Food Relationships & Cravings

Why do you eat food? Is it for satisfaction, nurture, or simply because you want to? The answer that you have for this question completely determines where you are in your health and wellness journey.

I have been in a place where I simply eat because I wanted to. Whether it was something that I loved and was addicted too (candy and soda) or I ate for satisfaction of a craving. Typically when we get cravings for food it is for food items that are high in sugar and fats. Ultimately, this will make maintaining a healthy and balance diet a challenge.

You may be wondering what causes food cravings? There are a few different factors that can cause food cravings such as imbalances hormones (leptin and serotonin). Generally, when you are craving something it your body telling you that something is missing.

Check out this food cravings chart provided by http://www.stepintomygreenworld.com to get a better understanding of your cravings, what you need, and what you need to eat instead.

As I grow in my relationship with food I have become more in tune with my body and the nutrients that it requires. My relationship with food is to eat to nurture. For the last week I have been eating a high fat and protein diet and as a result I feel full longer. This has completely curved my cravings for snacks.

Here is an example of what my daily meal plan consists of:

Breakfast: Egg Whites, Green Tea w/ Heavy Cream

Lunch: Ground Turkey, Sauteed Kale

Dinner: Ground Turkey & Cauliflower Rice or a Cobb Salad

Snack: Strawberries w/ almond butter or sunflower seeds (if needed)

Along with my planned meals I also drink 1 gallon of water a day. If I do want to enjoy something other than water I will drink tea (unsweetened) or green tea (unsweetened) w/ heavy cream. My biggest focus when it comes to health and wellness is to eat REAL FOOD. If you focus on eating real food, you really do not have to worry about consuming too many sugars or carbs. Real food is not processed.

If you are struggling with eliminating or reducing sugars or complex carbs out of your diet I would recommend for you to try to incorporate meals consisting of meats and vegetables. Refrain from any artificial or processed foods. This is the easiest and simplest way to get on the right track when it comes to living a healthier life.

Share with me your relationship with food in the comments below.

Erica ❤

How To: Keto Dalgona Coffee | No Sugar Dalgona Coffee Recipe Remake

Dalgona coffee has become popular overnight because of Tik Tok. I have seen hundreds of videos sweep across social media with everyone making dalgona coffee. For those of you that may not have seen or heard of dalgona coffee before today, dalgona coffee is a whipped coffee loaded with sugar. Hence, the name dalgona- meaning … “sweet”in Korean.

This is the perfect sweet coffee treat for anyone who enjoys a rich, thick, and boldly sweet coffee. When I saw the first video I immediately wanted to attempt to remake this but I just didn’t want to indulge in the sugar rush. But, thanks to Joe Duff from The Diet Chef, who posted a keto remake of dalgona coffee. When I came across his post today I scanned my pantry for the ingredients which I will share below and began making this sweet treat.

I am going to share with you The Diet Chef’s recipe on how to recreate a keto dalgona coffee. This is perfect for anyone who is monitoring their sugar intake or has diet restrictions to minimize and/or avoid sugar. This recipe fits into my diet and I am happy that it was simple and easy to recreate.

Let’s get started…

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 2 Tbsp Instant Coffee
  • 5 Tbsp Swerve Confectioners
  • Almond Milk
  • Timer

Instructions

Add all of the above ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Set timer for 5 minutes. Whisk ingredients for a minimum of 5 minutes or until ingredients turn into a whipped mousse.

Mixing ingredients into a whipped mousse

** Please be advised**Time will vary based on how strong and fast your arm is with whipping.

Pouring whipped mousse into glass

Once, the ingredients reach the consistency of a whipped mousse, add ice in your glass cup. Add unsweetened almond milk to fill about 3/4 of your glass. Scrape your whipped coffee out of the bowl into your glass. To finish off preparing this delicious coffee, use a stirrer to mix the whipped coffee into your glass of ice and almond milk. Voilà! Once fully mixed your keto dalgona coffee is ready to be enjoyed!

If you enjoyed this keto recipe, please head on over and check out The Diet Chef to discover more keto- low carb recipes.

❤ Erica

Weekend Recap | Sunday Self Care

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I consider Sunday to be the start of my week, not Monday. Sunday is the day where I typically get all of my planning done for the week ahead, laundry, meal prep, and grocery shopping. Oh, and I never forget to end Sunday with a little self care.

Journey with me on my weekend recap:

Grocery Shopping

Target

This weekend my husband and I decided to grocery shop on Friday instead of Sunday due to the hysteria surrounding a potential America lockdown, due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Even when we went out on Friday, the shelves at all of our local stores were bare. But, we managed to get all of our usuals like every week. It was unbelievable to see all empty shelves where all the basics (bread, water, cheese) and toiletries once use to be.

Baby Andrew secured the paper towels in the cart.

