Peaches and Cream

When the warm weather months roll around, there is nothing I love more than to go to the farmers market and pick out the freshest produce. The green market in Union Square is seriously my happy place. There are hundreds of stands chock full of fresh fruits, and colorful veggies. One of my favorite finds (especially in the summer) are peaches.

A fresh peach on a warm day brings me right back to my childhood. Whether it was running around on the beach, enjoying the sprinkler with the neighborhood kids, or splashing around in a pool, one of my favorite snacks during the summer were fresh peaches.

backtoreality…it’s winter….it’s freezing…there are no fresh peaches (insert sad, pouty, cranky, teary eyed face here)

When I was at whole foods the other day, I came across some organic frozen peaches. I mindlessly threw them in my basket and went along with my shopping venture.

Earlier this week, I decided to make use of those frozen morsels of goodness and create this:DSC_0574

Peaches and Cream Overnight Buckwheat

  • 1/3 cup dry buckwheat groats (oats work just as well!)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (I love SoDelicious plain coconut milk yogurt)
  • 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds
  • stevia
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • peaches sliced* ( I would say about 1/2-3/4 of  peach)
  • 1 TBS Pumpkin Seeds (raw)
  • optional: 1 tsp flax meal

*I find that frozen fruit lasts longer and is a fantastic topping for your breakfast. Simply treat it like fresh fruit. Slice or chop as you normally would. If the fruit is a little bit hard to cut, simply run it under some warm water!

In a pot, bring water to a boil and add dry buckwheat, chia, flax, stevia, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds. Once the grain is totally cooked (about 15 minutes), transfer to a mason jar. Slice peaches, and banana, and add to mason jar. Next, pour in 1/3 cup yogurt and stir completely. Put in the fridge over night. In the morning transfer to a bowl, warm in the microwave or eat cold! ENJOY!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed these. They were super creamy, and the pumpkin seeds gave them a really nice crunch! Try them out!

Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!

xoxoSYN

Sometimes you need pasta!

Ever get a crazy craving for Italian food? I do all the time. It’s actually one of my favorite types of cuisine!

I’ve also always loved creamy sauces. The heavier the better! Unfortunately, eating  all of those white carbs, fatty sauces, and cheese toppings, will not lend to my wedding dress fitting the way I would like  (did I mention I’m getting married in 5 months?!?!?!) :)

Fortunately, eating this is absolutely wedding dress approved….

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Zucchini replaces pasta…

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Cauliflower and coconut milk replaces the sauce…

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Healthy “Fettucine Alfredo”

  • 1/2 head cauliflower (cut into large flowerettes)
  • 1-2 cups milk of choice (unsweetened almond, coconut etc)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 zucchini (spiralized, or simply sliced into thin disks)
  • toppings of choice (I used roasted red pepper and artichoke hearts)
  • Optional: Nutritional Yeast or Parm. cheese

In a large pot, steam cauliflower and garlic clove.  Once cauliflower is steamed through, drain water, and transfer to a blender. Add 1 cup of coconut milk, salt and pepper and blend on high. To get desired consistency and taste, add more milk/ salt and pepper. Blend until a smooth sauce is created.

NOTE: it will be hot in the blender, make sure you properly cover to avoid back splashing!

Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add zucchini and chosen toppings. Cook until warm hot.

**To create noodle like zucchini, I use a Paderno Spiralizer. It is DEFINITELY worth getting!

Transfer zucchini etc. to a plate. Top with desired amount of cauliflower sauce.

ENJOY!!!

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This is seriously unbelievable. If you make it, let me know! Take a photo and instagram me!

 

What is your favorite dish that you would like to see made into a healthy meal???

xoxoSYN

An old Favorite

A couple of weeks ago, when New York City was expecting a crazy snow storm, there were reports of Kale shortages at grocery stores! Apparently this green veggie is so wildly popular, that people felt the need to hoard it in fear that they wouldn’t be able to easily access their Kale.

