healthy

Holly Darnell's Healthy Memorial Day Chia Seed Pudding

Holly Darnell knows a few things about simplifying healthy and delicious meals.  As a registered dietician, Holly provides healthy and nutritious meals to the 615 via her meal delivery service, Golden Roots Nashville.  We had the opportunity to sample Holly's chia seed pudding at an event recently, and we fell in love with the flavor.  Not to mention, the demo took nearly 5 minutes to complete! This recipe is super simple, super delicious, and super healthy, so we just had to have Holly share her recipe with you for this Memorial Day holiday!

(Read from Holly below)

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I find that the best things in life often come in the simplest form. And that is exactly how I like my food, where the ingredients speak for themselves. Food that can be minimalistic yet also personable. Enter: the chia seed pudding. It’s been having a moment in the food world, and I can absolutely see why. The ingredient list is short, the toppings are endless, and it’s delicious and Instagram worthy for your Memorial Day fun.

Not only is this recipe refreshing in the heat, but it’s also packed full of healthy goodies for our bodies. So let’s talk about the chia seed! Native to Central America, the small black seeds come from the plant called the Salvia hispanica, which is in the mint family. They take on a gelatinous texture when soaked in water or liquid, which is how they get the pudding-like consistency.

The gel-forming action of the chia seeds is due to the soluble fiber, which acts as a prebiotic and supports the growth of probiotics in your gut (hooray for good gut health!) Chia seeds also contain antioxidants which help fight free radicals (hello beautiful skin), omega-3 fatty acids (lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol and inflammation), and stabilize blood sugar while boosting energy and metabolism. We will take all of the above, please. Chia seeds can also be eaten raw and sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, fruit, and vegetables.

I love making my chia seed pudding different every time depending on what’s in season and my current mood. For a fun addition to your gathering, set up a DIY chia seed pudding bar with different toppings to showcase preferences and personality. This recipe is perfect for Memorial Day with all of the red/blue produce that’s in season.

          Red: watermelon/strawberries/cherries/raspberries

          White: fresh coconut/unsweetened coconut flakes/coconut whipped cream
          Blue: blueberries/blackberries/plums

One of the perks of this recipe is that it can be made a day ahead of time and only takes five minutes. Less prep time, maximum deliciousness, and more hang time with loved ones equals perfection for me. I so hope that you enjoy gathering together, celebrating and enjoying this healthy treat for all of your Memorial Day fun!

All the love,

Holly Darnell

(See recipe below)

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Chia Seed Pudding

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

- ⅓ cup chia seeds

- 2 cups almond milk

- 2 Tbs honey (or maple syrup if vegan)

- 4 Tbs almond butter (optional)

- ½ cup dried, shredded unsweetened coconut

- ½ tsp ground cinnamon

- ½ tsp vanilla

- toppings of choice: fresh fruit, granola, cacao nibs, coconut, etc

Directions:

  1. In a bowl or mason jar (preferably with a lid), whisk together chia seeds, almond milk, honey, almond butter, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla vigorously (about 2-3 minutes). You can also use a blender.

  2. Let it sit in the fridge overnight or 2-3 hours so the pudding can set.

  3. Serve chilled with preferred toppings. Eat and enjoy!

 

The Best Natural Face Masks

Skin is, has always been, and will always be, in.  So it only makes sense that skincare is in, too! When it comes to caring for our skin, we believe in a natural approach.  Why would we put something synthetic on our body’s largest organ when we wouldn’t ingest the same ingredients? There are so many brands and products on the market… it is hard to keep up! To make it simple, here are our favorite natural face masks to get that post-sweat skin detox and glow:

1. Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask

Unlike it’s title, Rosy Cheeks will not give you red cheeks.  In fact, this mask does the opposite.  With its calming ingredients, like rose petals and calamine powder, this mask calms and soothes the skin.  We especially like to use this mask during a breakout.  It helps to eliminate redness and inflammation in our acne-prone areas.  And bonus! It smells SO GOOD.  Rosy Cheeks is fresh for up to three weeks and needs to be stored in the refrigerator between uses.  

