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Do you ever feel like your days pass by before you’ve had a chance to stop and enjoy them? I know I sometimes do. Time just goes by so quickly. I mean, how is March almost over already?!?
Lately, I’ve been trying to step away from the computer, turn off my phone, and pause my day for a “Me Moment.” Even a few minutes are enough to recharge me before I start the next task on my never-ending to do list.
These moments are the perfect time to read a few pages of a book or enjoy a small indulgence, like this amazing Raspberry Chocoholic Smoothie!
I used to be a morning person. I’d pop out of bed the minute my alarm went off.
Growing up, my sister was the exact opposite. Her alarm would go off at top volume, waking up everyone but her. Someone would inevitably go in her room and tell her to turn it off. She’d finally hit snooze, and then the same scene would repeat 10 minutes later!
Now I’m not quite that bad, but I can’t seem to resist hitting that snooze button a few times myself lately. But even though I like to sleep in, you won’t find me skipping breakfast.
Usually I keep breakfast simple. Some days I crave something more indulgent though, like this Berry Stuffed Baked French Toast!
This baked French toast is ideal for those mornings when you plan to hit snooze as many times as possible. Just get everything ready the night before and pop it in the oven when you get up. Easy peasy.
Better than easy, however, is decadent! This French toast is stuffed with a lightly sweetened berry cream cheese mixture, and baked until crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Then, it’s topped with more fresh berries … mmm, so good!
Give this Berry Stuffed Baked French Toast a try the next time you plan to sleep in!
My husband and I enjoy exploring new neighborhoods on the weekends, and by explore, I mean walk around and eat a lot of food.
A few weeks ago, we spent an afternoon walking around Bay Ridge. It’s a somewhat remote neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s only served by one subway line. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we really loved it.
There were so many delicious looking restaurants – everything from Middle Eastern to Greek to Italian – that I’m already plotting my return. Of course, we had to check out a couple places. One of our stops was Paneantico Bakery, where the displays cases were filled with beautiful pastries. I had an amazing berry cream tart that I couldn’t wait to recreate once I got home.
You are going to love these Berry Cream Tarts! I started by baking almond-scented shortbread cookies with a cute scalloped edge. The cookies are topped with a generous dollop of rich cream filling that tastes just like cheesecake! I finished the tarts by piling on the sweet berries.
These tarts would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or anytime you feel like a sweet treat!
It’s the first Monday of February, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to cook instead of order takeout, go for a walk, or skip a second helping. Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.
Last month, my focus was on healthy snacking, and I actually did pretty well with this. For February, my goal is to establish a consistent exercise routine (see my tips below). Plus, I’m sharing a delicious green smoothie recipe made with Driscoll’s berries!*
Over the past year, I’ve gone from exercising 5-6 days a week to practically zero days, and I want to get back on track. I’ve had my reasons (weather, shoulder problems, etc.), but I need to stop making excuses. So, I’ve set a goal to exercise 4 days a week this month.
I live a couple blocks from Central Park, so barring another Polar Vortex, I’ll walk/jog a couple days a week, and on the other days, I’ll do some yoga or cardio. If I come into a few extra dollars, I’d love to try SoulCycle (that ish is expensive), too!
Are you in the same boat as me? Use these tips to develop your own exercise routine:
Schedule exercise dates. In the past, when I’ve written my workout dates/times in a planner, it made all the difference!
Mix it up. Exercise is more fun if you’re not doing the same boring routine every day. I enjoy a combination of walking, jogging, yoga, pilates, and cardio, and jump at the chance to try new things, too.
Pair up with a friend. It’s so much harder to skip a day when you know someone else is counting on you. If you’re in New York, I’d love a workout buddy (hint, hint)!
Don’t think about it; just do it. Set out your exercise clothes the night before. Put them on as soon as you wake up or get home from work. Don’t turn on the TV. Don’t eat a snack. Spend as little time thinking about it as possible, and just get out there and exercise!
My exercise mantra for February!
After exercising, I like to reward myself with a healthy snack! So I was excited when I was contacted by Driscoll’s* to develop a snack for my readers! I decided to create a green smoothie.
Green smoothies are everywhere these days, but I have to admit that I’ve been a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. I think it is the close resemblance to pureed grass!
I shouldn’t have worried, because after I blended up the berries and spinach, I couldn’t taste anything grassy at all (I promise)! As a matter of fact, it was downright delicious. My husband also loved this smoothie, and I think you will, too!
Cheers to your health! My Berry Green Smoothie is full of nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and lots of other good stuff. Read more about the health benefits of berries, spinach, and green tea.
Berry Green Smoothie
Serves 1 – 2
1/2 of a banana
1 1/2 cups Driscoll’s* mixed berries (I used blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.)
1 green tea bag
2 cups spinach
1/2 of a pear
Start by covering a cookie sheet with foil. Peel the banana, slice it into rounds, and place the slices on the cookie sheet. Add berries to cookie sheet, cutting large berries (such as strawberries) into halves or quarters. Make sure everything is in a single layer so it doesn’t stick together later. Place cookie sheet in freezer and let sit until fruit is frozen, about 2 hours.
While fruit is freezing, bring 1 1/2 cups water almost to a boil. Pour water into a large mug and add the tea bag. Let steep for 3 – 5 minutes and then remove tea bag. Allow tea to cool to room temperature and set aside.
I used flavored green tea for my smoothie. This berry-flavored tea pairs perfectly with this recipe!
To make smoothie, add frozen fruit to a blender. Grab a large handful of spinach (about 2 cups) and place it on top of berries. Cut half a pear into large pieces and add to blender. Pour cooled tea over everything and blend until smooth, stirring if needed.
This recipe makes 1 large smoothie or, if you feel like sharing, two small smoothies.
Customize this Berry Green Smoothie to your taste:
Use any mixture of berries that you like (or just use a single berry).
Replace the berries with another fruit, such as apples, citrus, or pomegranate seeds.
Add a tablespoon of almond butter for extra protein.
Sweeten the smoothie by adding a chopped Medjool date, a little honey or maple syrup, or a touch of your favorite sweetener.
Replace the tea with milk (regular, almond, soy, etc.), juice, yogurt, or coconut water.
Spice things up by adding a little fresh ginger or a pinch of cinnamon.
Supercharge your smoothie with 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed.
Experiment with other greens, such as kale, collards, or Swiss chard.
What is motivating you this month?
P.S. Stop back Tuesday for a roundup of my favorite winter workout gear and Wednesday for my indoor workout essentials (for those days that it’s just too cold to go outside!).