Quick & easy snack idea: celery + peanut butter

A couple weeks ago, on Instagram, I asked what kind of recipes you want to see & I heard SNACKS! So I want to share my favorite peanut butter rn & one way I like to have it.

My fave way, is probably a spoonful of it (we all do this right?)—but this snack is more nutritious ; )

& it’s nothing unusual…

It’s peanut butter & CELERY.

EASY.

Easy is good when I need a quick snack. Don’t you think? It keeps the hangry away.

Okay, so why celery? It’s crunchy, it’s fresh & we’ve all heard it’s “negative calories”, right? It’s not actually negative calories, but IT IS very low cal!

It also has a bunch of nutrients!

Here are some reasons to snack on celery:

  • It’s low cal
  • It’s anti-inflammatory
  • It has a bunch of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants—like vitamin K, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A
  • It’s hydrating (it’s 95% water)
  • It also has some fiber—fiber helps us stay full longer, keeps us “regular”, supports digestion, and helps us maintain a healthy weight

12 4″ (0.1oz) strips of celery is about 7 calories and provides 0.8g fiber.

P.S. if you can, buy organic. Celery’s been on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides for years now.

Okay, back to the PB now. YUMMM!!

I was having Justin’s almond butter for awhile & then I had this ah-ha moment that it wasn’t organic (I definitely overlooked that!) I’ll admit, sometimes good marketing & branding gets me, and I forget to check the ingredients—I’m human.

So I took a look at all the almond butters on the counter at Whole Foods and picked out this MaraNatha one. It has 1 ingredient only: 100% organic raw almonds. LOVE! So a couple weeks later, when I wanted PB, I went for the same brand & got this creamy, 2-ingredient peanut butter they also make.

Next time, I got this MaraNatha crunchy one—& rushing to get out of the store, I overlooked the fact that it has added sugar. It’s made with: organic peanuts, organic palm oil, organic evaporated cane sugar, sea salt.

I usually avoid sugar in my food. I save it for dessert ; ) Like with pasta sauce… I get this one because it doesn’t have any added sugar (plus, it’s delicious, organic & has great ingredients!)

But, back to the PB, again… MaraNatha has this crunchy 2-ingredient peanut butter, which doesn’t have any added sugar, but I don’t think it was on the shelf & I just grabbed this crunchy one & checked out.

& honestly, I’m okay with it, at least for now—because IT’S SOOO GOOD, the sugar is USDA certified organic & it’s not that much (it only has 1g of added sugar). & when I have it, I think of it as a treat.

The sugar is USDA organic so I know it wasn’t filtered through bone char, which is important to me.

If you’re curious—some sugar brands that are not USDA-certified organic use bone char to bleach and filter their cane sugar, which I’m definitely not down for. Since bone char isn’t on the National Organic Program National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, certified USDA organic sugar can’t be filtered through bone char. THANK GOD!

So I’m happy with this PB rn : ) It’s VERY delicious.

It also has a ton of protein: 2 tbsp of this PB has 7g of protein (14% DV) + 2g of fiber (8% DV)—& if you’re curious, it’s only 200 calories.

Sometimes, I add chia seeds too, for omega-3s, additional fiber & magnesium, & some more protein.

So basically, with PB + celery + chia seeds, you’re getting:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • A bunch of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
  • Omega-3s
  • & Magnesium
  • all in a filling, hydrating, anti-inflammatory snack that’s low cal

BOOM ; ) Pretty good, right?

Do you snack on PB & celery? Or maybe PB & apples?

What’s your fave PB rn?

<3,
Bita

+ learn more about chia seeds

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Superfood Spotlight: quinoa!

Wondering why quinoa’s a superfood? Let’s dive in!

First off, it’s naturally gluten-free. WIN!

I love when things are gluten-free because I don’t worry about it irritating my stomach/causing bloat. I’m gluten sensitive, so I still have gluten sometimes, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.

It’s also a complete protein. That’s big!

A complete protein contains all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce on their own & needs to get from our diet. All animal sources of protein are complete proteins, but many plant sources aren’t. So it’s cool that quinoa is a complete protein.

It also provides more protein than most grains.

3/4 cooked quinoa (1/4 cup dry) provides 6g protein while 3/4 cooked white rice contains a 3.2g protein.