Photo via Lush.com

Photo via Lush.com

2. Immunocologie Vital Clay Mask

This mask is a miracle in a jar… literally.  Use it once, and you will see what we mean.  Immunocologie’s Vital Clay completely transforms the skin in thirty minutes.  This mask works with your body’s immune system to fuel whatever your skin needs to thrive.  Whether it be anti-aging, or eliminating acne, this mask can do it all.  After use, the skin mimics a burn-type appearance and pores are enlarged.  But don’t worry! This only lasts for a few hours.  After the redness goes away, you will be left with beautiful and clearer skin.  This mask comes with a hefty price tag, but in our opinion, it’s worth it.  (Tip: It is best to use this mask before bed so your skin will have time to recover properly.)

 

Photo via Immunocologie.com

Photo via Immunocologie.com

3. Leahlani Skincare Mermaid Mask

So, you’re saying I put this on my face and become a mermaid!? Well, not exactly.  But the name definitely suits the ingredients.  With sea clay and chlorella, this mask has us feeling sea vibes.  We love it because it gives a youthful glow to our skin.  The Mermaid Mask is great for when you want to brighten and smooth the skin.  It is not one that will detox or resurface, but rather a great everyday skincare step that will allow you to put your best face forward.  Plus… It has “Mermaid” in the name! 

Photo via Leahlaniskincare.com

Photo via Leahlaniskincare.com

Why You Should Have Plants in Your Home

Have you ever felt your anxiety levels decrease when you were outdoors on a sunny day? Taking a walk in nature is not only good for your health, but it is also great for your soul.  Considering these benefits, it only makes sense to want to bring some of the outdoors… indoors.  If you’re someone who is thinking about bringing plants into your home, do not wait any longer! We have rounded up the top reasons why you should bring greenery into your living space.

Photo via @thejungalow

Photo via @thejungalow

Fiddle-Leaf Fig // Photo via @drivenbydecor

Fiddle-Leaf Fig // Photo via @drivenbydecor

1. Plants Purify the Air

A famous NASA experiment found that plants can purify the air, eliminating the indoor environment of cancer-causing pollutants.  Plants, such as the Peace Lilly, are able to remove indoor pollutants through their leaves and their roots in the soil.  For us, living in the city comes with the knowledge of knowing there is pollution in our air.  Knowing that we can bring plants into our homes to decrease the number of toxic chemicals in our air definitely brings a sense of relief.  When it comes to choosing a plant, the leafier and fuller the plant, the better.  We particularly like fiddle-leaf figs for their beautiful leaves and ability to grow tall and strong.

2. Plants Reduce Stress Levels

Studies have shown that plants have the ability to reduce stress by suppressing the nervous system.  Being out in nature significantly reduces our stress levels, so it only makes sense that having plants in our homes will do the same thing.  Reduced stress comes with a lot of other positive factors, such as, increased productivity and happiness.  It has been shown that people who have plants in their workplace are more productive and efficient than those who do not.  So we can be happier, more productive, and healthier just by surrounding ourselves with nature!

3. Plants Boost Interior Attractiveness 

If you look through interior design catalogues or Instagram accounts, you will almost always notice that plants play a major role in the aesthetic of certain homes and spaces.  Plants are not only good for you, but they also look great indoors! We would much rather have beautiful, leafy plants fill our spaces rather than big, blocky air purifiers.  You really can’t go wrong with adding greenery to your home. 

 

Plants make the world go round… literally.  They are a major part of our ecosystem and well-being.  With knowing that plants can purify the air, reduce our stress, and brighten-up our homes, it is a no-brainer to welcome the outdoors inside.  So today, we encourage you to get outside! Take a walk in nature, and take it all in...side.  Oh, and if you need us, you can find us hanging at home with our new green BFF’s!