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With warm weather months approaching, many of you are wanting to lose weight to feel great and swimsuit-ready in time for Summer…

Due to recent fad diets and trends, many of you think you need to omit ALL carbs and “treats” from your diet… This is FALSE!

While stripping refined starches (like white bread, pastas, cakes, and cookies) can be helpful in losing weight, omitting ALL CARBS out of your diet is not necessary.

Healthy, gluten-free options, like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and oatmeal are all Balanced Beauty APPROVED… In fact, these items provide you with fiber to keep you fuller for longer, which actually HELPS YOU stay on-track with your goals to lose weight!

These carbs are all slow digesting, will not spike your insulin levels (which causes weight-gain) and will even help your muscles recover from your workouts.

If you want to LOSE WEIGHT and KEEP IT OFF for good, a BALANCED approach to your meal and snack choices is key. Instead of depriving yourself of the foods you love, opt for substitutes and try healthier cooking alternatives.

Extreme, restrictive diets may work short-term or for temporary fixes, but if you want to feel great, enjoy your meals and create a healthy sustainable lifestyle, I encourage you to think HEALTHY, HAPPY and LONG-TERM.

For example, let’s look at 3 CLIENT FAVORITE FOODS: PIZZA,  PASTA & ICE CREAM….

PIZZA:

  • What you’re eating NOW: White crust, cheese pizza with pepperoni
  • Healthier alternative: Gluten-Free crust, cheese pizza; Using Cauliflower, Rice, Potato etc for crust
  • Even Healthier alternative: Veggie crust, cheese pizza; Baked at home using Eggplant or Portobello Mushroom as a crust– Topping with low-fat cheese, other veggies and even a healthy protein like grilled chicken

PASTA:

  • What you’re eating NOW: White flour pasta
  • Healthier alternative: Gluten-Free pasta, made from chickpea, brown rice, or lentils
  • Even Healthier alternative: Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini noodles

ICE CREAM:

  • What you’re eating NOW: Popular brands Ben & Jerrys, Haagen-Dazs or Edys
  • Healthier alternative: Halo Top, Breyer’s All Natural Vanilla, Arctic Zero
  • Even Healthier alternative: Frozen banana, Greek Yogurt, Frozen Yogurt with Cashew Milk

In The Balanced Beauty world, it’s key to realize you can still have the flavors and textures you love and enjoy, but modified to make healthier. These small changes made to your diet over time WILL add-up …and YES- YOU CAN eat “Pizza, Pasta and Ice Cream” and STILL lose weight!

Today, I am sharing with you one of my favorite bread alternatives, CORN BREAD.

Corn meal, the basic ingredient of corn bread, is a whole grain. Whole-grain foods provide needed fiber for the diet, which not only helps to regulate bowel movements and to keep you regular, but also to absorb cholesterol and lower blood sugars as they move through the digestive system.

This is a great option because it has a touch of sweetness that can be a great breakfast substitute (for your typical muffins, danishes, bagels or pastries) or as a dessert substitute, since it has a touch of sweetness and cake-like texture.

#CrazyForCornBread RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/4 cup of gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of yellow corn meal
  • 2/3 cup of sugar (or sugar substitute like 4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

*If you do not want to or have the time to make from scratch, STONEWALL KITCHEN makes an excellent Gluten-Free product… I have tried many and I like this one best.

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine ingredients.
  • Pour batter into greased pan (I use Olive Oil or Coconut Oil Spray) and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve plain or with yogurt and berries for extra touch of sweetness and some added protein

For a touch of sweetness, add berries to your batter or make in cupcake tins- for corn muffins. . .

Same healthy taste, with an alternative/more portable bite.

This also makes a great, portion-sized, option on-the-go or for your kids lunches/after-school snacks!

The Balanced Beauty recipes are crafted to help you stay on-track with your health and weight-loss goals, while still enjoying the foods you love… Healthier options and substitutes provided will help you make easier lifestyle transitions, in a way you do not feel deprived– yet still give you the results you desire, that can last for the long-term!

Have a favorite family recipe you would like to make healthier? Email Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com and your recipe just may be featured!

+ Follow @1BalancedBeauty for daily healthy inspiration and tips to stay on-track!

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Who doesn’t love Chinese take-out? It can be a delicious, inexpensive, fast way to get dinner on your table at the end of a long work day…

Steamed chicken, brown rice and veggies is a health Balanced Beauty-approved option; but what happens when we REALLY want the fried rice and the sweet & sour chicken, but we know the way most Chinese take-out restaurants prepare and cook these items are not in-line with our “healthy” goals?…..We feel deprived and crave these items even more!

That’s why I have crafted a sample idea of how you can transform your favorite cheat-meal into a healthy one, with flavors that can be easily prepared and enjoyed any time!