For context, 1 hard-boiled egg = 6g of protein.

Hemp heeds & nutritional yeast are vegan complete proteins too!

Here are some more deets:

1/4 cup dry (3/4 cup cooked) contains:

  • 6g protein (complete protein!)
  • 3g fiber (12% daily recommended value)
  • 10% daily recommended iron

It’s also super filling, so it’ll keep you full longer. It’s still pretty high in carbs (30g for 3/4 cup cooked quinoa—10% DV) but at least it’s providing complete protein, fiber & iron, so I’m a fan!

I usually get the organic tricolor quinoa from Trader Joe’s.

So let’s recap?

It’s gluten-free, a great source of complete protein & provides fiber & iron. YES, PLEASE.

I feel like it earned its title as a superfood, don’t you think? ; )

My favorite way to have it is in a quinoa bowl—quinoa + veggies, like sautéed mushrooms, sautéed tomatoes and onions, avocado, and bell peppers—or as a snack with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top (so quick & easy!). Sometimes I’ll add it to salads, too.

Since you can add it to so many different kinds of meals, I usually make it in bulk so I’ll have leftovers & can keep it in the fridge—that way I can pull it out when I’m hungry to make a quick snack or a quinoa bowl. SO YUM!

What’s your favorite way to have it? Tell, tell : )

<3,
Bita

+ learn more about nutritional yeast (for delicious, parmesan flavor that’s vegan, & also a complete protein w/ vitamin b12 + fiber)

+ learn about hemp seeds (another great source of complete protein + fiber)

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

 

Some kitchen faves:

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Why you need a tongue scraper—tongue scraping benefits that’ll blow your mind

Remember when we talked about flossing and compared not flossing to not cleaning your private parts?

Well, not tongue scraping is kind of like not cleaning your private parts too.

Our tongues accumulate bacteria throughout the day, & a tongue scraper helps remove that bacteria.

I scrape my tongue twice a day—first thing in the morning when I wake up (before I drink any water), and at night, right before I brush my teeth & floss. It’s become part of my morning & bedtime routine.

But it wasn’t always—before I started using a tongue scraper, I use to brush my tongue with my toothbrush. I did this probably since high school or middle school—my sister told me it helps prevent bad breath, so I was 100% on board.

Then, I noticed in college, some of my friends had these tongue scrapers that looked like this (I use this one now & love it) & I got curious about them.

But… I just kept using my toothbrush to brush my tongue because it was easy.

THEN, about 5 months ago, I listened to The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast episode #103 with guest, Sahara Rose, who talked about Ayurveda 101 & tongue scraping & I was SOOO sold on getting a tongue scraper.

I got this one (& I love it!)

I’ve been using it everyday for the past 5 months—yes, I’ve missed a few days here and there and let me tell you it felt gross. Once you start tongue scraping, you’ll do it every day/night. It just feels blehh not to. I even travel with it.

So, wondering why I got sold on it? Here’s the longish story, & I’m warning you, it’s not cute…

Before I started using a tongue scraper I always wondered why my tongue was whiter than I expected it to be. EEK. Just talking about it still grosses me out.

Well, AH-HA MOMENT. IT WAS BACTERIA.

Within a couple days of tongue scraping, my tongue was SO much pinker. Cute, right? LOL

It was VERY satisfying to get so much bacteria off. It still is—because while my tongue is much pinker than it use to be (are you grossed out yet?) our tongues accumulate bacteria everyday, throughout the day. That’s why it’s so important to scrape our tongues daily—even twice a day: once in the morning, before drinking water (more on that in a sec) & again at night before brushing your teeth.

Okay, now that we have that little story on the table, let’s get into it—LET’S TALK BENEFITS : )

TONGUE SCRAPING BENEFITS

Why should you get a tongue scraper?

Here’s why! Tongue scraping:

  • removes bacteria from your tongue (this helps avoid bad breath AND keeps the bacteria from being absorbed into your gut. EEK! Very important!)
  • helps avoid bad breath (because it removes the bacteria (the white coating) on your tongue that leads to bad breath)
  • promotes overall oral & digestive health

You can see they’re all related!

