Featured Product that j’adore: Tom’s of Maine

When you are striving to be the healthiest version of yourself, you need to look at every aspect of your life. It’s not enough to eat healthy and exercise, you need to pay attention to the chemicals you surround yourself with as well. Whether it be the environment you live in, the chemicals you put on your skin, or even the toothpaste you use. When I first switched toothpastes, to be honest, I didn’t really like Tom’s of Maine–mainly because of the packaging. When I would use up half of the tube, because it was made of aluminum, it would actually crinkle up and tear, and sometimes the toothpaste would ooze out from the sides. Also, they didn’t have any whitening toothpastes so when I’d be running out the door and looking for some way to quickly whiten my teeth, I’d just go back to the usual Arm and Hammer or Colgate brands, and I’d completely neglect what I’d read about how certain additives can be harmful to our bodies.

Now, thankfully, Tom’s of Maine has become even more popular, and they have changed their packaging, thanks to people like me who had the same problem with the toothpaste tube, and they’ve added whitening power. What’s more is the following awesome benefits that not only keep your teeth clean, white, and fresh all day, but the toothpaste gives you comfort in knowing that you’re caring for the environment as well. View their philosophy here.

  • No artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives

  • No animal testing and no animal ingredients

  • ADA accepted
  • Since 1981, we’ve proudly shared our ingredients along with their purpose and source so you’ll know the goodness you’re getting.
  • Caring for customer, employee and community
  • Investing in green technologies
  • Free of artificial preservatives (EDTA, formaldehyde, parabens, etc.)

  • No animal ingredients, gluten, grapefruit seed extract, phthalates , peroxide, saccharin, triclosan are used in their products

Watch this video on their no-animal testing philosophy/petition to the FDA.

I love Tom’s Simply White toothpaste. It’s refreshing and makes me feel good knowing that I’m voting for a better planet and for better health. What’s more is that studies have shown a correlation between plaque in your teeth and plaque in your arteries. So when you’re taking care of your dental health, you could be taking care of your heart as well!

Bonne sante!!

Trish

[Note: I do not work for Tom’s of Maine, nor am I sponsored by them in any way, I just love their products!]

My Fav Protein/Nutrition Bars

While living away from home at college it’s often hard to make sure you’re getting proper nutrients, especially protein. I try to stay away from the meat in the cafeteria, but the catch is I’m limiting protein in my diet! Thus, I find protein from other sources, like nuts, whole milk, beans, tuna (the occasional can in my room), and protein bars! They’re delicious, even if you don’t like super healthy stuff! Here is a list of my favorite bars that helps make getting essential nutrients easier, especially when your time is limited!

Most Energizing:  Green’s Plus Chocolate Energy Bars– alkaline-forming, cold-processed, high energy herbal extracts. It contains awesome ingredients like almond butter, echinacea root extract, barley grass, wheat grass, brown rice crisps, quinoa sprout, grape seed extract, and other ingredients that really excite me! They are pretty darn pricy, which stinks, so I ration them out for a while, but they are a great way to wake up in the morning before class. Plus, it’s kind of funny to freak people out because the inside of the bar literally looks green! I made my two friends try it though, and they said it wasn’t bad. Also, if you’re watching your fructose intake (the sugar naturally found in fruit) you should consider only eating half of this, because it does have a good amount of sugar due to the organic dates, honey, cane sugar, and berry juice inside. (24grams actually!) So take that into account. However, also note that it is 100% organic, non-gmo, 5g fiber, 260 cals, 3.5g saturated fat, 8g good fats, Vitamin A beta carotene 2000iu, Vitamins B, C, E, Calcium 150 mg, Iron 2.7mg, and has only 50mg sodium. I love these funky things!!

Most Delicious: PowerCrunch with ProtoWhey. I try not to eat these as much, because Stevia is still relatively new and I’m not sure how good it is for you, even though it comes from a leaf. Also, for those of you who don’t like the taste of stevia you might not like these, but I think they are delicious!! The Peanut Butter Fudge flavor is my favorite– it’s actually more of a dessert in my mind because it tastes like a chocolate wafer cookie. 13 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, 200 cals.