Below is my recipe for “SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN WITH FRIED CAULIFLOWER ‘RICE’,” which is all-natural, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, high protein and low carb. Perfect to satisfy your cravings and waistline at once!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower or 5 to 6 cups riced cauliflower (…to keep dinner quick and convenient, start this meal with a bag of store-bought cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen will work- found at Trader Joes or any all natural food store).
  • 8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices, optional* can use turkey bacon/ mostly used for added flavor)
  • Photo Cred: Emma Christensen

    2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews, almonds, or other nuts (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pack of chicken (legs, chicken breasts, small cubes- preparation all based on your preference)*
  • Pineapple juice, light brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup + soy sauce, whisked with cornstarch until thickened = homemade sweet and sour sauce– Or you can purchase sweet & sour sauce from Trader Joes or any Whole Foods store. Just read labels and make sure there is no high fructose corn syrup or other artificial ingredients listed.
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Sweet & Sour Chicken

    Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, until crisped and browned. Using tongs, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, coarsely chop and set aside.

  2. Place the pan back over medium-high heat. Place the eggs in a small bowl, whisk to break up, then pour into the pan. Quickly scramble the eggs and then transfer eggs to a cutting board and coarsely chop; set aside.
  3. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels and add 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the

    Photo Cred: Emma Christensen

    carrots and sauté until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the corn, peas, and cups of cauliflower “rice,” and stir to thoroughly combine.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the reserved bacon and eggs, scallions, nuts if using, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce or 1 tablespoon tamari. Taste and add more soy sauce or tamari to taste.
  5. As cauliflower rice is cooking, sauté,  bake or grill your chicken on medium heat and cook until golden brown. Pour over a glaze of desired sweet & sour (or other) sauce to taste (preparing chicken this way is much healthier than take-out options, which is often deep-fried or served with tempura batter)*
  6. Serve chicken and “rice” together– as the perfect low carb, high protein, gluten-free dish! ….Veggies, bacon and optional nuts will help add in flavor, texture and keep you satisfied for longer… Mix it up and make new combinations, in line with your goals- And the more veggies, the better!

 

  

 The Balanced Beauty enjoys crafting healthy recipes that serve as substitutes to some of our favorite guilty-pleasures (like take-out Chinese food).

If YOU have a favorite cuisine or dish you would like to make healthier and learn of Balanced Beauty-approved substitutes, Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com and your recipe idea can be featured next!

As always, thank you for following. I hope this recipe helps you stay on-track with your new year’s health goals! …Let’s all MARCH FORWARD keeping these healthy choices going!!!

YOU GOT THIS!!!… And remember to Follow @1BalancedBeauty on insta for daily inspiration and other healthy recipe ideas!

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! 

Whether you are in a relationship, single and ready to mingle, or totally independent – this is a day everyone should recognize, honor and celebrate!…

Why?… Because  — LOVE is the greatest power in the Universe!

When your heart is open and welcomes the feelings of LOVE, you are in a state of “feeling good,” and it is with this feel-good energy that you are in a state of creation, and can accomplish anything you put your mind to!

Here are my “Top 5 Balanced Beauty LOVE Tips” to embrace the SPIRIT of Valentines!
  1. Think of LOVE as your ENERGY — as FUEL! …Let it fill you, lift and guide you!
  2. SELF-LOVE is very important because the way you treat, speak, and view yourself, is the energy you

    …A dose of UNCONDITIONAL Love!

    project to the world… Want others to love you? It starts with YOU loving YOU first! …FUEL up on LOVE by surrounding yourself with things you enjoy… This can be as simple as wearing your favorite color (pink and red might especially do the trick this week).

  3. The LOVE you GIVE is the love you receive. This is the law of the Universe (some call it “Karma”). Be very aware of your thoughts and what you are putting “out” because you WILL receive this energy back in some form.
  4. Kindness, Consideration, Support, Positivity and LOVE can help transform someone’s day — It can create a domino effect…Your one simple act CAN impact the lives of MANY! Consider a “random act of kindness” this Valentines — you never know just who, or how many people, you may be helping, changing and transforming.
  5. The experience of giving, serving and doing for others will fill your heart with the most LOVE. Think of Valentines Day as the opportunity to give your BEST to others… Share your heart and be open to receiving in return. This is a high-energy day where others should be more receptive to this kind of exchange.

Many of us don’t ALLOW or let love in— I invite you to be extra vulnerable this time of year, because it is only when you are OPEN and TRUSTING, that you can truly FEEL and EXPERIENCE love in its purest form….

LOVE is healthy & most healing to the body!

