How to Reboot After Thanksgiving

If you’re anything like me, you probably ate way too much Thanksgiving and now feel groggy and bloated. The mounds of turkey, buckets of gravy, and lack of green vegetables can be quite the trial. Trust me, the struggle is real lol. Since we’re probably all in the same boat, I thought I would share a few tips to help you get back on track…

  1. Drink More Water ~ Water is always mandatory, but is especially helpful when high sodium and greasy foods are apart of the scenario. Drinking a little more water than you typically do will help you to flush out those toxins and feel much better.
  2. Exercise ~ Adding more movement into your schedule over the next week will help to cleanse your system even more. Taking the stairs, parking farther away from the store, or maybe even hiking this weekend are great ways to boost your physical activity.
  3. Keep Breakfast Clean ~ This week, really watch what you eat for breakfast. What you choose to fuel your body with first sets the tone for the rest of the day. For a quick and easy breakfast, try making a dressed up bowl of oatmeal such as Good Morning Breakfast Oats.  They will keep you full until lunch and give you the energy to conquer the day.
  4. Pray for Gratitude ~ Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and celebrating harvest, but how often do we think about gratitude any other time of year? Let’s remember to thank God daily for His blessings AND trials. Pray that God would give you gratitude for every situation in life. The hardships help us to appreciate the good times.

Thanks for stopping by Little Things and Sunshine! Feel free to leave any tips you have for getting “back on track” in the comments below.

Have a blessed week,

Emerald

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3 Ways to Eat Chia Seeds

Hey Y’all! I’m sure you’ve heard about chia seeds, the tiny super foods that all of the celebrities and health food junkies rave about. Chia seeds contain loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, omega 3, fiber, and protein. They’re one of my favorite things to incorporate into meals and snacks. Here are just a few of the ways I love to sprinkle them into my diet;)
image   In my nut-butter~ One of the easiest ways to add chia seeds into your regular meals and snacks is through nut-butters. Sprinkle some into almond butter to enjoy with apples or celery. image In my smoothie bowls~ Another much raved about food item is the smoothie bowl. I love to add chia seeds as a topping along with frozen mango, shredded coconut, and hemp seeds.

img_1562 In my homemade popsicles~ One of my favorite treats are homemade popsicles. It is so easy to combine fresh fruits, and even vegetables, into healthy indulgences that can by enjoyed by the whole family. For convenience, I like to blend all-natural fruit juice, frozen berries, and chia seeds in a blender, pour into popsicle molds, and freeze overnight for an anytime pick-me-up.

Thank you so much for joining me at Little Things and Sunshine! For more posts like this, you can follow me by simply clicking the button on the right or down below. Let me know what your favorite ways to eat chia seeds are, and I hope you have a great day!

Emerald

3 Ways to Unwind

About this time of year, mid-terms arrive and work schedules seem to be never ending. It is so easy to get bogged down and let the stress of day-to-day life get to you. With that being said, it is also just as easy to unwind after a long day. A little bit of self-care can go a long way in bringing much needed relaxation. Here are just a few ways that I like to unwind when life gets crazy…

A Cup O’ Tea: Ahhhh I love tea! For me there is nothing better after a long day than sipping on a cup of tea as I settle down for the night. Some of my favorites for relaxation include Traditional Medicinal’s Organic Throat Coat tea, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Honey tea, and Twining’s Lemon and Ginger tea.

Working Out: It is crazy how much stress can be released through exercise. Most days, I like to go for a run, stretch or do yoga, or do a floor barre or boxing workout video off of Youtube. Just moving, especially after sitting all day working on school and writing, eases my mind and makes for a much better night’s sleep.

 

Listening to Podcasts and Music: While reading is great for relaxing, after looking at school books and a computer screen for most of the day, it often hurts my eyes and is just unappealing. Instead I really enjoy listening to a podcast or music while I sip my tea, walk, or get ready for bed. For podcasts, my two favorites are Glorious in the Mundane, a podcast by Christian singer/songwriter Christy Nockels, and Gospel in Life, a podcast of sermons by Timothy Keller. For music, I love listening to artists such as Audrey Assad, Ellie Holcomb, and the Norton Hall Band. My Encouraging Morning playlist has some of my favorite songs by these artists.

Well there you go! Thank you for visiting me here at Little Things and Sunshine.  I hope these suggestions help you to “take a deep breath”. If you have any favorite ways to unwind, let me know in the comments!