In the morning, I scrape my tongue before drinking any water or brushing my teeth because I want to remove that bacteria off of my tongue before giving myself another chance to swallow the bacteria. I clean my tongue, then brush my teeth, then drink water. Easy!

What type of tongue scraper to get

I recommend getting a surgical grade stainless steel tongue scraper that looks like a “U”. I use this exact one—& it’s amazing! It’s under $10 & comes with 2. The surgical grade stainless steel won’t rust and it’s super easy to clean. I just rinse it with some hand soap after I use it.

How to scrape your tongue

  • Open your mouth & stick out your tongue—AHHHHH ; )
  • Place your tongue scraper as far back on your tongue as you can (comfortably) with the ends of the “U” pointing away from you
  • Now this is the fun part… The REWARDING part! HA! Holding both ends of the “U” with your hands, gently pull the tongue scraper outwards, across the entire surface of your tongue in one motion. Do that a few times to collect the bacteria, & then rinse your tongue scraper. Repeat that a few times, until you’re no longer removing any white coating (FUN!) P.S. before I rinse the tongue scraper, I ALWAYS take a look at all the white yuckiness my tongue scraper pulled off first. IT’S SO REWARDING LOL. Do you do this?
  • When you’re done, rinse your tongue scraper with some hand soap. Easy, done, feels great!

PSA: It shouldn’t hurt when you scrape your tongue & your tongue DEFINITELY shouldn’t bleed.

Another little tidbit/story, if you’re interested—I was scraping my tongue WAY too hard the first week or two that I started using it. I was on a tongue scraping high! I made my tastebuds bleed that first week or two & eventually my tongue got REALLY sore. For the next few days I gave my tastebuds time to heal by only scraping my tongue super, super lightly, and it quickly healed. I’ve been able to scrape it normally since then. I learned my lesson quickly. So, if you experience something similar—your tongue gets sore or starts bleeding, you might be applying too much pressure too. Just fyi! Tongue scraping should be a fun, painless & rewarding (lol) experience.

Also, as a heads up, it doesn’t fit in any of our bathroom cups/accessories (you know those toothbrush holders/tumblers?) so I’ve been keeping it in a huge mug like this one on our bathroom counter. It works!

Curious, if you use a tongue scraper already, how do you store yours? Would love to know!

Happy tongue scraping!! : ) xx

<3,
Bita

My health & wellness faves:


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Benefits of chicken bone broth

BONE BROTH!

This has been such a buzzword lately that people have opened up entire cafes/restaurants centered around the idea—”bone broth bars”. It kind of has a ring to it.

Think about walking to a coffee shop to get a cup of coffee—except you’re walking to a bone broth bar to get a cup of bone broth. Interesting, right? I haven’t been to one yet—I make bone broth at home, but it’s an interesting concept. Have you been to one?

Whenever there’s a trend, I’m lightweight skeptical of it. But bone broth isn’t anything new.

Bone broth is an old-school staple that just got A LOT of attention recently.

Growing up, my mom would make us bone broth ALL THE TIME, especially when we were sick. But she never called it bone broth. It was just the way she’d always make us soup.

Here’s how she makes it:

She takes chicken with the bones (usually wings or legs—because she says these have the most flavor, more than breasts), sliced onions, carrots, celery, turmeric, salt and pepper, adds them to a big pot of cold water, and heats it all up on medium-low heat until the chicken’s cooked.

Sometimes, she also makes it with chickpeas. Once it’s ready, we eat it just like that, or she’ll add more ingredients—like cooked rice, and koofteh nokhod-chi (which are balls of chickpea flour with ground turkey—kind of like a Persian matzo ball. I think some people also call them “gondi”).

Anyways, growing up, this was soup.

So when bone broth became all the rage in mainstream media about 2 years ago, I wasn’t skeptical about bone broth, but more so the companies that touted it.

A lot of store-bought “stock” & “broth” aren’t real & they definitely don’t have the benefits of homemade bone broth—they can use lab-produced meat flavors, soup & sauce mixes, and even MSG (monosodium glutamate, which is a flavor enhancer). YUCK. NO THANKS.

I don’t have the patience my mom has to make it from scratch, at least not yet, so I wanted to find a bone broth I can trust, that’s easy to heat & ready to eat.

Fun news—I found two. I always get chicken bone broth.

