With work, your kids heading off to school, and AM gym visits, the mornings can be seriously rushed sometimes. You sleep a few minutes through your alarm, get caught up figuring out your outfit, or take a little extra time to clean up the kitchen, and suddenly you’re running late.
Breakfast can be the easiest thing to skip in your morning routine… but it shouldn’t be! As you’ve probably heard before, eating a good breakfast starts your day off right, revving up your metabolism for the day ahead. A balanced, protein-and-carb filled breakfast keeps you full well until lunchtime, helping you only eat a small fraction of the donuts or pastries a coworker brought in.
But sometimes, whipping up an elaborate breakfast simply isn’t an option. With limited time, grab-and-go options are key. However, packaged granola bars and other pre-made breakfast options can be filled with sugar and carbs, keeping you full for a limited time and starting your day the processed way.
That’s why we’re sharing these Mocha Bran Muffins from One Ingredient Chef this week. Whip up a batch tonight and grab them on your way out the door all week long. These muffins are filled with whole ingredients, no refined sugars, wheat bran to keep you satisfied, and the best part – coffee to wake you up!
These muffins are also vegan, helping to lessen your impact on the earth, first thing in the morning. Make them vegetarian by substituting an egg for the flax, and dairy buttermilk for the non-dairy/apple cider vinegar.
About One Ingredient Chef
One Ingredient Chef is a healthy food blog run by Andrew Olson. His goal is simple: he wants you to become healthier than ever before while cooking the best food of your life. As he says, “The One Ingredient Diet is my simple answer to a world of processed foods. But this isn’t about munching on lettuce! My job is to show you (step-by-step) how to cook deliciously healthy food with only *real* ingredients.”
How do you start the day off right? Do you make any good to-go breakfasts?
If you didn’t feel the fall creeping in from the presence of pumpkin-spice-everything, Halloween decorations popping up, and fresh apples stocking the shelves of your local grocery store, it’s officially here now: the leaves are starting to change. Up here in Boston, small glimpses of brilliant red, orange, and yellow leaves are beginning to pop up throughout town, an undeniable beauty and a segway into arguably the prettiest, most comfortable season in New England.
We’re always sure to enjoy this time of year while it lasts; it’s inevitable that the cold of winter is rapidly approaching, and now is the prime time to spend as much time outdoors as possible. One of our favorite ways to enjoy fall? Exploring the beauty of the leaves!
While Boston may not be fully in bloom, as of this writing, most of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are at peak foliage, and the most beautiful colors abound. Massachusetts is getting there in the western region, but only just beginning to change east of Worcester. Rhode Island and Connecticut still have a way to go – but they’re getting there!
Whether you’re from the area or not, we encourage you to plan a trip – the views are truly breathtaking. But where should you go?
The beauty of Maine lies in its wide range of natural wonders. From the ocean on the east to the mountains and valleys inland, you can’t go wrong as an outdoorsy type in Maine. For gorgeous foliage-peeping, start in the Oxford Hills and Lakes region. This area is perfect for day hikes (or week-long hikes, if you’re so inclined), complete with campgrounds, trails, and even a gift shop put together by the Audubon Society. Go no further than Maine Wildlife Park (located in Gray, Maine) to catch a glimpse of Maine’s best species (including a nearly guaranteed moose sighting). You’ll also come across a variety of classic New England covered bridges, cottages, and more.
Another New England staple, New Hampshire is absolutely blooming this time of year. If you don’t want to spend all of your time outdoors, head up to North Conway for a great balance of leaves and shopping – the outlets there are extensive. At the same time, North Conway is home to part of White Mountain National Forest, an expansive protected area of hills and lakes, beaming with color.
For an easier hike, or one perfect for families, head over to Low’s Bald Spot in the White Mountains, a 4.2 mile hike. For something a bit more challenging, try Mt. Willard, which hikes you up 900 feet for a wonderfully expansive view of the mountains. If you’re advanced, try climbing Mt. Washington… or, if you just want to see the sights, climb it in your car! The views are breathtaking. For another in-car option, try driving through the scenic Kancamangus Highway; winding through the mountains, this highway provides absolutely breathtaking views.
