Galentine's Day Brunch

Hello and happy Valentine's Day!!! I hope yours has been off to a good start! I know this post probably would have been more helpful had I posted it sometime last week, or even the week before, but let's be honest; I'm the WORST at thinking ahead for holidays and special occasions. I'm seriously the person who buys shower gifts the day before and then buys the bags or wrapping paper the morning of. Christmas cards? Puhlease. I'm never going to think about doing them in time to send them out before Christmas. Please tell me I'm not the only one???

 

 
Galentine's Day Brunch Ideas
 

BUT, this idea isn't too late, because it's Wednesday and it's totally acceptable to throw a Galentine's Day brunch the weekend after Valentine's Day. Hopefully your gal friends are flexible and able to make plans a few days before.  😳 I was trying to think of what Valentine's Day themed recipe or post I could do and as I was thinking through it, I realized that there is probably a large majority of you who aren't in a relationship. Or maybe just got out of one and the day is really painful. Or maybe one of you is longing for a lifelong companion and has yet to find that person. So instead, I decided to focus this on celebrating with girlfriends. And let's be honest, hanging out with my girlfriends, eating good food, and watching chick flicks is more fun than hanging out with my husband sometimes. 😉

So for all you ladies out there--married, single, dating, "it's complicated", or recently single, this is for you!! I present to you Hearty Orange Raspberry heart waffles and Chocolate Covered Cherry smoothies. I wanted to do a strawberry mint mojito-like drink, but didn't get around to it. I totally think you should make slushy-like drinks with frozen strawberries, champagne (or moscato), fresh mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Holy moly that would be refreshing. 

 
Spelt orange and raspberry waffles for your galentine's day brunch
 

So these waffles are super hearty, dense, and crispy. I don't like my cookies or my pancakes being crispy, but it's a must for waffles. And these also have a slight hint of orange that makes them refreshing. The trick to getting them to look like a heart is pouring a V into the middle of the waffle iron and giving is a reeeeally deep plunging V-neck. It's okay for your waffles to be indecent--we're going to looks, not decency. 

 
Galentine's day brunch--spelt waffles with orange zest and raspberries
 

For the chocolate covered cherry smoothies, you actually need to start them the night before (or a few hours before). They have soaked oats in them that give them a nice flavor AND make them super thick. I think adding a tablespoon of almond butter would also be a good addition, but you do whatever your heart desires. The day of the party, just throw the ingredients in your blender and then stick in the fridge. Because of the oats and chia seeds, the smoothies hold up really well in the fridge. In fact, mine held up for several days. 

For the movies, I'm giving you a list of several of my favorite chick flicks. You're probably going to judge me for my choices.Please check out this trailer for Pride and Prejudice. The movie is absolutely ridiculous, but I think it's hilarious and super sweet 😍. I know Baby Mama isn't a romantic movie, but it's so funny and great for a girl party. Oooh, and I just thought of She's the Man. Add that to the list FOR SURE!

 
Chick flick ideas for you Galentine's brunch
Galentine's brunch ideas--spelt waffles and chocolate cherry smoothies
 

So there you have it! A delish waffle recipe, decadent smoothie, and stellar movie playlist. I'd love to hear if you end up having a Galentine's Day and what you did for it!!

Hearty orange raspberry spelt flour waffle recipe--vegan if using coconut oil and plant-based milk
Chocolate covered cherry smoothie

A New Habit + Breakfasts Lately

Heyo! I wanted to share with you all a new habit I've been practicing the last week and a half. I've recently gotten into the habit of watching tv while eating breakfast and/or lunch. I started watching Parenthood a few weeks back and now I just watch one episode after another! So addicting. The weird part is that I don't even know why. Their family makes SO MANY dumb decisions, they yell at each other all the time, and yet at the end of every episode, I want to watch another one. 🙄 (Is it even possible for Lauren Graham to play a character that doesn't screw up every relationship?!) And although this Parenthood marathon is fine at different times, it has really gotten in the way of me being productive while at home. It's also gotten in the way of me connecting with my food at meal times.