If you have been hurt in a relationship, use techniques of SELF-LOVE to build back your confidence and trust (either solo or with your partner). Look at what happened in the relationship as a learning experience. Use it as a tool to see all you want and don’t want moving forward (in your current or next relationship). Often times things break a part to build back together STRONGER. We go through loss, pain and heartache only to help pave the path we are meant to be on, with the people we belong with. When there is a breakdown, typically this is caused by a LACK of love….To resolve the issue, view the situation from a loving lens. Choose positivity and infuse LOVE back into the relationship, to heal and move forward better than ever before!

Lastly, and most importantly— the people who are nasty, unkind, rude, aggressive, gossipy,  toxic (and the ones who likely “hate Valentines Day”) are the ones who likely need love the most! When you come across someone stuck in this energy or mindset, try wishing them well and do your best to be extra patient, kind and loving.

…And YES, I agree— this Holiday can be a bit “Hallmark” but it’s not about expensive gifts — it’s about recognizing, sharing and celebrating the greatest power in the Universe…. It’s the ONE DAY in the year we can all come together, honor and vibrate high on LOVE!!!

And like the fairy-tales- it’s true— When you have LOVE, you feel like you have it all!

In case no one told you yet today:

LOVE is the greatest power of all!

I LOVE YOU!

YOU’RE INTELLIGENT!
YOU’RE KIND!
YOU’RE STRONG!
YOU’RE POWERFUL!
YOU’RE IMPORTANT!
YOU’RE APPRECIATED!
YOU’RE NEEDED!!
YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, inside & out!
…Now say all of that back but change it to “I AM” and be in that state of SELF-LOVE & GOOD FEELING-VIBES for the week!

HEALTH COACHING #RELATIONSHIPS – Relationships are an integral part of your health. The type of relationships, how you BALANCE your relationships and the role you play within them. 

Are you someone trying to heal from a relationship? Someone looking to attract a new relationship/your “dream partner”? …Work with me! Customized Coaching options available; “RELATIONSHIPS” is a speciality area I LOVE working with clients on!!!!
Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com for rates/scheduling info!
You are worthy of great, powerful, transformative LOVE!
XO Happy Valentines,
Coach Aly
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I am constantly looking to make health/gluten-free versions of favorite foods…

And who isn’t obsessed with warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies?! …If you’re like me though, most of the batter never makes it into the oven because let’s face it– the cookie dough is the best part!

That’s why I am SUPER excited to share this SUPER BOWL SNACK, that will be a total crowd pleaser. It’s delicious but gluten-free, vegan, guilt-free and it may just be the best recipe I have ever discovered, which is why I HAD to share with you all for one of the best FOOD DAYS of the year, GAME DAY!

Healthy Cookie Dough (Chickpea) Dip

The recipe has been featured by Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, CNN, Shape, Glamour, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post; and it has inspired bloggers everywhere to post their own versions of the now-famous dip on their blogs…I am sticking to the original made by, “Chocolate Covered Katie.” Feel free to add in ingredients to make your own versions, but start with this classic and you have a WINNING treat- Totally BALANCED BEAUTY approved!

Other than this tasting amazing, TOTAL (NON-COOK) TIME = 10 MINUTES!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • just over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (If you use peanut butter, it will have a slight PB-cookie dough taste/ I prefer almond butter)
  • Up to 1/4 cup milk of choice, only if needed (I recommend almond milk)
  • Sweetener of choice (see notes below)*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or sugar-free chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp oats or flaxmeal

Sweetener Notes:Originally recipe used 2/3 cup brown sugar. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, honey, evaporated cane juice etc.) were listed as fine options as well. Some people use just 3 tbsp for the whole recipe– When I made this, I used coconut sugar!

INSTRUCTIONS- 1 STEP!
  1. Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) into a good food processor and process until very smooth… Then mix the chocolate chips at the end!

Some have had success with a blender, but I did not. Try that at your own risk and know the results will be better in a high-quality food processor, such as a Cusinart. If made correctly and blended long enough, this should have the exact same texture of real cookie dough!

Other optional ingredients: marshmallows, nuts, raisins, coconut flakes– And/Or gluten-free graham crackers or cookies to dip!
Wishing you a happy, healthy SUPER BOWL WEEKEND- Enjoy!

+ Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com if there is a favorite food you want a healthy alternative recipe for! …If you have discovered or created a recipe of your own, send recipes and photos- I LOVE TO FEATURE your Balanced Beauty’s creations!!!

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This Holiday season I was gifted with an, “Instant-Pot.”

“If you live a fast-paced, healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle Instant Pot is designed for you.”

According to reviews, this pot will cook food up to 70% faster, easier to use than other slow-cookers/machines, and uses stainless steel for healthier cooking (no chemical coating).

Naturally, I had to give this new Balanced-Beauty-Baby a try; And am happy to report my first experience and recipe was a total SUCCESS!

