My Favorite Store-Bought Salad Dressing

Happy Sunday, friends! Doesn't the weekend just seem to pass by in a flash? I feel like it was just Friday about five minutes ago! Even though it seemed to go by quickly, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was a good mix of having plans and relaxing - Friday night I headed out with a few of my friend's to celebrate one of my best galpal's birthdays, Saturday I went over to my sister's house for a bit, and today I just did some laundry and headed back over to my sister and brother-in-law's house to have them help me study for my personal training cert! 

Anyways, the main event of this post is to tell you guys about my absolute FAVORITE store bought salad dressing. As I was eating my salad at work this week I realized I hadn't shared this salad dressing with you all and immediately put it on my list for the post this week! Drum roll please ;P

tessemae-salad-dressing

My all-time favorite salad dressing is this homemade recipe I blogged about HERE, but when a gal's busy a store bought version is much easier, and that's where Tessamae's dressings come in. 

The story of how Tessamae's dressing came about goes something like this...

"As the mother of three athletic boys, Tesse had to figure out a way to get them to eat their veggies while staying healthy. Because serving a dressing full of artificial ingredients was not an option, she created and perfected her own all-natural recipe. When her oldest son, Greg, realized how great it was, he said, “Mom, let’s go into business together and make this for the world!” As Tessemae's All Natural grows its product line around the globe, the commitment to healthy eating and healthy living remains the core of the company's mission."

Pretty crazy, huh? Just a mom that was making salad dressing for her family's dinners and now it's their family's business, and a dang good one, too! So, what do I like about these dressings? First of all, they're all tasty, honestly I haven't had one that I don't like. Second of all, there's NO artificial ingredients or any of the typical junk in other salad dressings you'd buy. For example, her Caesar dressing has the following ingredients: 
Organic EEVO, organic lemon juice, organic apple cider vinegar, organic mustard, organic spices, organic coconut aminos, sea salt, organic balsamic vinegar, organic ginger, organic dates, organic onion powder, and organic garlic powder. 

I mean, compare those ingredients to a typical Caesar dressing you get off the shelf at the grocery store... you can't beat Tessamae's. The ingredients in Tessamae's dressings are REAL ingredients that we can recognize and pronounce, AND they're DELICIOUS! 

My favorite dressings are the Lemon Garlic, Balsamic, and the Caesar! All of Tessamae's dressings are also awesome to use as a marinade for chicken or other meats and fish. So, if you're looking for a healthy salad dressing to spice up your lunch or dinner, grab a bottle of Tessamae's the next time you're at the grocery store! I find mine at Whole Foods, but I'm sure they're in other stores as well.

Have you tried Tessamae's dressing before? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

How to Enjoy Holiday Food WITHOUT Overdoing It

Hello, hello! I apologize for my lack of posts this week. It's been crazy around here getting ready for Christmas! My Mom-Mom just flew in tonight from Florida, so I'm really trying to focus on spending time with her and the rest of my family. BUT I did want to stop by to chit-chat with you guys today about how you can enjoy yourself this holiday weekend, without completely overdoing it and feeling icky at the end of the night (AKA the food coma feeling). Like I've said before, I'm a firm believer in enjoying holiday food. Believe me, I'm not going to tell myself that I can't have some yummy mashed potatoes or Christmas cookies. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and you can still enjoy not-so-healthy food while remaining healthy! It's all about moderation, my friends. So, with that being said, here are my tips for you going into the holiday weekend. 

holiday-food-without-guilt

1. Take it easy on the appetizers.

I know for the holidays we all always put out a bunch of different appetizers, but be mindful when snacking. Make sure you keep tabs on yourself when eating those appetizers, because the calories will add up quickly, and you won't be able to enjoy your dinner if you're already full! Try to stick with veggies as your app if they're available, and be a bit lighter with the cheeses and dips. 

2. Fill your plate with veggies.

Try to fill half of your plate with veggies. This is always a good rule of thumb. If you do this, you'll have less room for those mashed potatoes and other not-so-healthy foods, and you'll fill up faster with your fiber-filled veggies!

3. Slow your roll.

Those cookies aren't going anywhere, friends! I've totally been guilty of this, but don't feel like you need to try each cookie or grab more than one right away. There will be plenty of cookies - they're not going anywhere! Choose one or two of your favorite cookies and truly take the time to enjoy them - mindful eating, my friends.

4. Bring a healthy dish.

If you're worried about having a healthy option, (whether it's an app, side dish, or dessert) bring one with you! By bringing a healthy dish to the holiday party, if you're not hosting, you'll make sure that you have something healthy to put on your plate. Bringing a big salad is an easy, affordable, and healthy option!  

5. Remember, water is your best friend.

It's easy to forget to drink water, especially during the busy holiday season. Make sure you're hydrating yourself over the next few days, AND especially on the day of your holiday parties. There's always plenty of wine and other drinks at holiday gatherings, but you should always try to sneak some water in. The more water we drink, the less water our bodies hold onto. That means less inflammation and puffiness AKA all the good things!

