Pasta Cravings? Here is a Healthy New Solution…

I am so excited to tell you all about the newest product I found (yes, at Whole Foods Market). Every time I go into that place I end up going up and down each aisle to see if there is anything new and intriguing on sale. This past weekend I stumbled upon “bean pasta”. This company, Explore Asian, has come out with “pasta,” but it is only made up of two ingredients: different types of beans and filtered water. I immediately got excited to try it and grabbed two different flavors; edamame fettuccini and adzuki bean spaghetti. These pastas are loaded with protein and fiber, low in carbs, high in iron content, and sodium free. You cook them as you would normal pasta, except, it only needs about 4-8 minutes depending on the type; just follow the packages instructions. Then, it is up to your imagination to dress them up how you would like!

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I created a fall vegetable pasta dish by adding roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and garlic then topped it with parmesan cheese and olive oil. The “pastas” themselves have a great deal of flavor so depending on the bean type you can pair vegetables and meats accordingly. These are an awesome way to reduce your carb intake and still get the feeling you are indulging in a great pasta dish!

Recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 medium onion cut into wedges
1/2 package of sliced mushrooms
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
Garlic powder, Salt & Pepper to taste
1 packages Explore Asian Organic Adzuki Bean Spaghetti
1/4 cup rosemary
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Divide the squash, mushrooms, onions, and garlic onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and black pepper, toss to coat. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown, flipping the vegetables once with a spatula. I like to broil for the last 5 minutes or so to get the squash crispy.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve a half a cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and rinse with cold or hot water (depends on the bean type). Return the pasta to the hot pot. Add the roasted vegetables to the pot along with the reserved pasta water, and lastly sprinkle in the rosemary and Parmesan cheese. Toss well to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired.

Serve the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and more Parmesan cheese if desired.

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Check out their website http://www.explore-asian.com/bean-pasta/ and head over to your closest Whole Foods Market and pick some up to try!

Girls Night Out with Athleta Natick

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I was honored and excited to team up with Athleta in the Natick Mall to put together a private event, to both promote my blog and their new line of fall activewear. Last night, some of my favorite ladies and I had the store to ourselves for two hours after it closed. Athleta fashion stylists assisted in styling all of the ladies as they sipped on “cocktails” being mixed up by the Polar Seltzer Team. The ladies were all entered into a raffle for an Athleta gift card and everyone walked away with goodie bags filled with samples from: Athleta, David’s Tea, and Lush Cosmetics. The event turned out to be a blast and all the women walked away with some new apparel.

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Some of the big hits of the night were Athleta’s new line of fall sweaters and tunics. The ladies loved that they could be worn over your tank to class or can easily be dressed up with jeans or leggings to wear around town. Another favorite was the Metro style leggings; these leggings are slightly thicker and softer than the others and have cute pockets on the back that make them look like actual pants. These could also be worn to class or dressed up in boots for a cute fall outfit. Everyone found something they loved and the stylists were a huge help recommending items.

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Athleta Natick is hosting an upcoming event this Sunday the 12th at 9:30am. A local PIYO instructor is coming in to teach a free class. I will be there and highly recommend everyone in the area to come if they can as well. It is a great new workout trend that I am anxious to try! PIYO features various styles of Yoga and Pilates in a continuous movement and flow from one exercise to another. You get to enjoy the benefits of deep breathing, balance, stretching, strengthening and relaxation to some awesome music.

Stay tuned for more events like these from Athleta Natick and I. I am excited to continue to team up with them to put on some great events!

Four Powerful Spices & Supplements to Boost Your Health

Now that we are officially in the thick of the fall & winter season that means we have also entered into cold and flu season. I wanted to share with you four spices & supplements that I use almost every day that have incredible health benefits and help fight of viruses.

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1. Ginger: This impressive spice is well known for aiding in gastrointestinal relief. It contains active enzymes which relieves digestion, nausea and motion sickness. It is known to help prevent and fight cold symptoms including coughs and sore throats with its immune boosting properties.