This makes a wonderful gift or registry item for Brides… I highly recommend this product for NEW meals in the NEW YEAR- An efficient way to kick-off cooking in 2019! (#NewObsession)

This machine is for someone who doesn’t have time to waste but wants a flavorful, delicious, east-to-make meal. My Balanced Beauty instruction when using this machine is simply:

  1. Plug in
  2. Dump in your ingredients
  3. Hit the button and pretend your Martha Stewart.

Purchased alongside recipe book, “Every Day Instant Pot” by Alexis Mersel– I selected a recipe I have only ever been able to order in a restaurant…(because I always thought there would be no chance I could actually pull off a rich, flavorful Indian meal).

“Chicken Tikka Masala” is a flavorful dish made with Indian spices, chicken, cauliflower, tomatoes, and cream… Traditionally slow-cooked for hours to bring out all the flavors and spices, and served over rice.

Why is this an AWESOME Balanced Beauty Recipe?…It’s a chicken dish that’s PACKED with flavor but totally healthy. Loaded with healthy protein, veggies, and rice (a gluten-free carb) this meal will help you feel full and satisfied (…It’s especially great post-workout). The BALANCE of ingredients and spices will also boost metabolism and ward off ailments, like muscle inflammation and the common cold during this winter season.

Here’s the Balanced Beauty Approved RECIPE– Along with my recommendation to try out new methods of cooking like this, to save time and create healthy, delicious meals for your entire family!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (found in health food store/trader joes)*
    • What is GHEE? Despite its reputation as an unhealthy kitchen ingredient (due to its fat content) it is actually healthy if eaten in the right proportion and can actually help you lose weight and burn belly fat compared to butter— Omega-6 fatty acids can also help increase lean body mass and reduce fat mass, which in turn aids weight loss.
  • 1 yellow diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into 2 inch cubes (or tofu)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or coconut creamer
  • Steamed white or brown rice for serving*
DIRECTIONS:

If using an Instant-Pot:

  • Select Saute on the Instant-Pot and melt the ghee. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, cinnamon, garam masala, smoked paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper and cook– stirring until fragrant (should smell INCREDIBLE).
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cauliflower. Press cancel to reset the program.
  • Lock the lid and turn the valve to seal. Press the PRESSURE COOK button and set the time to 10 minutes to cook at high pressure.
  • Turn the valve to venting to quick-release the steam. Carefully remove the lid and stir in the cream, with any additional salt/pepper to season to taste.
  • Spoon rice over individual plates and top with chicken/veggies to serve!

If not using an instant-pot, you can still take the same wonderful ingredients and steps by cooking over a stove-top in a sauté pan…. Just cook ingredients longer to ensure thoroughly cooked-through. For more intense flavors, allow to sit longer or pre-marinade chicken in spices before cooking.

Like this recipe? Want more like these? Like, Comment, or reach out to let me know- I love hearing from you!

@1BalancedBeauty on Instagram/ Twitter

Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com

Thank you and MAJOR shout-out to the creators of Instant Pot and to Alexis Mersel on the fabulous recipe… I look forward to testing out the next and sharing my favorites!

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If you are ever in need of a hearty salad, this is one of my favorite Balanced Beauty combinations… It’s flavorful, simple, and has a touch of both sweet and salty flavors! It is completely filling on its own or it can be used as a perfect side to any protein.

Lentils are legumes which are high in dietary fiber at 16 grams per cup ( brown rice contains just 2 grams in a cup). They are also a great source of protein! This salad is perfect for those who are gluten-free, vegan/ vegetarian, or those trying to lose weight, as it will definitely keep you full and satisfied!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Spinach
  • Cooked Lentils- Warm
  • Sliced red, yellow and orange peppers
  • Feta (or favorite cheese substitute)*
  • Cubed Avocado
  • Sliced Green Olives
  • Green Goddess Dressing*

*Dressing can be found at Trader Joes or is simply made of following ingredients, which you can easily add in / make on your own: Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Onions, Lemon Juice, Chives, Parsley, Olive Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend, Basil, Garlic, Sea Salt and Black Pepper.

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pre-cook lentils, season as desired (I use olive oil, salt & pepper)
  2. Put into large bowl, mixing in spinach leaves as desired
  3. Continue mixing adding in all other ingredients
  4. When ready to eat, pour in and mix dressing
  5. Serve warm/room temp or refrigerate to serve chilled — Works as both a warm or cold salad!

*Add radishes or other veggies to add bright, vibrant colors- The more colorful, the more health benefits and happier you feel!

Follow on Insta/Twitter: @1BalancedBeauty

All recipes are designed with YOU in mind!

Simple ingredients. Easy to make… ALWAYS flavorful- ALWAYS gluten-free & ALWAYS Balanced Beauty approved, to help you lose weight, stay on-track with goals and feel great!

Questions? Comments? I LOVE hearing from YOU! Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com
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