It may have been because they wanted to enjoy a nice large kale salad while reading my latest post on cookies to KALE…but that’s just my theory :)

Over the past few years, the Kale chip has grown in popularity. When I first started blogging, my most popular post featured my recipe for Kale Chips. While Kale chips are fantastic, I prefer a different green to transform.

collard

I can’t understand why more people aren’t using collard greens to make their beloved chips! They are high in fiber, high in protein (one cup has  5 grams of protein!), fantastic for digestion, and even help fight cancer!

My favorite thing about make collard greens into chips is their consistency. Since they have a denser leaf than kale, they create a thicker more substantive chip…ultimately it leads to a more satisfying

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Quick Collard Chips

  • 1 bunch of collard greens (washed)
  • non stick cooking spray (I use trader Joes olive oil spray)
  • Sea salt
  • Nutritional yeast (parm cheese works if you eat diary!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Pull the collard leaves off of the stems. Lay leaves on baking sheet, being careful not to overlap. Spray the top of the leaves with cooking spray. Sprinkle sea salt and nutritional yeast over the greens. Bake for about 10 minutes, take out, flip and bake for another 5. Once chips are lightly browned and crispy, they are done!!!!

ENJOY!

DSC_0545I have been making these like crazy the last couple of days. I’m not saying to give up your kale… I would NEVER do that! Perhaps, in addition to those yummy kale chips, give good ol’ collard chips a try!

xoxoSYN

 

 

Branch out Breakfast part 2!

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So, as I said in my earlier post, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Every morning I wake up and look forward to the deliciousness that will be the first meal of my day! Since I am a creature of habit, I tended to eat the same thing every morning. It was usually some sort of oatmeal. Lately, I have been “branching out” and trying all sorts of yummy grains.  Yesterday, I experimented with this stuff :

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I have never tried Gluten free Rice and Shine. While I was making it, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I couldn’t tell if I would like the consistency since the photo looks a bit mushy on the box. BOY WAS I WRONG!

I LOVED IT

What did I LOVE so much about Rice and Shine?

Well, to start out, it is gluten-free. It’s (surprise surprise) gluten free, really low in fat, and relatively high in protein. The best part was a simple 1/4 cup of this cereal expanded to a huge bowl! I love big breakfasts and I was really happy that one portion was so filling. It also absorbed all of the flavors I added to it which made for a delicious meal :)

…It had Chocolate

 

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Lots of chocolate….

 

…..and NutButter

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It was heaven in a bowl….

“Reeses” Rice and Shine

  • 1/4 cup Rice and Sine Cereal
  • 1 1/2 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 TBS Nut Butter of choice
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • pinch of salt
  • stevia
  • optional: Shredded coconut flakes, 1 TBS chocolate chips

Instructions:

In a pan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and shine cereal, chia seeds, salt  and stevia. Allow to cook for about 7 minutes or until cereal has absorbed most of the water. Add brewed coffee.  Allow to absorb. Once cereal is totally cooked, add nut butter, cocoa/cacao powder, fruit and optional ingredients. Mix completely.

ENJOY!!!!

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Like I said, the cereal really took on the flavors I added. It was rich in chocolate and the sunflower seed butter really came through. I was so pleasantly surprised!

Try something new, you may find that it’s your new favorite meal!

xoxoSYN

Trainer Spotlight: Hannah Bornstein

Hey all!!! I hope your Thursday is going as well as mine is! This morning, I started my day with a “Branch out Breakfast” (Recipe coming tomorrow), followed by a fantastic Yoga class at Yoga Vida NYC (Thanks ClassPass!)

I will admit, I am not an avid Yogi. I usually like for my workouts to be intense, sweaty, and exhausting (which is why I also had a Boxing session today :) ) . Although Yoga is the total opposite, I try to take a class once in a while to open up my body, reconnect with what is going on inside, and STRETCH every muscle.

