health

Finding Balance, an Interview with Julie Starr

Like two [nutritionist] ships passing in the night, Julie and I have probably found ourselves in the same Yoga and Barre classes, and have even held the same nutrition coaching position, but at different times. We FINALLY had the chance to sit down together and I had to capture the moment, as Julie talks about finding balance in her life as a business owner (x2) and mom. 

Her tips are so REAL and easy to implement - it's a must watch for anybody looking for simple ways to implement healthier habits for themselves and their children. Make sure you watch the end of the video - where Julie reveals her "They're Just Like Us" moment - an indulgent moment that proves, nutritionists are people too :).

Let's get the conversation started in the comments below - let us know what your favorite way to teach your kids about healthy eating and nutrition!

 
 

You can find Julie at Starr Nutrition or Starr Yoga, or on Instagram (@starrnutrition + @starryogabos).

 
 

10-Minute Gliding Disc Workout

One of my favorite pieces of workout equipment, actually isn't a piece of equipment at all! It's a simple solution to moving furniture around a carpeted room - a gliding disc. 

Yes, there are people making a lot of money selling a very similar product as a piece of gym equipment, but I prefer to use these because they really make it easy to slide into a full range of motion. 

Today's video is a 10-minute total body workout just using this disc. If you don't have one at home, don't fret. You can use a thick paper or plastic plate on a carpeted surface or a towel or washcloth on a hardwood floor. But if you'd like to buy the four-pack of sliding/gliding discs, grab them here. 

 
 

Love this workout? Let me know what other 10-minute workouts you'd like to see in the comments below!

 
 

Blood Orange Broccoli

Broccoli has never been one of my favorite vegetables, but lately I've found myself craving it. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little... I usually crave cookies. But when I'm thinking about what vegetables to eat with dinner, broccoli has been on my mind! So when I went to the grocery store I did a little trolling around for something to liven it up a little. Since the change of seasons this time of year tends to make me a little more prone to getting sick, I decided to jump for the citrus fruits. Bright and delicious, but also high in vitamin C. I picked up some lemon and my new favorite - blood oranges (in season and on sale most places now)!

Blood Orange Broccoli

  • 1-2 heads broccoli, broken into florets (you can keep or lose the stems)
  • 2 blood oranges ; 1 peeled and chopped, 1 juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Preheat oven to 425 F. In a medium pot, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Place broccoli in a basket steamer (or colander) and place in the pot with water. Let steam for 5 minutes. 

Place the broccoli in a bowl and add the chopped blood orange, the juice of the other blood orange, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice and ginger with the greek yogurt. Plate the broccoli and dip in yogurt to enjoy!

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

One of my breakfast staples is a sprouted grain bread by Food For Life. It's made with 6 different kinds of sprouted grains and beans, high in fiber, and (at least for me) easy to digest. All the things I need to keep me fueled until my next meal. Typically I'll get the "original" version, but lately I've been really into the cinnamon raisin variety. Usually I'll toast it up and enjoy it with some peanut butter and banana (you really can't go wrong with that) or with some avocado and soft-boiled eggs. But the other morning I was looking to spice things up.   I had some eggs, and ricotta cheese leftover from some baked eggplant parm I made the night before (once I perfect that recipe I will post it!), so I decided to whip up some easy cinnamon raisin french toast. Now I know this sounds like a big ordeal, but it honestly took no more effort than toasting some bread and scrambling some eggs. Here is my recipe for Cinnamon Raisin French Toast!

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Make sure the bread is thawed.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and place the bread to soak. Heat a pan on medium-high heat and melt coconut oil inside. When each piece of bread is saturated with egg, place in the pan and let cook about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  

Plate and top with ricotta, fruit, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Enjoy every last friggen' bite!

Red Lentil Dahl Soup

Ever make a recipe and then forget about it? That's what happened to me with this soup. I made this a looong time ago, thought it was one of the most delicious things I ever made, and then POOF erased it from my memory. I'm not sure why but I am sure glad that this soup is back in my life. Even though I can hardly contain my excitement for winter coming to an end - I am going to miss these hearty soups, so let's have one last hurrah! One thing you'll notice is that I made this stew without oil. Now, you can certainly use oil or butter, but if you're trying to cut back, check out my tip below for sautéing onions without oil.  

