I have a brand new breakfast recipe that will get your day off to a GREAT start.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s a make-ahead meal that’ll help you sneak in some veggies first thing in the morning.
The US Centers for Disease Control says that only 10% of Americans get enough veggies in their diet, so making a habit of adding them to your breakfast is a GREAT idea.
So how many veggies do you need? Federal health guidelines recommend women get 2 to 2½ cups of veggies a day while men get 3 cups. (Tip: raw salad greens require double the amount to equal 1 serving, i.e., 2 cups greens = 1 cup cooked.)
Frittatas are good any time of the day but they are AMAZING for breakfast. They’re filled with nutrients to keep you feeling full till noon, and give you a good head start on your protein needs.
I especially love them because basically anything goes when it comes to ingredients! You can experiment with different veggie/spice/salsa combos and they will taste great.
This recipe will serve 4-6 people.
1 small sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
½ small red onion, diced
3 cups roughly chopped spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup black olives, diced
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place washed and pierced sweet potato in microwave and cook till done (about 5-8 minutes depending on the size). Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the eggs and non-dairy milk. Set aside.
Place large oven-safe skillet on the stove and heat on medium, adding olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and saute for 3-5 minutes.
When the sweet potato is done, remove peel and chop it into bite-size pieces.
Add the sweet potato, spinach, tomatoes, olives and basil to the onions. Stir to combine and then pour in the egg mixture. Sprinkle in the goat cheese (optional), salt and pepper (about ½ to 1 tsp each) and give a quick stir.
Carefully place the skillet in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the eggs are cooked all the way through in the middle. Cooking time will vary depending on your pan size, so begin checking after about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing into 4 to 6 portions. You can store the servings in individual containers. Store in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat.
Want a make-ahead breakfast that gives you a head start on getting your veggies for the day? Definitely try this comfort-food breakfast casserole. One batch can fuel your mornings for most of the week.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Makes 10 servings
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cups chopped spinach
¼ cup coconut milk
2-3 tbsp your favorite hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
(optional: ½ cup crumbled goat cheese)
Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until they’re almost done. Remove and let cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and broccoli and cook for another 3-4 minutes before adding the the peppers and mushroom. Cook for 5-6 minutes, adding 1 pinch or two of salt to season. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted.
Remove the mixture from the heat. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and dice them. Set aside.
Prepare a 9x13 casserole or baking dish by either using a cooking spray or using coconut oil.
Place the sweet potatoes and veggie mixture into the baking dish.
Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, hot sauce and salt pepper. Pour over the veggie/sweet potato mixture. (Optional: sprinkle goat cheese over the top).
Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
The other day I saw a fact sheet online that blew my mind. It compared portion sizes today vs. the 1980’s and wow! What a difference.
Get a load of this:
Obviously, those examples are for junk/fast food. But studies also show that for other foods, “marketplace” portion sizes – the size you see on nutrition labels, in restaurants, etc. – often are 6 or more times larger than the portion sizes recommended by the USDA!
That’s HUGE, and it adds up to a lot of extra food – maybe even THOUSANDS of calories – your body doesn’t need.
The thing that’s so troubling is that we get used to these larger portions and think they’re actually NORMAL. Your body doesn’t see it that way, though.
Here’s what happens when you overeat, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center:
If you’ve lost touch with proper portion sizes, the good news is you have a built-in portion guide – it’s your hand.
Portion Size Guide
If you’ve been eating big portions for a while (maybe even most of your life!), it can take a little while to get used to the normal portion sizes… but it’s so worth it because of how much better you will feel!
Many people report they have more energy, better sleep and even stronger workouts when they adjust their portion sizes.
If you’d like some guidance with YOUR portion sizes, I’m here to help! Just send me an email and we can set up a time to chat.
Hope you have a great day!
One of the most important changes you can make when it comes to how you feel and move – and even how you look – is to cut back one key ingredient from your diet...
One that has virtually NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE and yet is almost everywhere you look.
You might already have guessed what I’m talking about: Added sugar.
This is “extra” sugar that is added to your foods, like the kind found in syrups, candy, cookies, processed foods and even in maple syrup and honey.
(It is NOT the naturally occurring sugar like the kind found in fruits, veggies and other foods that contain fiber and loads of micronutrients your body needs!)
Did you know the national recommended MAXIMUM for added sugar is 10% of your total calories?
If you eat 2,000 calories a day, that’s 200 calories – or 50 grams of sugar.
Most of us get much more than that! Just for an example, a small caramel iced coffee from your local cafe down the street has 25 grams of sugar. WHAT!
I highly encourage you to wean yourself off that added sugar, which contains zero essential nutrients but DOES have a lot of calories … plus it raises havoc with your blood sugar, increases inflammation and can lead to cravings.
Not only that, but over time it can set up a chain reaction with your body’s hormones that leads to storing belly fat and chronic health issues.
While maple syrup and honey do contain some micronutrients and health benefits, your body still processes them as sugar, so if you do use them, just watch your portion sizes.