Most Protein for the Calories: Clif Builders “The Entirely Natural Protein Bar”. My FAVORITE is Chocolate Mint. It’s so delicious. I recommended them to my brother the other day– I think since it says “builders” on it, I’ll be able to intrigue him into eating them haha. They are the perfect blend of chocolatey, crispy, creamy and chewy. 23 vits and minerals, 20 grams of sugar, 4 grams fiber, 270 cals, 8g fat. The one thing I will note though, is that you probably shouldn’t eat more than one of these per day. There is a good amount of sugar which really won’t help your waistline unless you’re eating this after a workout.  Just keep that in mind.

Most Delicious Granola Bar– Clif Mojo Sweet and Salty. The new Chocolate Almond Coconut flavor is really great–tastes like an Almond Joy! My sister loves the Peanut Butter Pretzel kind, and the Mountain Mix is really delicious too– which is a little more fruity with some chocolate in it. 8g protein, low glycemic, 3g fiber, 10g sugar, 200 cals, 12g fat. These are great if you’re looking for an afternoon snack. I like to break it up and mix it with yogurt!

Best Nutrition for Your Calories Granola Bar: Kashi TLC Chewy Bars TLC Bars. Simple, small snack with lowest amount of sugar. 140 calories 5 grams fat 7 grams protein. 4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar. You REALLY can’t beat that! My favorite is the Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy. I like the crunchy/crispiness it provides and it’s not overpoweringly sweet– which makes it also awesome for breaking up and eating with yogurt, and also perfect to simply grab and go! 

The Rundown: Green’s Energy Bars are the most expensive, which stinks because they are so delicious and make you feel awesome– so those are a treat every once in a while– but if you can wait and order them online at vitacost.com you’ll save a bunch! Clif Builders are great because they are available in many different stores and they have a great amount of nutrients and 20 grams of protein. Kashi is low in sugar and a great pick-me-up.  All in all, a good rule of thumb is, if you can’t pronounce it, or you don’t know where it could come from in nature, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Which is why I try to stay away from other bars that report on the label that they have no sugar, but when you further investigate actually have around 12g of sugar alcohols on average. Even though I really used to like thinkThin bars (which are available at Trader Joe’s) and they are in my opinion probably better for you than bars with aspartame and Splenda (sucralose), which I stay away from, both because of their taste and their non-nutritional properties. Check out this article about natural vs. artificial sweeteners. 

xox Trish

Great Guac

Great Guac

6 fresh, ripe avocados (diced roughly)

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 onion shallot (medium), minced

2/3 cup grape tomatoes quartered– or diced roma tomato

juice of 1 lime

sea salt

cilantro if you have it (I didn’t this time)

cayenne pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)

Dice avocados and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix, but not too much. Should be creamy but with texture.

Serve with either homemade multigrain tortilla chips or store bought, heated up in oven. Place in pretty colored dish.

Serve and enjoy with friends and family!

Put remaining guac (if you’re lucky enough to have any leftover) in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 4 months.

SUPER NU’TRISH’US and DELICIOUS!

Trish

Awesome Mashed Potatoes

The thought of mashed potatoes from a box, frozen container, or bag, just straight up freaks me out. You wonder why  some children don’t even know that french fries are derived from them (see Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC). Potatoes are such a versatile root vegetable that disguises itself well, but after a while it’s less a disguise and more of a disaster for your health. With this recipe you’ll see how easy mashed potatoes can be, and how by using the whole food like nature intended you not only benefit your health but your taste buds will be singing! Today I used a blend of golden and russet potatoes, which I think made for an interesting flavor and consistency. I’m happy to share my family raved about them tonight and I think you’ll love them as well! As always, don’t feel the need to go out to the grocery store if you don’t have all of the ingredients, you can always add or neglect ingredients– that’s what makes a good chef!


Awesome Mashed Potatoes

11 potatoes– I used 4 russet and 7 golden

7 heaping tablespoons light sour cream (I love Trader Joe’s brand)

4 tbs light cream (make sure it’s REAL cream without any added mono or diglycerides etc)

1 stick butter

sea salt… about 1/2 – 1 tsp

fine ground black pepper 1/4 tsp

1 tsp garlic- crushed

chives if you have them– I did not today

Wash the potatoes. Scrub the russet ones especially well, as they attract more dirt with their skin’s texture.