The two brands I like are EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken (it’s made with organic chicken) and Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken.

Before we get into the deets of these two, let’s chat about BONE BROTH BENEFITS! Ready? Let’s go!

CHICKEN BONE BROTH BENEFITS:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Reduces inflammation in the respiratory system (b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Improves digestion (also b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Easy to digest
  • Great for combating cold & flu symptoms
  • Nutrient dense
  • Provides collagen & minerals
  • Aids in post-workout recovery (I LOVE having bone broth after a workout!)

Okay, so if you’re not ready to make it from scratch (hey, I’m not), here are two brands you’ll love. I’ve been having them for the past 2-3 years.

EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken

This is my go-to for a number of reasons.

  1. They use organic chicken (unfortunately the rest of the ingredients aren’t organic, but at least the chicken is)
  2. They slow cook the bones, which means we get the maximum benefits from it—this is why, when you heat it up, you’ll want to simmer it over medium-low heat—to hold in the benefits
  3. It’s super convenient—the jars are perfect for one person (IMO) so when I make it for myself, I heat up one jar & if I’m heating it up for Arrash & I, I use two. Easy!
  4. It’s delicious. Just check out the ingredients—they use the same ingredients as my mom + garlic, apple cider vinegar, & rosemary, so it has a ton of flavor right off the bat. Note: it also has lactic acid & that’s to keep it shelf stable. Ingredients = filtered water, organic chicken, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lactic acid, rosemary, turmeric.

Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken

I love that this one is more organic. Ingredients = organic chicken broth, organic onion, organic apple cider vinegar, organic garlic, selina brand celtic sea salt, organic parsley. This one comes in a big bag (big-ish, 24 oz vs. EPIC’s 14 oz jars). I keep it in the freezer & defrost it in the fridge the day I’m planing to make it.

I feel like if you want a quick & easy sipping broth, EPIC is the way to go. If you want bone broth for a base, for a more complex meal you’re making, like udon, Bonafide is a good pick. Bonafide doesn’t have as much flavor as EPIC, so you’ll want to add more seasoning to it than you would to EPIC.

Here’s how I make my EPIC bone broth:

  • Pour EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken in a saucepan, & add salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually 1/2 a lemon per jar) and red chili pepper flakes, and heat on medium-low heat until hot. (I like to use a little  himalayan pink salt & a lot of rainbow peppercorns & red chili pepper flakes from Trader Joe’s.)
  • When it’s hot, pour it in a mug and sip on it through a stainless steel straw. YUM! IT’S SOOO GOOD!

Perfect as a snack, especially after a workout!

Do you like bone broth? How do you usually have it?

<3,
Bita

+ more quick & easy recipes

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

What do you want to see more of on the blog—LMK below?

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Next level nanacakes (aka healthy, no-flour pancakes you’ll be obsessed with)

PANCAKES!!!

You’re probably thinking fluffy, yummy goodness.

BUT, if you’re following any foodie bloggers on IG, you’re probably also thinking NANACAKES.

I love nanacakes.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re pancakes made with 2 ingredients: eggs + a banana.

EASY.

No flour. No added sugar. Super simple.

These are next level nanacakes (LOL!).

Think nanacakes + extra protein + extra fiber + omega 3s + a bunch more flavor—& they’re just as quick to throw together as your 2-ingredient nanacakes.

Here’s the breakdown:

NEXT-LEVEL JOYFETTI NANACAKES

INGREDIENTS
(makes 1 serving – multiply by 2 for 2 people, etc)

  • 2 eggs (preferably organic & pasture-raised)
  • 1 banana
  • A bunch of chia seeds, hemp seeds, & ground flax seeds (pour it in!!! go crazy. you can wing the amount, it doesn’t need to be precise)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)

+ olive oil spray

The chia seeds & ground flax seeds provide omega-3s, fiber, & magnesium. Plus, the ground flax seeds help thicken the batter kind of like how flour would if we were using it—so I pour in a BUNCH of ground flax seeds.

The hemp seeds provide a ton of additional protein, fiber, magnesium & iron—plus hemp seeds have a yummy, nutty flavor that I love. I get these.

