters for weight loss and health

Microbiome.  Gut health.  The second brain.  These are buzz words lately...and they're NOT going away!  If you ever wondered what it's all about and whether or not the microbiome is being hyped (it's not), check out this video.  Giving your insides a bit of your attention can pay off BIG TIME for your wellness and weight loss journey.

And, if you could use a bit of a jump-start with said wellness and weight loss journey, check out the details for my next 10-Day Healthy New You Reset.  Early-bird pricing is available NOW!  ;-)

Find out more right here.

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

EIGHTEEN pounds in 10 days!

Remember that Healthy New You Reset?

She lost 18 pounds in 10 days!

I'm sharing a screenshot of one client's results because, well, I'm proud of her, she said I could, and… I'm proud of her!  ;-)
 

jotestimonial.jpg

 

The results across the board were incredibly impressive.  Women who decided to take their own health & happiness into their hands to start out 2018 with lots of inspired momentum did just that!  There were many pounds lost, sugar cravings kicked, energy levels boosted, glowing skin complements, headaches lessened, and digestive issues fixed. 

Here's what you've been asking me…when can I do this reset?!

Not to worry… I will be running this again soon.  Stay tuned.  If you're super-duper interested, shoot me an email and let me know.  I have a running list of people to make sure I check-in with before I run the reset again.

Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com

 

In good health,

Tara

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Hummus

sweetpotatoesJan.JPG

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Hummus (Servings 4)

 

Ingredients:

• 4 sweet potatoes

• 2 tablespoons sea salt

• 1-2 cups baby kale leaves 

• ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes 

• 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil 

• Sea salt and cracked black pepper 

• 1 sweet onion, chopped

• 1 cup hummus

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 

2. Place the sweet potatoes on an baking sheet, pierce a few times with a fork and rub with salt. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until cooked. 

3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, place the kale, chili, oil salt and pepper on a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss to combine. Cook for 8–10 minutes or until golden. Set aside.

4. Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp. of olive oil and add chopped onions.  Sauté until golden brown.  (about 15-18 minutes)

5. Cut the sweet potatoes in half, and top with the hummus, caramelized onion and crispy kale to serve.

If your family is anything like mine, hummus is an entire food group!  Sometimes homemade, usually store bought (because...time saver), but no matter what, there's always a shelf in the fridge dedicated just to our hummus.  An occasional container of salsa, dressing, or dip might try to sneak up there with the hummus, but that usually doesn't last long.

So, why not pair something warm, sweet, delicious, and colorful like sweet potatoes with one of the only foods that every person in our household eats?!

If you try the Baked Sweet Potatoes with Hummus recipe, drop a comment and let us know what you think!

 

In good health,

Tara

 

P.S. If you are enjoying these recipes and are looking for more delicious plant-based & gluten-free options, make sure to sign up for my email list!  I will hook you up.  ;-)

You can sign up right on my homepage at TaraAllenHealth.com

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

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

Almond Flour Versatility

You have almond flour.  It's sitting in the back of your pantry.  It may have dust on it!?  You bought it for that recipe you made a few months ago - ya know, when you were super-duper gung-ho on your gluten-free / paleo / Whole30 / healthy-mama-and-family kick?  Now what?

Guys, almond flour is not an ingredient that should come with buyer's remorse.  It's SO versatile!  Full of plant protein, healthy unsaturated fats, and heart-and-body-loving fiber, it should be allowed into the spotlight of your food prep just a bit more. ;-) 

Almond flour can bring added nutrition and goodness in many ways:

  • Healthy baking - it's the perfect alternative to regular bleached or whole wheat flour for those with food sensitivities and those just looking to step up their health game.
  • Thickening agent - add slowly into soup, stews, dips, sauces, and even hummus if you need a slightly thicker or more dense consistency.
  • "Protein powder" - throw into smoothies, healthy fudge, in yogurt, oatmeal, energy balls, sauce…anywhere you may need a little boost in protein.
  • "Breading" - Mix with some spices and herbs for a quick and easy replacement for breading.  Make your own mozzarella sticks, breaded and baked chicken, or zucchini fries by dipping the food in egg first and then in the almond flour/herb mixture. Yum!  This is the perfect appetizer swap (hmm….SuperBowl, anyone?).

 

So, will you dust off that bag of almond flour (or just go ahead and buy it already)?!?!  What do you like to make with this powdered beauty?

I'd love to hear from you if there are any other ingredients that haven't been in your meal prep rotation in a while….or any products/ingredients you've been wanting to purchase, but just can't justify since you don't know what to do with it after that. ONE. recipe.  Let me know!  Maybe I'll feature it in an upcoming post.  ;-)

Make it an awesome, almond-y day!

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

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.  ;-)

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ladies and gents, it's November 11th / Veterans' Day... and the end of an interesting week here in America.  Thanksgiving is 13 days away and the temperatures are starting to fall here in NY.  What I'm trying to say is, bring on the soup.  All . the . SOUP!

This Cream of Mushroom Soup is a gluten-free, dairy-free version of the Thanksgiving Day classic.  Not only is it a great side dish to bring or serve for those with special dietary needs, it comes packed with protein and fiber to help you fill you up on the good stuff.  Make extra - you can freeze some to enjoy for a quick dinner when you come home late from holiday shopping. ;-)

This recipe calls for the soup to be pureed into a smooth, creamy consistency, but feel free to keep it "chunky" if you and your guests prefer it that way.  For comfort and toddler purposes, I went with the puree option this time and it worked out well.  

Toddler tip: Magnolia (3 years old now), taste-tested this recipe and helped me "adjust" the spices to her liking.  She also watched me chop the onions and garlic and put her two cents in about when the soup was done blending.  I let her lick the spoon after mixing and once I got the final chef's stamp of approval, I served her the soup over green beans.  All of this involvement requires front-loading of time - more time getting the kiddos involved in the prepping and cooking process will save you time, money, and stress of untouched meals.

Enjoy!

 

In health,

Tara

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!   

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!

 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

(Dairy-free, gluten-free)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ medium onion, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

2 cups chickpeas, cooked

2 cups cashew milk

1 cup coconut flour

2 T coconut oil

1 tsp Thyme

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Directions:

 

1.    In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil, garlic, and onion.  Cook about 3-5 minutes (until onions become translucent).

2.    Add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes.

3.    Add chickpeas, cashew milk, and coconut flour and bring to a boil.

4.    Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5.    Add thyme, salt, and pepper.

6.    Use immersion blender to puree (or transfer into regular blender in batches with towel firmly pressed over top of blender to prevent leakage).

7.    Enjoy as is or pour over cooked green beans or other veggies.

 

*This recipe is high in protein, high in fiber, and low glycemic.

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