As the temperatures rise and we welcome spring's arrival, there's a tendency to immediately fixate on lightening things up. Our workload, our stress levels, our clothing...our weight. Must shed the layers. Must drop the pounds. Must be able to wear the bikini. While the former of those loads have our best intentions in mind, this fixation on shedding winter weight can become an unhealthy obsession that can literally drive us into the ground. That mindset doesn't allow us to fully embrace and enjoy the season. Instead, let's be more mindful of what and how we choose to eat and let that naturally do the work in making us feel comfortable, confident, energetic and sexy in our own skin (and skivvies).
During these warmer months, we naturally crave lighter foods already (things like more fresh fruit and veg), which help in keeping us hydrated. But rather than adhering to "lightened up" versions of our favorite dishes that tend to rise to the top of recipe searches, we can still be indulgent in a way that's very nourishing, and most importantly, delicious.
Bouncing around a bit here, but healthy, plant-based, vegan-forward eating and lifestyle habits tend to be received unfavorably and feel foreign to the majority of society at large. Many feel that these diets are restrictive, however most are uneducated, others have zero interest or are willing to express interest at all, or several just simply do not know how or where to start. They need the tools, the knowledge and the guidance. If you are a part of the latter group and have an interest or curiosity, kudos to you and I'm so glad that you've landed here. Im here to show you that eating well doesn't have to be all about salads and smoothies and things of that sort, While I personally consume a lot of those and speak to them a lot, that's not what this diddy is all about. It comes down to mindfulness, balance and personal preference, which looks very different for every single one of us. But I'll bet more of us have a personal preference for things like pancakes, chia pudding, overnight oats and chocolate banana bread. So that's what you'll get here. But no smoothies, at least not this time around.
I can promise you that there's an abundance of vegan and other diet conscious recipes that'll still stick to your ribs and keep you satiated (and sane) and just so happen to be vegan, or gluten free, or this, that and the other. Set aside the silly thoughts, labels or stigmas that you may associate with these diets and keep an open mind. When done mindfully, they are complete nourishment. Crafted with wholesome, unprocessed ingredients that our bodies can better digest and break down, unlike some of those "lightened up" recipes out there that contain processed ingredients and over time may actually break our bodies down.
Mindful eating should be the new way to eat, and in turn, it naturally helps you to shed those layers without sacrificing taste (as well as your own sanity).
There's no better way to launch this mini mindful series by breaking the fast with some swoon-worthy and spring-inspired recipes that'll have you feeling like you're floating on a cloud this season. Explore, experiment, enjoy. Because eating well, especially when it comes to breakfast, can taste damn good.
Let's just dive right in with these Almond Pancakes with Honeyed Oranges and Pistachios. This stack of fluffy beauties can best be enjoyed on a quiet Sunday morning when the sunshine is beaming through the windows. Who knew that self-acceptance could be paved into pancakes? Make these a weekend ritual.
My favorite gal McKel is at it again, this time with some Sweet Potato Stacks with Tahini Drizzle. Tahini is liquid gold. Pure liquid gold, my friends. Sweet potatoes actually contain digestive friendly fiber, electrolyte balancing potassium, minerals like copper, manganese, and B vitamins that keep our blood sugars balanced and our bodies fighting inflammation. Ya dig? So then give them a drizzle and dig right on in.
Oh boy with these beauties. Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls with Pistachios & Orange Icing. It's the revamped, homemade, give-you-all-the-good-feels version of those Pillsbury Orange Cinnamon Rolls that you may have drowned in as a child (I know I did). The recipe had me at Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, which creates the centerpiece that's rolled up inside, drizzled with a simple icing that's made with freshly squeezed orange juice and then studded with pistachios. Heartstrings tugged.
PB&J or mango&avocado? Well, you're getting both, in chia pudding form. Chia pudding is one of the easiest breakfasts that you can prepare ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week. When soaked overnight, chia seeds take the form of a gel, which creates that pudding-like texture come morning. They're rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and calcium and keep you full for hours. On the left, fancy PB&J Chia Pudding and on the right, Chia Parfait with Crunchy Millet and a velvety mango avocado mousse. It's like a taste of sunshine to help start your morning on a bright -- the brightest note.
As far as something else that you can easily soak overnight? Oats. And nothing like some overnight oats that get inspiration from the tropics with kiwi and shredded coconut! The icing on top is a heaping spoonful of protein-packed almond butter to round out your morning bowl with some sexy little vibes. (To match that sexy little swimsuit of yours).
I had to do a double take and may have experienced a bit of whiplash when I came across this Honey Drizzled Pistachio Avocado Bagel Toast. There are a lot of (delicious) things going on here, and the irony of pistachios appearing in multiple recipes seems to be a complete coincidence. Clearly they are a versatile ingredient and pair well with these breakfast gems. Unless you choose to make homemade bagels, your time investment is minimal with this one. And you may as well think of avocado as nature's butter, so pairing it with something unexpectedly sweet like honey is umami for the taste buds. Breakfast bagels, you win.
By the way, there are some pretty decent non-dairy cream cheeses available these days. We're making strides in this non-dairy movement, so cheers to those of us with a sensitivity or intolerance that can still enjoy recipes like these!
It should feel like a no brainer when it comes to the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter. But in the form of banana bread? Yeahhhhh. Back to the idea of having your cake and eating it too, this is essentially that. A cakey, yet rich-in-the-healthy-department breakfast indulgence. Gimme that loaf!
And in saving the best for last, donuts of course. Specifically, Vanilla Donuts with Chocolate Ganache Frosting, Cacao Nibs & Roses. So maybe these were meant to be inspired by Valentine's Day, but we can certainly enjoy and appreciate them year-round. Nothing like a little bittersweet crunch and botanical garden inspiration on top of your morning (gluten-free) dough. Several donut recipes have a laundry list of 20+ ingredients, but I'm impressed by how minimal the ingredients are in this recipe, sweetened with things like pure maple syrup and coconut oil. Also, cacao is so rich in magnesium -- a mineral that we, especially women, are typically deficient in. Now you can get your fix with this naturally sweet treat and show your PMS who's boss.
See, eating well doesn't have to be so focused around these crazy magic bullet smoothies or kale salads all the damn time. With some simple shifts in your perspective and a conscious effort to be more mindful about the ingredients that you're putting into your body, you can enjoy these golden summer hours feeling lighter in the mind, which then translates to a naturally lighter body. Own it, because you can. And because you should.
Now, for some pancake stacks...
In love and cacao and cinnamon buns and non-dairy cream cheese and strong breakfast vibes.