DIRECTIONS

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to keep some chunks of banana in there so I don’t make it perfectly smooth. This saves me time too (ha! I’m all about it)
  • Spray a skillet with olive oil and heat it on high heat. You want the skillet to look kind of soaked—so spray a lot of olive oil. As soon as it heats up (this will happen REALLY fast), lower it to medium heat
  • While on medium heat, use a spoon to pour little circles of batter onto the skillet like you would normal pancakes
  • Since I usually make a bunch and only 3-4 fit in my skillet at a time, I usually spray the skillet (again, liberally) once or twice more while making all of them. I spray the skillet between each batch so the 2nd, 3rd, etc batches don’t stick to the pan.

Let me know if that makes sense or if you have any questions! I also love topping them with some honey and fresh berries, & some more pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon. SOOO GOOD.

I make these alllll the time during the weekends.

Arrash loves them too—and he’s obsessed with fluffy, flour-filled, buttery pancakes, so even if you are too, you’ll want to try these : )

Give it a try & LMK what you think.

Oh, & you can get creative with it too—add cocoa nibs, chocolate, whatever you want. Mix it up. Have fun with it.

Chat soon!

xx,
Bita

+ for another yummy breakfast idea, try this fiber-filled fitness bread + coconut yogurt recipe

+ more quick & easy recipes

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

Let’s get crackin’:

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Cozy up for winter

Hey, hey! Happy 2018! How was your NYE?

We had a really fun night at our friends’ place in SF with tons of apps, a taco bar, & lots of drinks. LOTS of them.

Yesterday was rough, to say the least.

But today was much better—I even powered through a morning workout before work. So we’re off to a good start here ; )

For some reason I have this weird, completely bizarre feeling that winter ends when January starts, which is definitely not accurate. Lol we’re barely 2 weeks into winter. & I’m curled up under a huge throw right now, eating soup.

So here are some cool finds that’ll definitely keep you cozy through winter.

First up, BLANKETS!! Specifically, faux fur throws because they scream cozy, winter vibes. Plus they look super cute as decor. & you can also use them in your flat lays… Very versatile ; )

A mug is definitely a winter staple.

I’ve been very into tea lately—I love winding down with it at night. Oh & I use this straw, to prevent staining on my teeth.

Another winter staple, that’ll definitely help you stay warm, especially if you’re going on a ski trip: a beanie. This one is super cute. Same with this white one.

SNOW BOOTS!! This first time I went to Tahoe with Arrash I noticed these boots everywhere (& they look so cute in an outfit) so I googled them & found them online. This pair is super cute!

P.S. talking about shoes… These slippers **heart eye emoji** I’m totally eyeing these. Don’t they just scream comfort?

I picked up this candle at Whole Foods before the holidays and I’m absolutely OBSESSED with it. It has a super cozy feel to it.

I’m off to drink some more peppermint tea & wind down for bed. Sweet dreams! xx

<3,
Bita

More cozy feels:

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Buh-bye yucky artificial colors—here are some sprinkles WITHOUT artificial colors

Remember these Nutella stuffed Nutella cookies?

I make them every year around the holidays—& they’re always a big hit (peep the recipe below to make them at home, you’ll love!)

This time, I was even more excited to share them with my friends & family because I FINALLY used sprinkles that are free of artificial colors. Yup, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS. None, nada!

Such a big win.

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to realize I could find these sprinkles so easily.

They’re in the baking aisle at Whole Foods, shocker ; )

One of the things I like about shopping at Whole Foods, is right off the bat I know everything in there is free of artificial colors (among other things—deets here).

I still check the ingredients on everything (so important) but it’s nice to know that at the very least things like artificial colors & high fructose corn syrup, EEK, aren’t in any of the products I might be buying.

Anyways, I bought these at Whole Foods but you can also get them on Amazon. 

& P.S. they have A WHOLE BUNCH of really fun options on Amazon—like these white snowflakes & peppermint crunch sprinkles that are perfect for the holidays/winter & these super cute heart sprinkles I really want for Valentine’s Day baking.

So fun!

You can see the colors are still bright & cheerful but they’re colored with vegetable colorants instead of harmful food coloring like Yellow 5, Red 40, & Blue 1. Yuck, yuck, yuck. No bueno.