Emerald

 

Vegan Chocolate Icecream

 Hi there! Thanks for visiting Little Things and Sunshine. In my last post, I talked about my experience with veganism and the month that I “went vegan” (you can find that post here). Along with a new sense of self control, I also discovered an amazing vegan alternative to one of my favorite treats: chocolate icecream. This particular recipe will yield a  refreshing and chocolatey dessert thats taste reminds me of your classic chocolate soft serve. Having this little pick-me-up really helped me through my experiment, and I honestly never missed the real stuff;) 

 
This recipe is incredibly easy. All you have to do is add 1 can of unsweetened lite coconut milk, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to your blender and turn on high until it’s frothy. After that you just pour your mixture into a container and freeze. Now of course the texture of this desert is icier than your typical store bought alternatives, so just be prepared to let it thaw for a few minutes before serving;)

All of the measurements can be changed to suit your needs. If you like it a bit sweeter, feel free to add more powdered sugar. Play around and adjust it to your taste! 



Well that’s all folks! I hope you have a blessed weekend. Do you have any favorite vegan dessert recipes? Let me know in the comments! 

Emerald 

I Went Vegan?

Hey y’all! Welcome to Little Things and Sunshine. I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. I could blame this on school and numerous other things, but honestly I just haven’t felt very driven. Maybe it was just the mid-semester slump or something. Anyways, here I am moving forward again at full speed:) One of my goals for September was to go vegan for the month. Now I’m sure many of you are asking, “Why on earth would you do that!?”. Well before September began, I read a lot of articles and watched many videos about the vegan lifestyle and it’s pros and cons. My normal lifestyle being mainly plant-based, I figured it would be an interesting way to challenge myself without having to make many changes.

I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about the experience. Being vegan made me rethink the way I prepared and ate food. It was definitely much harder than I expected it to be. I couldn’t just go to the fridge and grab what was most convenient, but had to think through the ingredients and timing of my food. I also had the opportunity to try new foods such as tofu, tempeh, and almond milk yogurt. It was really fun to recreate some of my favorite foods, including brownies, ice-cream, pho, and alfredo, in a healthier and vegan style. Pinterest was definitely a lifesaver for times when I ran out of meal ideas.  Eating vegan had a positive effect on my health and the way I look at food for sure.

Now the month is coming to a close and, no, I will not be going vegan permanently. It just wouldn’t be practical at this point. For me, continuing with a mostly plant-based diet that includes locally sourced animal products will be the best. I am blessed to live in an area where my family can purchase milk from a local creamery and eggs from a lady at our church. Because of that, I know that the animals producing those parts of my diet are in a happy, healthy environment. The products are also minimally processed if at all. Eating meat has never been a huge part of my diet and will continue to play a very small role.

My experiment really did teach me what it means to eat to fuel my body and not just curb hunger. I also had to learn to be ok with not eating a treat just because everyone around me was (a bad habit of mine). What do you think about “going vegan”? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you all have a great day! Get ready for many vegan friendly recipe ideas in the future;)

Emerald

Disclaimer: I am a highschooler, not a doctor or nutritionist. My mother, who is a nutritionist, supervised and encouraged me throughout this entire process. Making a major lifestyle change, such as becoming vegan, can have a negative impact on your health if it is not executed correctly. This post is simply meant to inform you on my personal experience. Before making a diet change, please consult your doctor.

Goodmorning Breakfast Oats 


Hi Everyone! 

Today I thought I would share one of my favorite breakfasts with you. This breakfast bowl is filling, nourishing, and delicious! I made 1/2 of a cup of old-fashioned oats and topped it with frozen blackberries and blueberries, slivered almonds, almond butter, chia seeds, and blue agave nectar. This bowl kept me full and feeling great all morning! It’s also easy and fast to make, so it’s perfect those rushed mornings on the way to work or school. 

What has been your favorite breakfast recently? Comment down below! 

Thank you for stopping by! 

Emerald 

Encouraging Morning Playlist

Hey y’all! Welcome to Little Things and Sunshine!  Today I thought that I would share one of my favorite morning playlists with you. Music is such an important part of my life, and listening to something encouraging really helps me to start my day out right. This is a great playlist to listen to as you get ready, make breakfast, go to work or school, or just hang around the house!

                     My Morning Playlist

Well I hope you enjoy all of these songs! I would love to know which ones are your favorites and what some of your favorite encouraging songs are! Thanks for stopping by:)

Emerald