For todays Trainer Spotlight, I wanted to highlight someone who I feel is really in tune with herself. This trainer is not only nutritionally savvy (she is a holistic health coach!), she works her students to the edge, while still enabling them to feel connected to every inch of their bodies.

trainer

 

hannah

I first met Hannah while I was waiting to go into a FlyWheel class. As I was standing there, this gorgeous little lady walks up to me and says “Hey! I’m Hannah!” Now, maybe this doesn’t sound so out of the ordinary, but in a city as fast paced and as informal as New York, it is rare that someone just comes up and introduces themselves. That’s the sort of person Hannah is. The first word that comes to mind when I describe her is KIND. She is kind to strangers, kind to friends, kind to her students, and kind to herself.  Hannah is the perfect example of someone who is kind to her body. She lives one of the most genuinely healthy lifestyles of anyone I know!

Before I share her interview, I have to let you all know something. HER CLASS IS HARD. Like REALLY HARD. This pint-sized instructor will kick your butt big time! Her “FlyBarre” class at Flywheel Sports is one of the most difficult (and popular) classes at the studio. She will push you to your limit, and truly make you believe that you can “Pulse just a little lower”.

I happened to drop into her class on her birthday this year. At the end of class, when I thought I could no longer move any part of my body she says, “I have vegan cookies for anyone who would like to celebrate my birthday with me!” Yup… the girl gave us a gift on her birthday. Delicious vegan baked goods. Yeah, she’s the best.

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Name: Hannah Bornstein, instructor at FlyBarre & Flex Studios

Dietary style: Vegan!

Favorite meal: This is two-fold. I love to cook at home; so when I am being my own personal chef, I love to cook something nutritious and comforting. During these cold winter months, I love a big bowl of sautéed veggies: kale or swiss chard, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions – whatever I have in my fridge! I’ll throw these over quinoa, add raw or lightly toasted pumpkin and hemp seeds, avocado and drizzle with liquid amino acids (a healthy, nutrient-rich alternative to soy sauce) and tahini (my favorite condiment).

hannah photos

If I’m getting fancy and eating out, I love Cafe Blossom‘s decadent vegan lasagna. Definitely food porn-worthy, and not something I’m going to attempt at home anytime soon!

Snacks & workout fuel: 

I am a huge breakfast believer. My favorite is overnight chia oats; a filling and energizing meal that fuels me through my mornings teaching. Plus, it takes less than 5 minutes to put together as part of my bedtime routine:

1. Add these ingredients to a mason jar:

1/3 cup oats

2 tbsp chia seeds

dash cinnamon

splash vanilla extract

raisins or frozen berries (optional)

2. Cover ingredients with almond, coconut or rice milk.

3. Shake em all up. Put in fridge overnight.

4. In the morning, top with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or my favorite – almond butter.

What is a typical teaching like day for you ?
 
If I’m teaching in the morning, I try to get up 3 hours before my first class because I love to have some quality me-time before I start my day! I know that I can show up better for my students when I have taken the time to care for myself and get centered. I drink a ton of water, oil pull, meditate, eat a big, nourishing breakfast (see my answers to how I stay fueled), pack my meals and snacks for the day, listen to my playlist and go over my plans for class. I arrive at the studio a half hour early and greet my students before class, always checking to see if it is their first time taking class or if they have any injuries. I love making a personal connection with each person that walks through the door so they feel supported and comfortable enough to really push themselves and do their personal best, while still respecting their individual body and fitness level and taking modifications when needed.
After class (or classes, when I teach 2 or 3 in a row), I like to get in my own workout; I love getting my cardio in with the brilliant Flywheel instructors who are part of my “FlyFam”, taking a fellow FlexPilates instructor’s class on our awesome FlexFormers (like a pilates reformer, only sexier and more badass), getting some heavy lifting done at Barry’s Bootcamp, or getting grounded with the beautiful vinyasa flow at Laughing Lotus. Being a student in group fitness classes and taking from a variety of instructors helps me learn and gives me inspiration on new ways to connect and communicate with my own students. And if I can grab a friend or fellow instructor to take class with me – even better! Sweating with a buddy always multiplies the fun!
The rest of my day is dedicated to creating playlists and programming classes for the next day, writing posts for my blog on my website Hannah B Wellness, and doing research and preparing for upcoming sessions with my health coaching clients. I will usually do this at a local cafe where I can either grab a nutritious, delicious lunch (love Jivamuktea Cafe in Union Square or Hu Kitchen) or eat the food I packed with me. Girl’s gotta have her brain food!
To wind down at the end of the day, I like to cook or bake (usually trying out some new drool-worthy recipe from Oh She Glows, my favorite vegan blog) and then either read or watch a guilty pleasure show, like Project Runway All-Stars or Parks and Recreation. Before bed, I make sure I am all set for the day ahead and write three things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. I love doing this because no matter what I am worried or stressed about, taking time to be grateful and reflect on the positive things in my life immediately shifts my mindset, and I am able to be more present, rest more easily, and wake up happier the next day! Life is too short to be anxious all the time and all it takes is a mindset shift to set you up on a more positive path!
2) What do you want your students to feel after class!
Most of all, I want students to leave class feeling empowered. Just by showing up, they have taken a step towards getting stronger and healthier. Once they’re there, it is my job to set them up for success by motivating them, cueing proper form, giving them modifications to scale to their own level of fitness, and encouraging them to do their own personal best. I strive to make all my classes challenging, but still accessible and fun for everyone single student. My goal is to see each client leave the room sweaty and smiling, feeling proud of the hard work they did and excited to come back next time!