Complete with farms, villages, country roads, mountains, and lakes, Vermont has it all when you’re dying to be surrounded by fall. Vermont has more scenic highways than any other New England state, so take advantage! The state also outlaws billboards, so your views will never be obstructed. Try driving Route 100 – stemming from MA to Canada, this road winds through the Green Mountains and gives you all the gorgeous views you crave.
For a challenging hike, head over to Stowe for a day on the Skyline Trail. You’ll see many moose, climb up to 6000 feet in elevation, and walk 11.4 miles. If you’re interested in something a little less intense, check out Camel’s Hump in Huntington; great for families and dogs, this 4 mile hike will take a couple of hours and rounds out with gorgeous scenery.
That said, if you’re willing to engage your wanderlust, driving nearly anywhere in Vermont this time of year guarantees you beautiful views.
Where do you hike in the fall? Where are your favorite leaf-peeping locations?
Let’s face it – we all procrastinate. No matter how diligently you typically work, or how efficient you are with your habits, there’s always that one task you simply can’t seem to get done. Oftentimes, we may not even realize we’re procrastinating; we avoid what we need to get done by completing other tasks, thereby avoiding the feeling that we’re being lazy or unaccomplished. In reality, though, we’re simply putting off the highest priority.
That brings us to the first way to avoid procrastination: set clear priorities. Whether you make a list in your head, on your phone, or on paper, really thinking through your to-do list – and more importantly, what needs to be done first – will give you a greater understanding of the higher purpose behind each task. This allows you to set them up in a meaningful order, not necessarily in the easiest one.
Once you admit that the task you’ve been putting off is truly important, lessen the load by breaking it down into smaller pieces. This will make the overall goal feel more achievable, particularly as you check off the smaller goals quickly and in succession. Once you start enjoying the feeling of completion, it’s difficult to stop.
If this tactic doesn’t do it for you, try giving yourself consequences for not getting things done – and stick to them! For instance, say your goal is to run twice a week. Suddenly, it’s Thursday, and you’ve managed to put off your two runs to the last two days of the work week. Come up with a consequence that removes something you truly enjoy – say, going out for drinks with your coworkers on Friday – if you don’t complete your task. And avoid the temptation to cheat; if you stick to it, the chances you’ll procrastinate the next week are slim.
Sometimes, procrastination stems from the avoidance of mental pressure. Say there’s a big deadline coming up at work, and you have to make a few key decisions to get there. Making decisions can be difficult, particularly if it’s all on you. If this is the case, listen to your gut. Chances are, your intuition is right, and is telling you the answer you know you need to make. Engage your confidence, and make it!
That said, sometimes all the pressure is on you to get a task done, and it shouldn’t be. If you’re procrastinating because something feels daunting, or overwhelming, perhaps this task isn’t one you should go at alone. Enlist in someone’s help to get you down the path to success.
And lastly, stop telling yourself you work best under pressure. Do you really? Or are you simply forced to due to the consequences that come from not completing a task? Yes, pressure can make you complete something quickly, but chances are, the quality of your work would be much higher if you were to take your time. So sit back, plug away, and conquer those tasks you typically procrastinate as slowly as you need to. Your mind, body, and others will thank you!
A great pair of socks serves a useful purpose: they keep your feet warm, dry, and happy despite the temperature. While we tend to relegate them to a bottom drawer during the summer, our best socks come back in full force in the fall, ready to keep our feet in comfortable condition.
Worn the right way, however, socks can be more than just a comfort booster, or an essential – they can add something fun to your outfit. Pulling up a knee-high colorful pair so it pops out the top of your best riding boots adds a little pop to a normally monochrome outfit. A great pattern can add a little fun to your day, while an everyday black or grey can add to that layering look so popular during the fall months.
And they don’t necessarily have to be knee-high to pull off this look. Pair a shorter pair of crew-cut socks with your favorite ankle boots. Roll them a bit, scrunch them up, or wear them at their highest depending on the height of your boot. Adding a great pair of socks to your best ankle booties adds depth and flair to even the trendiest of of outfits.
PlanetShoes is carrying a variety of colors, styles, and heights this fall. Compression styles keep your blood flowing and feet happy while traveling (or during your morning commute); made in the USA socks help you shop responsibly; wool styles keep your feet dry and toasty all winter long.
Check out our sock collection and add a little spice to your wardrobe.