I hope that these tips help you stay on track this weekend, while still enjoying your favorite holiday foods. I hope to get back on here once more this week, but if not, Happy Holidays to all of you lovely people! It means so much to me that you stop by my little corner of the internet, and I'm so grateful for each one of you. 

Love,

 

 

Green Banana Muffins Recipe

Happy Monday, friends! I hope that your weekend was the perfect combination of fun and relaxing. It was my older sister, Alie's, birthday on Saturday so Friday night and Saturday morning I spent some time baking lemon ricotta cookies and a coffee cake for her Saturday night birthday dinner. We usually celebrate birthdays with dinner and cake at my parents' house, so that's what we did! It was a fun night because we got to talk a lot about my sister and soon to be brother-in-law's new house that they'll be moving into this upcoming weekend. My sister actually asked me to make my crockpot chex mix for move-in day, so I'll be whipping up a batch of that later this week. If you're looking for something easy to make for a holiday party definitely check out my post with my easy chex mix recipe clicking here!

I know I promised you all the recipe for my Mommom Minnow's Christmas cookies that I posted on Instagram stories last week, but I wanted to start off the week by sharing a healthy recipe. If you're looking for the Christmas cookie recipe, stay tuned! It should make its appearance by Wednesday.

green-banana-muffin-recipe

Alright, so I don't know about you, but it's about this time every year that I really need to get myself in check. I'm making loads of Christmas cookies and it seems like everywhere I go there's a high-calorie, unhealthy treat that looks way too delicious to pass up! So, I always know that around now is the time to pump up my intake of greens, lean proteins, and fruits. I've been trying to hop back onto the smoothie train, but when it's chillier out it's hard for me to want to sip a cold drink in the morning (or really at all during the day), and that's where I usually sneak in a good bit of greens. So, I started digging around for some other way to get some greens in, and voila! I stumbled upon Kristin Cavallari's Green Banana Muffin recipe. 

Yes, this recipe is from the Kristin Cavallari that appeared on Laguna Beach. Kind of funny, right? She actually has a new cookbook coming out sometime soon called True Roots, I believe. So, if you try out this recipe and like it, be on the lookout for the release of that book! Now, let's get into the recipe.

The ingredients you'll need are...

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup (no Log Cabin or anything with added sugar)
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 flax egg**
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 small or 2 large bananas)
spelt-flour-muffins

If you've never heard of spelt flour, it's a healthy ancient grain that can be used as a flour substitute. Spelt flour has TRIPLE the amount of fiber than white flour, and to be honest I don't think it tastes different - at least not in this recipe. I found mine at Target!

Also, to make your flax egg you're going to combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water. You'll let those two hang out in a bowl for about ten minutes, or until it becomes a gooey consistency. I'd never heard of a flax egg before this recipe, but the consistency of it does serve the purpose of a regular egg! 

Let's talk about how you'll make your green muffins...

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin cups with paper liners. 

2. In a large bowl, go ahead and sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a food processor or blender (I used my trusty Vitamix), combine the spinach, maple syrup, almond milk, flax egg, applesauce, and vanilla and blend it until completely pureed. 

3. Add the wet ingredients and the mashed banana to your dry ingredients and stir until it's well combined. 

4. Fill each of your muffin cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let your muffins cool for about ten minutes, and then enjoy!

green-muffins

Don't let the color of these muffins (or the amount of spinach) scare you off! I swear that these muffins are tasty, and you taste the banana flavor, not the spinach. You just get the added bonus of getting in some greens in a yummy muffin! I think next time I'll even add some walnuts or dark chocolate chips to the recipe, which would add to the flavor and consistency even more. Yum!

Let me know if you guys try out this recipe, I'd love to hear from you! 

Happy Baking :)

Why You Need To Ditch The "All or Nothing" Diet

Gooood morning! I hope your Wednesday is off to a good start. It's getting pretty chilly here and feeling more and more like Fall each day. Does anyone else have a lot of trouble getting up early when it's cold out? I swear I can wake up at 6:30/7AM like it's no big deal in the warmer months, but as soon as it's cold out it's so not fun to get out of bed so early! I just want to stay in my warm and cozy blankets. 

diet

I wanted to stop by today to chit-chat about a topic I think is important and probably affects a decent amount of people: the "all or nothing" diet. I'm completely guilty of practicing this "diet", not on purpose though. In high school I played volleyball competitively year-round, which meant practice 3x per week, and then I would work out at least two other days. I grew into the mindset that my diet had to be all or nothing - I had to go full on healthy and treating myself was a once per week type of thing. And guess what? It just wasn't sustainable. I eventually broke that "all or nothing" streak because sometimes a gal just wants a damn piece of cake instead of a tiny piece of dark chocolate after dinner, and sometimes said cake presents itself to you more than once per week...and who says no to cake? Not me. Okay, maybe sometimes, but you guys get the point. Like I've said from my very first blog post - I believe in following the "everything in moderation" rule, which I'll also refer to as the 90/10 rule sometimes (eat healthy 90% of the time).