I decided that something needed to change. This desire for change wasn't born out of beating myself up, but out of the desire for accomplishing more, feeling more satisfied with my meals, taking better care of myself, etc. So I've started a new morning routine in which I oftentimes go for a walk around our apartment complex while listening to part of a podcast 😍 + breakfast out on our balcony + time in the Word while still sitting outside. I've LOVED quieting my mind through sitting out in nature and not being distracted with watching tv. The time outside moving my body in a gentle way, connecting to my meals, and then connecting to my Father has made me feel so much more grounded, peaceful, and joyful for the day. It has also helped me to be more productive while at home in the mornings. 

 
 

This is what I read for my morning quiet times. 

 
 

Along with a GREAT view, and peaceful environment, I've also had some really delicious meals. Here's a few of them: Overnight oats with oats, chia seeds, pb2, maple syrup, almond milk, topped with fruit and nuts.

 
 

Sweet potatoes on repeat for several meals. They have been so delicious and satisfying to me lately. I plan on sharing how I make my scrambled eggs so fluffy in a post soon. 

 
 

My doughy snickerdoodle oatmeal breakfast bake (+ iced latte) was incredibly delicious after not having it for awhile. 

 
 
 
 

So there you have it! My new habit plus a few breakfast ideas for you. Hope you are finding activities that allow you to take care of yourself-mind, body, and spirit; and that you are eating delicious, satisfying food! 

Homemade yogurt in the crockpot

Hello!! 🙋 It's been a while since I've been here (I know, story of my life and this blog) and I thought it was about time I pop in to say hello. 

Life has been a little more busy lately with my work schedule picking up (thank the Lord!), tons of family wedding and birthday celebrations, and activities with friends. I'm not overly busy and would like to continue increasing my work hours, but I'm loving all the activities I've been up to lately and cannot complain. With life getting a little busier, I have to be more conscientious about meal planning. It's important to be able to eat what I want when I want it, but in order to do that I have to have a plan so that there IS food around when I want/need it. Flexible meal planning is the name of the game.

 
How to make homemade yogurt in the crockpot
 

One thing I've been doing recently is making my own yogurt for breakfast bowls or snacks. It's not necessary to make you're own, but it's a lot cheaper than store bought and making it myself makes me enjoy it even more. You appreciate the things you put time into. At first, I was super intimidated, but got the hang of it. Now I make it just about every week! Just an FYI, this is a looong process, so I recommend starting it in the early evening so that it can culture overnight (start around 4 pm).

 
How to make homemade yogurt in the crockpot
 

Basically, you heat milk to a certain temperature, cool it to a certain temperature, add in the culture, and then let it sit for 12 hours at a warm temperature. Then you strain it and are left with yummy, homemade yogurt!

 
How to make homemade yogurt in a crockpot
 

A quick word on probiotics. Gut health is definitely a buzz topic right now. While getting my masters, I did research on gut bacteria as it relates to health and I found it absolutely fascinating! Our gut (intestines) contains millions of little bacteria that play a role in a variety of different processes in our body. They have the potential to benefit our bodies through strengthening our immune system, maintaining intestinal tissue health, digesting food in our colon, producing vitamins, killing off harmful bacteria, and FAR more. Researchers are constantly finding out more about the role of certain bacteria in our gut and how they can help or hinder our health and everyday life. With our very stressful lifestyles, lack of proper self-care, lack of adequate nutrition, illness, and use of antibiotics, the types of bacteria in our gut can change and cause various symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, a weekend immune system, etc. This is why eating cultured foods with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and foods high in fiber (prebiotics--food for the bacteria) is so important. Hello dairy, fermented foods, whole grains, and veggies! It's another reason why it's super important to get a variety of foods in our diet. A diet high in fat and protein can cause harmful bacteria to overgrow. A diet high in refined carbs can cause harmful bacteria to grow. We need all the food components, people: a balance of protein, carbs, and fat from a variety of food sources.

 
How to make homemade yogurt in the crockpot
 

In the past I have had clients ask me about which probiotic brand I recommend and I wasn't able to really give a recommendation. That's why I thought THIS review was so helpful! It separates fact from fiction and then gives recommendations based on the different criteria that actually matter.  I think it does a good job of explaining things in layman's terms, but still uses scientific research to back up their claims. I recommend you check it out!

And now to making your own yogurt. If you've got the time, give it a try and let me know what you think! 

 
How to make homemade yogurt in the crockpot
 
Recipe for homemade yogurt in the crockpot

In case you missed the link above, the probiotic supplement review can be found at  http://www.reviews.com/probiotic-supplement/