Peel one of the russet potatoes, but leave the other 3 un-peeled. Place in a large heavy pot with water covering the potatoes at least an inch above. Get out an ice tray and a metal bowl big enough to hold all of the potatoes, put that on the ice tray to cool, and set aside. Bring to a boil and test for tenderness with a fork. (Of course these potatoes will have different cooking times, so be mindful of that but I kept them all in for the same amount of time because I think it gave it a good balance of some potatoes being overly tender and some with a little bit of bite.) When they’re ready (when a fork pierces the potato comfortably and they seem mash-able, remove the potatoes from the boiling water and place the drained potatoes on chilled bowl. This will stop the cooking process and allow you time to grab more ingredients and give you time to get ready for the fun part.

Take potatoes out of bowl, cut in half, quarter, quarter again….You want them in about 1 inch sized pieces.

[dedikated photography]

[dedikated photography]

Place back in drained pot which was used to cook them. Add sour cream, melted butter, light cream, salt, garlic, pepper, chives. Using a whisk  glop it all together.

It should have a creamy, yet chunky consistency.

You should see the beautiful color of the skin throughout the mash.

Watch out for sneaky family members who want to try it before dinner. Caught in action…!

Then, adding another tablespoon of butter on top, place in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes to heat up until ready to be served.

Bon appetit!!

While we all know that potatoes are not really the most nutritional of all the vegetables, to put it lightly, they still nourish your body and provide essential vitamins and minerals that are great for you. Plus, when eaten in moderation, they can positively affect your health. Sure, they have butter, and cream, but you know what? That’s natural! These mashed potatoes differ from the mashed potato “food” you buy in the grocery store.

No preservatives.

Nothing artificial.

Easy to make.

Small amount of prep.

All delicious wholesome ingredients.

Garlic removes cholesterol.

And some fibre, vitamins and minerals from the skin.

Enjoy!

Trish

Nutrishus Banana Split

The best part about this recipe is that all you need is bananas, a freezer, and either a blender or food processor. I added some other ingredients because I’m a texture person, but honestly the plain frozen banana is delicious too.

I’ve heard this idea from many people be it co-workers, classmates, friends… and all of them told me how easy and surprisingly ice-cream-like it is. In the past when I really wanted to try it I was at school and there was definitely no food processor in sight. Thus, I just froze bananas and chopped them up. Still good, but not quite the same. Plus, when you freeze the bananas with the peel on it it’s very hard to peel off unless you have a knife. So I had a very hard time trying to peel it off with just my hands and had to take breaks in between because my hands were so frozen! It was quite ridiculous. Anyways, here is my super easy recipe for a banana split without the worry.

Nutrishus Banana Split

1 1/2 bananas (frozen without the skin, broken into about 6 small pieces, and placed in a freezer-safe ziploc bag)

whipped cream

chopped walnuts

cinnamon

Take 1 1/2 bananas (or more so you can have them readily frozen for the next time you’d like to try this…) peel them, break them into about 6 small pieces, place in freezer-safe ziploc bag, and throw them in the freezer. I usually do this the night before, but I’m guessing it takes around 4-6 hours to freeze. Then, when the bananas are frozen take them out of the freezer. Add them to your food processor (I like our 7 power Cuisinart) and blend until creamy. Don’t over blend so as not to make the bananas melt (never thought you’d hear that one did you?) or lose their cold temperature (that’s more like it..)! Plus, the texture is nice when there are some gloppy banana pieces in the  mix. (Right now this is a vegan dessert loved by many…)

(that didn’t last long with me though… : )) Plop some REAL whipped cream (preferably not Redi Whip etc as that has added mono and diglycerides, high fructose corn syrup, etc…) and some chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy! I like to have some whipped cream with every bite because it actually tastes like a banana split!

Why bananas?

Why cinnamon?

Why whipped cream?

Why walnuts?

Bon appétit et Bonne santé!