How to Use: There are many awesome green teas on the market that contain ginger or you can add some fresh ginger into your tea yourself. I also love to add fresh ginger into my morning smoothies for an added boost of flavor. Ginger is also a great spice to mix into mashed sweet potatoes or sprinkle over roasted squash.

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2. Garlic: This well-known spice packs serious health benefits most people are unaware of. Garlic is an antibiotic and detoxifier. It is immune enhancing and has anticancer properties. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.

How to Use: Garlic is easy to incorporate into your diet by adding it as a spice to meats, vegetables, soups, and salad dressings. I personally love to buy cloves of garlic and slow roast them in the oven alongside my vegetables for added flavor.

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3. Turmeric: This secret spice has too many health benefits to even list. Studies keep coming out with more and more research leading to prove that this spice can prevent and slow many diseases including different types of cancers and leukemia. Turmeric is a detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial agent. It is known to significantly detox the blood stream and liver. It has also been known to improve depression symptoms. In recent studies it has shown to speed the healing of wounds and help remold damaged skin areas. Another important side effect is its power to reduce joint pain.

How to Use: Turmeric is a little bit harder than the rest to add into your diet. It packs a little heat and has an interesting kick. The easiest way to try it, is using it as part of your seasoning on meats and vegetables. You can also sprinkle it into your smoothie or cup of tea. When first trying turmeric I recommend starting slowly and adding more depending on your tolerance to the flavor.

spirulina

4. Spirulina: This type of algae contains so many nutrients and is becoming more prominent in the health food scene. Spirulina is known to enhance speed, endurance, and mental ability. It contains nine essential amino acids, enzymes and probiotics, and most importantly, it is a complete protein! It actually offers 3x as much protein as beef by weight. Spirulina is an excellent source of a healthy amount of good fat and iron as well.

How to Use: This algae can be bought in tablet or powder form. It is commonly found in the green powder mixes you can buy in health food stores as well. It can be taken as a supplement or added into smoothies, yogurts, and oatmeal. Spirulina is starting to show up as a flavor in many nutrition and protein bars and granola as well. Look for it as one of the main ingredients the next time you are cruising through a Whole Foods or Natural Market.

Pure Barre in the Park

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Yesterday, I got to attend “PB in the Park” a charity Pure Barre class and nutrition workshop put on by PureBarre Wellesley, Newton & Brookline. First of all, it was a gorgeous day to be outside so that in itself set the event up for success. Rachel Roberts and her PB team couldn’t have organized a better couple hours outside. When I arrived at Winthrop Park, it was a sea of red mats all perfectly aligned for class. SweetGreen had provided the team free totes and coupons to hand out to all the ladies as we arrived. The PB Teachers were collecting donations and anyone who contributed received a raffle ticket that made you eligible to win a variety of Pure Barre and David’s Tea goodies.

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We started off with a nice hour of lifting, toning, and burning (lots of burning) by Hannah, Ali & Jill followed by a nutrition workshop by local health coach and soon to be PB teacher, Stephanie Ferisin. Stephanie’s class was called, “Ditch Diets: True Nourishment of the Mind and Body.” It focused on finding a balance between what you eat and your individual lifestyle. Stephanie broke down some of the common diet myths and gave us a quick overview of what food groups/types we should incorporate into each meal of the day. She also talked about the importance of having fun and making time for yourself because that impacts your overall health and your daily eating habits. She encouraged us to “play” often and to listen to our bodies to recognize things in life that bring us happiness and peacefulness. Once we had a good sweat session and learned a lot about nutrition and mindfulness we got to sample goodies from David’s Tea; what better perfect way to spend a Sunday morning?

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All of the donations collected at this class went to the MSPCA on behalf of Pure Barre & Pure Give!
If you are interested in Stephanie’s Health & Wellness coaching you can check out her website http://www.stephanieferisin.com