If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, I’m not going to candy-coat it: ditching the sugar can be challenging. But with some simple tactics (and some patience) you can go a LONG way toward cutting down on your sugar intake pretty painlessly.
Some things you can do:
Next, try these swaps / ideas:
One last thing… be sure you stay hydrated to help with cravings.
Bonus benefit: after just a few days eating less sugar, take a look in the mirror. Chances are you’ll notice a positive change in your skin, because sugar contributes to wrinkles, uneven skin tone and other issues.
Have I convinced you yet? :)
Seriously, you might be surprised at how different you feel once you lower your sugar intake.
If you need more help cutting the sugar habit, EMAIL ME TODAY!
Have a great day!
This is a fantastic go-with-anything sauce that can really pull a meal together. It’s delicious over fish, tacos, chili – anything you want to add a Mexican flair to … and you can easily turn it into a salad dressing by adding just a little light coconut milk to it.
Adjust the seasonings to your palate – a little cumin or chili powder can be a great addition!
Avocado Lime Sauce
2 avocados, peeled and cube
½ onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ lime, juiced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until combined.
Store in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
The other day I had a conversation with someone who was complaining that they had a “cheat” meal… which led to a cheat day… which led to a cheat weekend… and now they are struggling because they feel like they’re back to square one again.
I think most of us have felt that way at one point or another.
After that conversation, I was inspired to share a SIMPLE shift that can help you break out of that cycle FOREVER.
In fact, it’s SO important to understand… and it’ll make a massive difference in your long-term success and happiness!
Here it is: You are only ONE WORKOUT or ONE CLEAN MEAL away from being back on-track.
“Starting all over again” doesn’t have to be a big production. All you have to do is eat a healthy meal (whatever that looks like for you) or make it to your next workout.
That’s because if you adopt the “one workout or meal away” mindset, you are never “off” or “on” a program … you are simply living a fitness/wellness lifestyle.
Your “cheat” meals suddenly aren’t “cheats” … they simply are meals that contain foods you don’t normally eat. They are no big deal! That’s because you know that the next meal or the next workout, you’re back to your regular scheduled lifestyle.
Not only that, but you can finally stop feeling guilty if you eat something that’s not on your plan.
Guilt is a complicated emotion. In small doses, it can keep you on track. But too much guilt will poison to your mindset, results AND your happiness!
Guilt can make you literally feel heavier and make it harder for you to make decisions… will zap your energy AND your ability to concentrate.
The worst thing of all: guilt can tell you that you aren’t capable of achieving your goals and make you feel like you aren’t worthy of good things. (when that couldn’t be FURTHER from the truth!!)
And as someone once said about bronchitis “Ain’t nobody got time for that!!”
So put that guilt where it belongs… and always remember:
You are never more than ONE MEAL or ONE WORKOUT away from being right back on track.
And then just make sure that next meal or that next workout is a good one- even if you don’t feel like it! :-) You’ll thank yourself later, of course.
So there is your one simple strategy for lifelong success!
Let me know if you’ve ever felt this way, or if you found this helpful. I read each and every email, and would love to know your thoughts!
Have an amazing day!
This email is all about a very simple (but super powerful) philosophy in business that improves efficiency, creates steady long-term growth, and basically helps you to CRUSH your goals.
But the power of this philosophy goes way beyond business. It also can make a HUGE difference in living a better, healthier and more fulfilled life.
It’s fueled by one simple principle:
Do 1 percent better every day.
You might have heard of kaizen before, which is the idea of doing 1% better every single day. It’s all about small, continuous improvements. When you add them all up, they lead to mind-blowing changes.
What’s even more amazing is that the changes created this way actually “stick.” That’s because they didn’t require any major lifestyle overhauls. Instead, they were built up over a period of time, which means you learn to MANAGE and MAINTAIN them along the way.
And that’s EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT!
Let’s say you want to make improvements in your diet. Instead of changing everything about how you eat, what if you went for the (food pun alert) low-hanging fruit? By that I mean, gradually changing the things that are easiest for you to change?
You could swap out your afternoon cookie for a piece of fruit. Your chips could become a handful of almonds. Instead of eating a grab-and-dash granola-bar breakfast, you could blend a protein smoothie.
Not all at once. Just one change at a time, over time. Can you see how before long, as you fold these new habits into your life, they will add up to a HUGE transformation in your life?!
There are lots of great books on the subject. One of the latest that breaks it all down with actionable tips is the bestseller Atomic Habits by James Clear.
It can be tempting to go for the quick fix – and it’s true that you may see some results in the short-term. But you’re not looking to yo-yo your way through life. You’re looking to make real change that LASTS.
So when it comes to changing your mindset and building new habits that stick, studies show that making smaller changes can be more helpful.
Give the 1% method a go this week, and let me know how it goes!
If you need help with your healthy habits, let’s talk about ways I might be able to help you. Just send me an email and we can make a time to talk.
Hope you have an awesome day!
This recipe takes a basic hummus recipe and mixes it up with cauliflower! It’s surprisingly good.
Dip cucumber, carrots, celery, pepper strips and even fruit!