Trish

Spicy Mushroom Vegetable Soup

Now, before you shy away from this soup because there are mushrooms in it, listen to this. I had my sister try it and she liked it! Kate is the queen of hating mushrooms and the only way you can get her to try something that has them is by tricking her. She’s really good at figuring out  by our grins that we’re trying to make her eat hidden mushrooms but this time it worked. Anyways, for all of you non-mushroom-lovers out there keep reading.

So this recipe started out as just a plain vegetable/chicken soup type deal, but after I kept finding more and more veggies it completely transformed. Pretty much when you add mushrooms, the texture changes so much you can’t keep pretending it’s just any other veggie soup. Anyways, the result is delicious and I hope you’ll give it a try! It’s a great soup for this time of year when it’s cold outside and you need something to boost your immune system. Curl up on the couch with some comfy socks and this soup and enjoy– I know you will!

Spicy Mushroom Veggie Soup

  • 6 small white ‘button’ mushrooms ( I used Trader Joe’s white button mushrooms)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 handfuls shredded carrots– chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded broccoli stalks  (I used broccoli slaw from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • deli turkey chopped, about 1/2 cup (don’t worry about this if you don’t have any on hand– I just happened to throw it in and it worked surprisingly well)
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter

In a large skillet melt 2 tbs butter and 2 tbs olive oil on medium heat. Add vegetables (and mushrooms). Add turkey (if you’re using it).

Sauté until they break down and the celery becomes somewhat translucent, carrots soften.

Add spices.

Stir and cook for about another 2 minutes. Don’t be afraid to add more olive oil or butter if the veggies are getting too dry. Turn off heat. Scoop out about 3/4 of the mixture and place in food processor. Blend until creamy/smooth. It should have a similar consistency to hummus dip.

With a spatula scoop out mixture and place back in the skillet with the other 1/4 veggies. Turn heat back on to medium. Add chicken broth. Stir.

Top with parsley flakes and crackers. I used Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola flavored oven crisp crackers but you can use anything!

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Olive oil- great for heart, skin, brain

Spices- anti-inflammatory

Carrots- great for vision, Vitamin K

Broccoli- fibre, calcium, vitamin A, folic acid

Enjoy!

Bonne Sante et Bon appetit!

Trish

Strawberry Pink Grapefruit Smoothie

I feel like I’m running a juice shop with all these smoothies I’ve been making recently. Rest assured, I don’t get paid for advertising the magic bullet, but I do love that little gadget! Clean up is so easy and the possibilities are endless. I’m even going to freeze some bananas and make homemade vegan banana ice cream soon! I digress…

Today I was overjoyed to find that we still had a couple of grapefruits leftover in our fruit basket, which my mom tells me came from our neighbor’s mom’s tree in Florida! As if I didn’t love grapefruit enough already– this one is fresh from the tree, homegrown, and all natural too! Pair that with some delicious strawberries and some other great ingredients and you’ve got this delicious, nutritious smoothie! No sugar added, as with any good smoothie, added sugar is completely unnecessary.

The best part about this smoothie is that it provides you with a wide variety of health benefits. With the greek yogurt you get 14 grams of protein, calcium, etc, without having to add protein powder (which is added calories and usually added sugars)– although I do like Isopure  brand when I go through those protein powder phases. My aunt happens to love Jay Robb protein powder, so I’ll have to give that a try some time. It’s gluten-free and it has stevia instead of sugar. Strawberries give you essential vitamins and fibre, antioxidants and they are great for your heart, eyes, and brain function. The pink grapefruit is fantastic for your immune system, lowers bad cholesterol, and even helps create collagen in your skin tissue! Lastly, cinnamon has been shown to help regulate your blood sugar levels, is great to combat inflammation, and may improve your memory.

Strawberry Pink Grapefruit Smoothie

  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used the kind with peaches on the bottom today)
  • 1 whole pink grapefruit (cut in half, then quarter, and take out delicious fruit leave behind skin and hard pif)
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries (washed, hulled)
  • 2-3 tbs orange juice (more or less depending on your desired consistency)
  • dash of cinnamon

Mix all above ingredients in your juice blender. Garnish with strawberry and pink grapefruit peel. Plop a straw in and sip some strawberry pink grapefruit deliciousness!

photo by dedikated photography

Enjoy!

Bonne sante et bon appetit!

Trish