Red Lentil Dahl Stew

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or substitute with a Soup Starter)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1, 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped 

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add onions and stir continuously. With a higher heat, the onions will contract, and release a lot of water, which will prevent them from sticking. If they start to stick, add a small amount of vegetable broth (only about 1 tsp at a time). Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and jalapeño, and sauté, continuing to add small amounts of vegetable broth if necessary.  

Add the lentils, broth, and tomatoes. Cook 30-45 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

When to Eat: Creating Your Food Routine

When it comes to creating your own food routine... It’s important to remember, all of us work a little differently, and YOUR ideal meal timing is going to depend on a number of factors such when you wake up, your work schedule, when you workout, when you go to sleep, and of course, when you feel hungry. Here are 6 6 tips that I find work well for myself, and most of my clients.

*Before subscribing to any of the tips below, make sure to try my food journaling exercise. This will give you a window into when your body is feeling hungry and why.*

1. You tell your body when it’s hungry.

We might think it’s a coincidence that we want to eat at the same time everyday, but it’s not. We tell our body when to be hungry. So if we eat six small meals per day, we’re going to be hungry six times per day and so on. This is important to keep in mind when you begin creating (this changing) your food routine. It will take between 4-7 days (but as long as 14 days) for your body to adjust to your new pattern.

2. Space your meals about 4-6 hours apart.

Again, this might be contrary to what you normally hear, but here’s why: every time you eat you raise your blood sugar levels, and then the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas to bring your blood sugar back to normal. So, if you’re eating every 2-3 hours, you’re raising those blood sugar levels constantly throughout the day and insulin never has a chance to come back down. When insulin levels are high, it makes it impossible for your body to use fat as fuel, which in turn will keep you hungry throughout the day. When you space your meals out, you give your body a chance to digest, and bring blood sugar levels back to normal.

The number of meals will really depend on how early you start your day. If you see below - I usually have 4 meals on my longer days, and maybe 3 meals on less intense days.

3. Avoid eating at least 2 hours before bed.

When we go to sleep, our metabolic processes slow way down, and anything we eat at night pretty much just sits there and will likely interfere with our sleep patterns. Try to avoid eating 2-4 hours before sleeping.

4. Make lunch your largest meal of the day.

The middle of the day is usually when our metabolism is running at it’s peak, so eating the bulk of our food intake in the middle of the day, and eating a lighter dinner is helpful in keeping up with our bodies natural rhythm, and helps burn calories efficiently.

5. Leave at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout.

When you workout on a full stomach, the blood circulating in your body has to make a choice between assisting the digestive process and sending blood to your muscles. Making both your metabolic processes and your workout, less effective. Try leaving at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout, but no more than 4 hours. It’s also smart to re-fuel within an hour post-workout, so take that into consideration when planning your sweat session.

6. Schedule your meals at (roughly) the same time everyday.

When you create a food routine, your body figures out what’s up. So if you eat breakfast at 8AM everyday, your metabolism will fire up at 8AM everyday. In terms of timing, there are no ideal meal times, but following the tips above, and looking at your schedule, try to create some consistent times for your meals. I admit, this is hard for me, since my schedule usually bounces around all over the place, but this is what I try to stick to:

6 AM: Breakfast

8 AM: Workout

10 AM: Light Lunch

2 PM: Light Lunch

6PM Dinner

10PM: Bed

Now, take a little pause, look at your schedule, and write down the best times for you to eat.

Taking this first step is such an awesome place to start, because it doesn’t require you changing anything about what you’re eating, and simply shifts your focus to when you’re eating. Try our your new schedule this week and let me know how it goes!


A Simple (but not easy) Method to Stay Accountable

Today is a VERY happy Monday! It's the FIRST installment of Meet Up Monday (#meetupmonday)! This particular project has been floating around in my brain for a while, so as we kick off a new month, I'm psyched to kick off this new project.

Tune in weekly to meet up with me (and some other awesome experts) to get some inspiration. I think todays topic is a perfect fit to inspire you to come back and spend time with me every week. It's a simple and effective tool to stay accountable with your goals, and it might just be the missing link when it comes to reaching them.

P.S. if you're still unclear on your goals - check out my method for setting them straight.