3 cups cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
⅛ cup water (2-3 tbsp)
5 tbsp olive oil, separated
1½ tsp sea salt
3 garlic cloves, separated
¼ cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
More water as needed
(optional: sesame seeds for garnish)
Steam the cauliflower until it’s soft: you can do this in a microwave or in a steamer on a stovetop.
Stovetop: Place the cauliflower, water, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, and 2 whole garlic cloves in covered pan on low heat and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring/checking frequently.
Microwave: place the same ingredients in a covered dish and microwave 10-12 minutes.
Next, place the softened cauliflower in a high-speed blender and add the tahini paste, 1 garlic clove, tahini, 2-3 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt and lemon juice. Blend until it reaches the texture of hummus. You might have to scrape the sides to incorporate all the cauliflower. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Place in a bowl and, if desired, drizzle a little more olive oil over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Hope you are having a great week! I have a quick tip this morning that can power up your day FAST.
First thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up, drink a big glass of water … 8 to 16 ounces!
Do this for two reasons:
Now, you already know the health benefits of water (my top 6 favs are below because they’re awesome enough to repeat). But the mindset benefit might be my favorite one.
A study in England found that doing ONE SMALL THING (like drinking a glass of water!) can set off a cascade effect that will help carve new habits for a lifetime!
The study was aimed at helping healthcare workers provide better guidance to their patients in creating healthier lifestyles.
“Forming one ‘small’ healthy habit may thereby increase self-confidence for working towards other health-promoting habits,” they wrote in their study.
This is because when you master one healthy new habit, you begin creating a very powerful trait called SELF-EFFICACY.
SELF-EFFICACY = Your personal belief in yourself that you CAN accomplish your goals (and anything you set your mind to!).
The more you follow through with what you commit to, the more you learn to trust yourself, which in turn helps you create more intentions and conquer more habits.
Starting “small” (like drinking a glass of water) is actually BIG, because it increases your chances of being successful.
NOTE: It’s super important to focus on DOING one thing (i.e., drinking water), vs. NOT DOING something (not eating fried foods). You can’t make habit of NOT doing something. :)
OK. Are you ready to know my favorite reasons to drink water?
Top 6 Reasons to Drink Water in the Morning
Even a 2% decrease in your hydration can have a powerful effect on how you feel and move! Pretty crazy.
One way to remember to drink your water is to think of a wilting houseplant. You know how when you give that plant a big drink, it springs back to life? Your body – which is comprised of 55 to 60% water – appreciates being refreshed with water too!
P.S. Have you joined my Breathe River Oaks Members Facebook Group yet!? If not, I share a ton of strategies and tips just like this one over in the group. Head on over here to join us for free!
The other day I sent you an email about how it takes a lot longer to form a healthy habit than we had been led to believe (three times longer, in fact!).
I’ve got some more news for you when it comes to sticking with those healthy habits.
Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to have willpower when you’re stressed or have had a long day at work or with the kids? It doesn’t have to be “bad” stress, either – your willpower can lag after an awesome day spent sightseeing, shopping or doing something else that you love.
The reason this happens is because of something called “decision fatigue.”
Studies show that the more decisions you make over the course of a day, the harder it is to use your willpower or self control.
For instance, after a long day you might not feel very energetic... and feel like skipping your workout. Saying “no” to junk food can also become harder. You might procrastinate on chores, and if you go shopping, you could end up spending a lot more than you planned.
Here’s a weird fact: even your ability to do basic math equations can be affected!
This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when decision fatigue kicks in. Instead, now that you know it’s a real “thing,” you can head it off at the pass.
Here are some things you can do to avoid decision fatigue in the first place:
● Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. When you have healthy food ready to go, that’s one less decision to make!
● Before you go to bed at night, prepare yourself for a successful next day. Remember how you planned before your first day of school each year? You had your outfit ready and your timeline set so you be ready on time and get off to a great start. This is huge!
● When possible, time block your schedule so you have more control over how you spend your time. This way, instead of thinking about what you need to do next, it’s already planned out for you! Don’t forget to make time for your to-do list, workouts, grocery shopping, and spending time with family and friends!
And, when decision fatigue DOES strike, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Instead, now that you know it’s a real “thing,” you can head it off at the pass.
The best thing you can do is show yourself a little TLC!
You can burn off the stress with a workout (you’ll feel better once you get going!) or eat a healthy spicy meal (studies show hot foods boost endorphins, the feel-good hormones).
If that seems like too much work, how about brewing a cup of herbal tea and finding a quiet spot to chill out with a good book?
Another great way to battle decision fatigue is by having a support network. Having a strong team around you is a HUGE part of being successful. Your team can keep you on track and focused.
Creating a blueprint for success and helping to hold people accountable is my specialty.
If you need help with this, I’m here for you – just send me an email and we can set up a time to chat. There’s no need to try to reach your health and fitness goals alone! I’m here for you if you need it.
Hope you have a great day!
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Pilates and Barre Photography © Merrithew Corporation. Used with Permission.
For more information visit www.merrithew.com
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