Tips for readers: Listen to what your body is craving, and learn to translate those cravings into a healthier language. If all you want after a challenging workout is a huge donut, or a cheeseburger, your body could actually be asking you for good quality carbohydrates and fats. Try reaching instead for some whole grains like oats with some rich nut butter and sweet fruit, or a grilled veggie sandwich with creamy avocado and hummus on sprouted whole grain bread. Find foods you love that are also nourishing and enjoy them thoroughly and often!

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If you’re interested in working with Hannah, and finding out about living a vegan lifestyle, visit her website!!!

 

xoxoSYN

Humbling experiences

Today, I had the honor of going back to my roots. I went to my alma mater, Holy Trinity High School on Long Island,  and spoke with the  junior and senior theatre students about my life as a performer. I explained about my high school and college experiences. I told them about becoming a Rockette, getting my first big National Tour, my Broadway debut, and being in original broadway casts. I spoke not only of the successes but of the let downs and struggles. It was so humbling to reflect on where I have been, and how difficult it has been to get here. Speaking with kids, and being able to educate and (hopefully) inspire them is so incredibly rewarding. I feel good. I feel REALLY good! 1956941_10152637107644499_2944661474478534338_o
10842144_10152637107329499_1104687629879750697_o-1Wait isn’t this a food blog?? Sorry! I just had to share :)

So!!!! As I said, I have been focusing on experimenting with Breakfast. I like to call it “Project Breakfast Branch Out!” Today, I’d like to focus on the super grain:

quinoa

Quinoa is probably my favorite grain. It has a fantastic nutty flavor, it’s super high in protein, and has almost double the fiber as other grains. That’s not all! There are tons of vitamins, minerals and other amazing nutritional benefits. I’ve only ever used quinoa  for dinner, and normally top it with steamed, or roasted veggies of some sort.

If I love it so much for dinner, why can’t I eat it for breakfast? Well, I did, and it was AWESOME….

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Overnight Blueberry Quinoa Cereal

  • 1/2 cup quinoa cooked
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • stevia
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 fresh fig sliced
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 TBS pistachios (or nuts of choice)
  • 1/2 TBS Hemp seed hearts
  • optional: Unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions: In a mason jar, combine all ingredients. Leave in the fridge over night. Enjoy in the morning by re-heating or simply eating them cold!

Note: If you want to, add more milk when you’re ready to eat!

This was such a great breakfast! The blueberry flavor was absorbed by the quinoa making it gorgeously sweet. The texture was fluffy and refreshing. I am absolutely obsessed with this bowl of goodness…and to think I would have never discovered it if I hadn’t “BRANCHED OUT FOR BREAKFAST”!!!!

 

I hope your day was as fantastic as mine was!!!

xoxoSYN