These sprinkles use vegetables, so basically, we’re eating kale… KIDDING, obv ; )

To get more specific, the sprinkles I used (India Tree sprinkles), are colored with turmeric, annatto, beet juice, vegetable juices, & beta carotene (which an organic, strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits).

Cool, right?

These are definitely my go-to sprinkles now.

Okay, & here’s the recipe for these DELICIOUS cookies—I’m STILL obsessed with:

3-INGREDIENT NUTELLA STUFFED NUTELLA COOKIES

INGREDIENTS
(makes ~ 50-52 small cookies)

  • 3 cups Nutella (2 cups for dough + 1 cup, refrigerated, for stuffing)
  • 2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic & pasture-raised)
  • Optional—Sprinkles for decoration (I used these)

(Heads up ⇢ You’ll also need baking/parchment paper)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and line two trays with baking/parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together two cups Nutella and eggs. Add flour and stir until fully blended. The dough should be pretty thick.
  • Scoop out a teaspoon of dough (I actually use a teaspoon, it makes it easier to get a round shape) and flatten it in your palm. Place on lined baking tray.
  • Put a teaspoon of cold Nutella in center of cookie.
  • Scoop out another teaspoon of dough, flatten it in your palm, place it over the Nutella and press the edges of the two cookies together, sealing them like ravioli. I like to stretch out the top cookie a little more than the bottom cookie so I get cracks on the top (see snapchats below) because it makes it easier for the sprinkles to stick to it.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all the cookie dough. (Tip ⇢ To save time, I fill the entire tray with the bottom cookies, place a teaspoon of cold Nutella on each cookie, then add the top cookies.)
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes. Makes ~ 50-52 cookies. MMMM MMMM!!

If you want to speed up the process you can also make larger cookies instead of a whole bunch of small ones (& bake them for 8-10 minutes).

I was getting a bit antsy this year since I doubled the recipe, or maybe even tripled it, (I usually double it), so I also made some big cookies, which was kind of fun. The big ones are just as delicious & you get more cookie & Nutella in the middle. YUMMM!!

Let me know if you make these or if you try the sprinkles with another recipe. & tag me in your pics on IG (@JOYFETTI). I’d love to see what you make! Even though it’ll probably make my sweet tooth even worse ; )

Happy New Years!

I hope you have a very sweet NYE : )

<3,
Bita

Recipe adapted from Butter Baking.

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Sunday Splash: holiday vibes & pups

If you’re in a pinch & looking for some quick ways to make your place festive for the holidays, I’ve gotcha covered!

Especially if we’re talking Christmas—Arrash is already planning out his santa costume for when we have kids lol talk about planning ahead. So Christmas is a very big deal here ; )

Obviously a Christmas tree will do the trick, but since Cubby started eating our indoor plant (the one in the pics below—it’s an outdoor plant now), we thought it’d be a good idea not to introduce another big tree into our place.

So, we’ve gotten crafty.

One of my favorite ways to get our place christmas-y has been with this pure maple syrup candle. It smells SO good. We got ours at Whole Foods but you can also buy them here. It has this really cozy, christmas feel to it.

[ This candle is so perfect for the holidays. ]

[ My lil’ Cubby bear ]

[ Buds & Cubs }

We’ve also been diffusing peppermint essential oil, which is really fun. It reminds me of candy canes.

Another fun touch? Hanging a wreath outside, on your front door. I love this because it gives everyone a festive feel right before they walk in. Also, the dogs can’t get to it lol. WIN/WIN.

& of course, Christmas music.

We started playing Christmas music the night of Halloween—literally after we got back from taking the kids (my niece & nephew) trick-or-treating lol. Crazy, right? Anyone else start super early?

Oh & our new dot has made this super easy. Alexa’s fun.

It’s basically been Christmas over here for the past month or so ; )

And if you’re looking for a fun recipe, try these nutella-stuffed nutella cookies. I’ve been making them for the past 3 years & they’re always a big hit. They taste like little nutella brownies. Give them a try & let me know what you think.

Okay, dish—how do you like to get festive for the holidays? xx

<3,
Bita

Here are some more pics with the dogs ; ) 

[ My lil’ Mint chip ]

[ My bud a buds ]

More festive vibes:

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Superfood Spotlight: hemp seeds!!! get ready for TONS of protein & fiber

Pick up a bag of hemp seeds, flip it over & read the nutrition facts on the back—it’s NUTS. Hemp seeds are literally FULL of protein & fiber.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

3 tbsp of hemp seeds (shelled—I get these) provide 10g of protein & 3g of fiber, which is 11% of your daily recommended fiber.