Meal Prep

Spaghetti

Starting meal prep for this upcoming week is spaghetti. Instead of prepping for the entire week (Monday-Thursday), I decided to only prepare for two days at a time. Through trial and error of meal prepping I found that we would often get tired of what I have prepped by day two or three. Instead of wasting food I decided to meal prep for a few days at a time. By day two or three I can always switch up dinner with something new. Generally, I stick with main base throughout the week. This week my planned meals are based with ground beef.

For later in the week I have planned to make either chili over rice or taco bowls. Basic main ingredient (ground beef) but we have options to tweak the menu with three different dinner options. This keeps the picky eater protesters hushed in my household. But, honestly I also get tired of eating the same thing after day three.

Planning my meal preps for the week with a variety has been very efficient and successful. It still saves me a lot of time from cooking daily in the kitchen and we aren’t wasting food.

Self Care

Check out this amazing skin mask I picked up at Target on clearance. This Que Bella Skin Brightening Papaya Peel Off Face Mask is only $1.99. And the smell is amazing. It smells fruity, just like a papaya. It was a plus that this was actually on clearance at my local Target. I always pick up a few of these every time I go to Target for Sunday nights like this. There’s nothing better or more refreshing that giving yourself a facial or face mask treatment.

A little self care goes a long way. It is a great way to take care of yourself as you move into a new week, a fresh start. After removing my make up tonight I cleansed my face and then spread this peel off face mask on my face with my fingertips. I let it sit for 30 minutes while I loaded the dryer and folded clothes. After 30 minutes, I peeled off the mask and rinsed my face with cold water. I must say… my skin feels amazing and is glowing. This mask even reduced some redness I had been experiencing. I definitely will continue to purchase the Que Bella face masks from Target. This brand is my favorite and works well with my sensitive skin.

Hulu & Chill / Late Night Snack

To conclude my Sunday night, I am curled up on the couch with hubby watching US (2019 film) by Jordan Peele. It’s a awesome movie, go watch if you have not seen it yet. I must warn you that it is a typical Jordan Peele film, good but MIND BLOWING.

My late night snack of choice is fresh strawberries loaded with heavy whipped cream.

I am feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Before bed I will sneak in at least fifteen minutes of reading. That always helps me quiet my mind and fall asleep.

~

How are you ending your weekend?

What does your Sunday ritual look like?

Erica ❤

Matcha Green Tea Review |Health Benefits

I am sure many of you have seen matcha green tea pictures flooding your social media feeds. Matcha is so popular that it has made the menu at Starbucks and other local coffee shops. Much of the popularity is due to many health benefits. Notable heath benefits from the consumption of matcha green tea include: high antioxidants, boosts brain function, helps prevent cancer, help protect liver, promotes heart heart, and aids in weight loss.

You may be wondering, “Exactly… what is matcha?”. Matcha, much like green tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. The process for the harvesting of matcha tea is pretty interesting and involves covering the tea plant for 20-30 days before harvest in order to avoid direct sunlight. This process then increases chlorophyll production which aids in increasing the amino acid produced by the plant. Physically this causes the plant leaf to darken. Once harvested, the leaves are grounded into a fine powder (matcha powder). Despite only the leaves being grounded up into powder, matcha contains all of the nutrients from the entire leaf. This causes for a higher caffeine content, compared to to traditional green tea.

I personally love green tea. Green tea is always refreshing and I definitely would describe matcha green tea as a refreshing beverage, particularly when iced. If you are looking for a morning boost, without coffee- this is the drink for you. I must say that if your taste buds are like mine, it will take a few sips to get adjusted to. The initial taste is very earthy. I ordered a grande iced matcha green tea from Starbucks just to see how I would like it. Ordering a grande was a good idea. Matcha green tea is great but is not meant to be consumed in high quantity. I did sip on my grande all morning and I honestly felt more alert and clear minded.

This drink is like a human power booster. I don’t normally like to try new things but I am satisfied that I did. This year, 2020 I am working on trying new things as I continue to improve my health and well being.

Please share with me in the comment whether or not you have or will try matcha green tea. If you have tired it, tell me your thoughts. Do you like it? Who has the best matcha?

I am also interested in what brand you buy for those who make their matcha green tea at home.

Drop a comment with your favorite or local coffee shop.

BLWE ❤

Sunday Meal Prep: Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, Asparagus, Lentils, Green Beans w/ Peppers & Onions

Menu Items:

  • Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils
  • Green Beans w/ Peppers & Onions

Ingredients:

  • 8 Boneless/ Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 bag of frozen Asparagus
  • 1 bag of frozen Green Beans
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peppers & onions
  • 1/2 bag of dry lentil beans
  • Lemon Garlic Marinade
  • Chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Seasonings: Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt with Parsley, Black Pepper, Mediterranean Sea Salt

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a well rested and relaxing weekend. I was very undecided about this weeks meal prep and did not have it planned like I typically do. It wasn’t until Saturday morning, when I was browsing around Wegmans when I decided what I wanted to prepare.