I just think that you should ENJOY food. It shouldn't be stressful. You should feel totally fine treating yourself to a brownie or a piece of cake or french fries. I'm not saying you should treat yourself everyday, but you catch my drift, right? I'm talking about the type of scenario that you spontaneously go out after work with your friends on a weekday and you decide to get the nacho appetizer and a drink instead of eating your usual healthy food at home. You should feel okay about it, hey, you should feel good about it! Life is meant to be lived my friends, and living sometimes involves french fries. 

Choose to have a good relationship with food. Be healthy. Eat lots of greens, lean proteins, fruits and veggies, but don't, DO NOT, mark certain foods off limits. Do you really like oreos? Great! They don't need to be on your "no" list, they just can't appear in your diet everyday. Putting foods on your "no" list creates a negative and resentful feeling, which may ultimately end up in you binging one night on a whole lot of oreos (which may be delicious at the time, but not so good later). Just know that it's okay to treat yourself (treat yoself) here and there. It's not cheating, it's treating, because you wouldn't cheat in a relationship right? So why would you associate a negative word with your relationship with food and health? Treating yourself has a much more positive feeling surrounding it. 

I truly believe that you'll be able to sustain healthier eating habits this way. Why? Because you won't feel like you're on a diet. You can still eat your favorite treat here and there. That, my friends, is a lifestyle change, not a diet :) 

Thank you guys for reading today's blog post! I hope that you were able to relate to it or that it got you thinking a bit. If you want to discuss this topic further, feel free to email me at joyfullyjennablog@gmail.com. I would love to chat with you!

Treat yoself today!

Jenna

Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, & Flax Seeds...Oh My!

Helllo, guys! I hope that your week is off to a great start. It's starting to feel a little bit like Fall around here, and I am not mad about it. I don't know about you, but I've had enough of the hot, humid, and sticky summer days. I'm ready for some crisp mornings, chilly nights, cozy sweaters, and sitting by a fire. :D

In today's post I wanted to give you guys the lowdown on chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds. I'm sure that you may have heard of each of these mighty seeds, but do you know what they really are or how to use them? If not, read on!

mightyseeds

Chia Seeds

Let's start off with ch-ch-chia seeds! Sorry, I had to :) anyone else remember those commercials for chia pets? Anyways, what really are chia seeds? These small but mighty seeds come from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia Hispanica and date back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and it's said that the Mayan and Aztec cultures would use chia seeds as an energy booster, which make sense since the seeds are packed with omega-3s, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. You go, chia seeds!

Two tablespoons of these mighty seeds contain 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor which makes it easy to add them to smoothies, yogurt, cereals, and rice dishes. Personally, my favorite way to use them is to add them into my Vitamix with my other smoothie ingredients and blend it on up! 

Some say that chia seeds can aid in weight loss, due to the seeds taking on fluid which may cause them to "expand" in your stomach, keeping you fuller longer. However, research has found no direct relationship between consuming chia seeds and weight loss. BUT, adding chia seeds to your diet is still a great thing to do, as they can add a great deal of nutrition to your diet!

Last thing to mention about chia seeds: If you're allergic to sesame or mustard seeds, on blood pressure medication, or on blood thinners, you should check with your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet. 

Hemp Seeds

Alright, next up are hemp seeds. If you're a vegetarian, hemp seeds are a great way to add in some extra protein into your diet! These little seeds give you the complete nutritional power of hemp with their blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, high fiber content, amino acids, and magnesium. Magnesium can help with relaxation, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and even osteoporosis. I mean, pretty awesome, right?

Three tablespoons of hemp seeds give you 10 grams of protein (not too shabby), 14 grams of fat (this comes from those omegas so it's good fat), and 2 grams of fiber. So, while chia seeds are higher in fiber, hemp seeds are higher in protein. 

You can sprinkle these mighty seeds on top of your salad, in your smoothie, or even mix them in with your yogurt! 

Flax Seeds

Last, but certainly not least: flax seeds. I think that flax seeds may be most well known out of the three seeds we're chatting about. You can find flax in a lot of pre-packaged food like frozen waffles, crackers, and oatmeal. I bet if you haven't noticed that before, you will now!

Flax seeds are known for their omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (weird word, I know), and fiber. One tablespoon of ground flax seed has about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s and the lignans in flax seeds have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants = awesome. 10 points for flax seeds! The fiber in flax seeds also help things to keep moving through our digestive system which is super important! 

Research has found that consuming flax seeds can reduce risks of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and even lung disease. I mean, flax seeds seem pretty great to me...I'm in! 

Make sure to buy ground flax seed, not the whole flax seeds when you pick yourself up a bag of this magical seed. I like to throw my ground flax seed in my smoothie - you won't be able to taste it at all!

Alright, so there ya have it! I hope that this post was helpful for you and that you can now say you know what each mighty seed is, their nutritional content, and how to incorporate them into your diet. Thanks so much for reading, guys, it means a lot!

Question of the Day: What's your favorite way to incorporate these seeds into your diet? 

Jenna