WOW! Right?

To put things in perspective 1 hard-boiled egg = 6g of protein.

& on top of that, it’s a COMPLETE PROTEIN! A complete protein contains all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce on their own & needs to get from our diet. This is cool, because all animal sources of protein are complete proteins, but many plant sources aren’t—so we love that hemp seeds are a complete protein!

3 tbsp of shelled hemp seeds also provide tons of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • 45% of your daily recommended magnesium
  • 20% of your daily recommended iron
  • 110% of your daily recommended manganese (not a typo!)
  • & 45% of your daily recommended phosphorus.

NUTS, right?

Speaking of nuts… That’s kind of it’s flavor. It has a buttery-nutty flavor to it, & it’s SO good.

Can you tell I’m very into it? ; )

Here are some ways to enjoy them: 

  • Add them to your smoothies
  • Top your smoothie bowls with them
  • Add them to yogurt
  • Add them to cereal
  • Top your toast with them (#tuesdaytoast)
  • Add them to your pancake batter/nanacakes
  • Have them on their own (yes, I’ve had them straight out of a spoon—in fact I just had a spoonful of them RN lol)
  • Or on a spoon with peanut or almond butter. No shame, guys ; )

Those are some of my favorite ways to have hemp seeds, but you can obviously add them to anything & everything you’d like! They’re very versatile.

It’s like a healthy, nutty sprinkle. It’s so good!

You could also bake with them during the holidays. YUM! LMK if you add them to any of your holiday recipes? I’m all ears : )

Chat soon!

<3,
Bita

+ try this fiber-filled fitness bread + coconut yogurt recipe too

+ learn about chia seeds & ground flax seeds

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

Some kitchen faves:

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Sunday Splash: fall vibes & fitness

Who’s ready for bed? Everyone, hands up?

I’m definitely exhausted in the best way possible—this past week was filled with lots of fun, family get-togethers, relaxation, & yummy food. BTW, we still have TONS of Nutella-stuffed Nutella cookies in the fridge. I might have gotten a little carried away & made way too many.

This year, I went for a run before our Thanksgiving get-togethers & it felt SO good. I definitely want to make it a tradition. Fresh air, fall leaves & endorphins? YES PLEASE!

I’m still not a fan of running on the treadmill (any tips here?) but running outside is hands-down one of my favorite ways to workout. I usually shoot for 1-2 runs a week, and I go to the gym on the other days.

Fall vibes & fitness have been our theme lately.

We shoot for daily workouts, & usually hit 5-7 workouts a week. I’d love to say it’s 7 days/week every week, but being real here, that doesn’t always happen. If I miss a day, I try not to dwell on it too much, & instead I focus on hitting it hard the next day.

A few things that help us reach our fitness goals?

  1. HABITS: during the week, we go to the gym as soon as we get home from work. This trigger helps SO much with consistency. During the weekend, we try to get our workout in, in the morning, before we head off to any weekend plans. This way we don’t miss it by getting home too late/coming home exhausted.
  2. BUDDY SYSTEM: we go to the gym together, whenever we can. This helps with accountability & motivation.
  3. BCAAS: BCAAs feed our muscles and protect them, so we burn fat (not muscle!) while we work out. SO important. They’re essential amino acids—meaning our bodies can’t produce them on their own so they need to come from our diet. It’s best to take them 3x per day—before your workout, after your workout, & before bed. More details here. Oh & update if you’re following JOYFETI on IG, I can swallow two BCAAs at once now. Small wins, guys! LOL. I take these vegan BCAAs, which I’m about to take again right now.

I just finished drinking my peppermint tea & I’m off to get ready for bed & pop 2 BCAA pills. Popity pop.

Sweet dreams!

<3,
Bita

+ if you’re a runner, find out how to find the right pair of running shoes for YOUR feet (+ an interview with A Runner’s Mind)

+ check out the JOYFETTI playlist: energized—it’s perfect for working out!

[ the vegan BCAAs I take ]

Fall vibes x fitness:

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