As many of you know there is 16 days left until my due date. However, my contractions are getting closer and more frequent so hubby and I are kinda on standby. Therefore, I wanted to prepare something quick and easy. Also, I didn’t want to prepare something that can easily go to waste if baby does decide to make his appearance this week.

This weeks meal was perfect under the circumstances. Last night I marinated the chicken thighs in a lemon garlic marinade. I also seasoned the chicken thighs with Italian and garlic parsley seasonings. When it was time to prep this evening the chicken was seasoned and ready to be placed in the air fryer. The chicken thighs air fried for 30 minutes on 370 degrees. While, the chicken cooked I mixed the green beans and some peppers/onions in a pot on the stove top with some melted butter and allowed them to steam for about 15-20 minutes. In another pot on the stove top I had my lentils cooking in some water with a chicken flavored bouillon cubes and a little pepper and Mediterranean sea salt. Lastly, I tossed my frozen steam-able asparagus in the microwave for a quick 4 minutes. Voila! – another successful meal prep.

Tips & Recommendations:

Meal prepping does not have to be hard. I despise spending hours prepping dishes and slaving in the kitchen to prepare various dishes. I personally like the convenience of frozen vegetables since they don’t spoil and are ready to go (requires no cutting). I also dislike washing a lot of pots and pans. Thus, the air fryer comes in handy when cooking meat. The air fryer is also very easy to clean afterwards. I typically aim to only have 1-2 pots to wash and I clean up as I go in the kitchen and load our dishwasher as needed. I strive to keep the sink open and clear. These are just some quick tips and recommendations to make your meal prepping experience more successful.

What are you cooking for this week? Share below in the comments below-

FLWE ❤

Sunday Meal Prep: Chicken, Broccoli, w/ Rice & Cheese Casserole

Menu Items:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Chicken Flavored Broccoli Rice
  • Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 bags of frozen Broccoli Cuts
  • 2 packs of Chicken Flavored Broccoli Rice
  • 1 medium bag of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 stick of Salted Butter
  • Seasonings: Black Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Parsley, Garlic Salt

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter Sunday! This weeks meal prep was simple and did not require much prep. I used our steamer to steam the chicken and broccoli and I cooked the rice on the stove top. Once everything was finished I mixed everything together for the week. This meal only took about 60 minutes to make. I have really been craving broccoli and cheese and wanted to incorporate some protein and fats into my diet as well. It is a nice casserole styled dish that will only require heating up throughout the week. The key ingredient is the butter which will keep everything moist throughout the week.

Hubby and I have started a new habit of waking up early on Saturday mornings and completing our grocery shopping. We absolutely love it! We are out shopping while people are sleeping in and we are back home with a full day ahead of us before 7:30 am. I even look forward to taking a mid morning nap on Saturdays now.

Do you have a particular day when you complete your grocery shopping and meal prep? Please share your routine.

FLWE ❤

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings

While you may classify your love for coffee as an “addiction,” it more than likely is just a dependence. It is really not that difficult to kick your coffee habit to the curb or at least have more control over your coffee craving.

One aspect to keep in mind is that caffeine withdrawal does not last that long and your body will naturally reset itself after a free weeks of abstinence from consuming coffee. Yes, you may experience some side effects such as: headaches, tiredness, irritability, and trouble concentrating are all are temporary and will resolve on its own. The longer you successfully refrain from coffee, your tolerance for caffeine will also decrease.

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings:

  1. Quit Cold Turkey: Remind yourself that symptoms of withdrawal are only temporary. Symptoms can range mild to severe and will very individually. Some people may find it challenging to function normally and others may be able to work through the sudden transition. Withdrawal normally occurs within 12-24 hours after your last cup of coffee. The majority of withdrawal symptoms will peak after two days without caffeine but could potentially last up to ten days.
  2. Gradually Give it Up: If you are not willing to quit cold turkey, fearful of the symptoms you may encounter- slowly begin to reduce your coffee intake each day. You can even replace coffee with another caffeinated beverage that has lower caffeine. For example, the average cup (8 oz.) of coffee has about 95-200 mg of caffeine; a cup (8 oz.) of tea has about 14-60 mg of caffeine. Making a simple change, tea over coffee can assist with weaning you off of coffee.
  3. Break your Coffee Routine: If drinking coffee has become a daily routine breaking your habit is as simple as altering your routine. Instead of enjoying a cup of regular coffee you may want to opt for decaf in the morning. Another option, would be to replace your morning coffee with another beverage (tea or breakfast smoothie).

If you are struggling to break your coffee craving please share what you think causes the setback in your life? Is it the taste that you crave or the experience? Do you drink coffee for social reasons? I would love to learn more about your thoughts and experience with coffee cravings.

If you have successfully overcame your coffee dependence please share what worked for you.

FLWE ❤