Chances are, if you enjoy the outdoors, there’s a body of water you care about. The local lake you love to kayak on; a favorite stream running behind your house that you love exploring with your kids; a Cape Cod town in New England near the ocean… all these beautiful bodies of water bring back memories of relaxation, fun, and ease.
Not only do we love them for our own stress-reducing activities, but our bodies of water help sustain us in more ways than one. Fresh reservoirs provide many towns with water, many offer us nourishment and food, and all of them help regulate our weather and climate. These functions make it even more compelling to spend some time on their protection.
Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of the past. Our oceans and streams have turned into rivers of flowing plastic. According to the 5 Gyres Institute, there are approximately 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans – 92% of which are microplastics, or pieces of plastic smaller than 2 millimeters.
These microplastics – or microbeads – flow through our water bodies and are ingested by the animals that thrive there. Digested by fish and other wildlife, these microbeads act as a sponge for toxic chemicals and other contaminants that inevitably find their way into our rivers and streams. These chemicals then make their way up the food chain… all the way to us. What these animals ingest, we ingest.
So where do these microbeads come from? Many of them are found in our cleansers, toothpastes, body washes, and soaps. They offer that exfoliating feeling that companies tout as refreshing and spa-like. But our personal care products can be exfoliating without these microplastics; many companies are already beginning to phase them out.
Proctor & Gamble announced their products would be plastic-free by 2017; Johnson & Johnson is currently phasing out the little plastic pieces. Interested in avoiding them yourself? Look for polyethylene and polypropylene on the ingredient label; if they’re in the list, plastics are in the cleanser.
Let’s get that fresh feeling another way – and avoid harming the oceans, lakes rivers, and streams we hold so dear.
Whether you’re a full-on vegetarian or simply trying to eat less meat, finding versatile protein sources is a must. Getting ample protein without eating meat is easy, contrary to popular belief. You just need to know where to look for it!
The average woman should take in about 46 grams of protein per day; the average man, 56 grams. Many Americans get much more than that on average, and will have no difficulty reaching those numbers. If you are working specifically to build muscle, however, you may want to exceed that goal. Due to the nature of how our body builds muscle, eating more protein – in addition to resistance exercise – provides additional fuel for muscle growth.
Getting in these grams is easy once you realize that the foods you eat every day are filled with health-inducing protein. The following foods are inexpensive, filled with fiber and healthy fats, and provide enough protein to get you to your goals with ease.
Eggs – 6g per egg
Start your day off right with a few eggs; scrambled, fried, poached… however you like them, they’ll always provide you with the protein-filled deliciousness you crave. Eating a protein-heavy meal in the morning also keeps you fuller, longer, helping you stave off mid-morning snacking. [Recipe: Tex-Mex-Style Scramble]
Ezekiel bread – 8 g in 2 slices
Yes, even bread can be filled with protein! While traditional breads are filled with carbs, Ezekiel bread takes a different approach. Made with a variety of whole grains like wheat, barley, spelt, and more, this bread packs a powerful nutritional punch. Top your slices with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and add 8 more grams of protein to the pile! [Recipe: Avocado Veggie Panini]
Cottage cheese – 13g per half a cup
One of the highest on the list, cottage cheese is affordable, good-for-you, and delicious. A great addition to a protein-packed lunch, cottage cheese serves to keep you full as the day goes by. Don’t enjoy it plain? Use it as a dip for veggies, spread it on toast, or drizzle some honey on top. [Recipe: Cottage Cheese Pancakes]
Pumpkin seeds – 7 g in one ounce
These yummy, in-season seeds are great to incorporate into fall salads, topped on freshly baked breads, or dropped on a yummy soup to give some flavor and crunch. High in protein and fiber, pumpkin seeds offer the taste of fall complete with the nutrition you crave. [Recipe: Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds]
Black beans – 15 g of protein (and lots of fiber) in one cup
A vegetarian’s best friend, black beans are a dinner staple for cultures around the world. Filled with both protein and fiber, black beans are great in salads, mixed into soups, tossed into a taco, or mashed into a quesadilla. Mix up a can with some cumin, red pepper, and chili powder for a bit of spice. Throw them on top of a cup of quinoa to add 8 more grams of protein! [Recipe: Kicked-Up Quinoa & Black Beans]
What are your favorite non-meat protein sources?