Managing Motivation

The first month of 2021 has gone and passed super fast. How is the world feeling? How are YOU feeling? Hesitant to answer that? 

Not to worry. It is, of course,  the dead of winter – winter in a year of social distancing, nonetheless. It is no joke, and should also be no secret that winter blues, anxiety, depression, COVID emotions and much more play a part of our daily lives.  (more to come about that in next week’s blog.) 

Managing our motivation is a serious struggle some days. Whether you are struggling to feel motivated towards your own career, your household chores, family life, daily tasks or your wellness overall, you are NOT alone. We are all in this together.  Let me start by sharing my story with you. From there, I’ll share my top tips for Motivation.

Hopefully you at least feel motivated to continue reading this blog though, because I am going to give you the top 5 thoughts I have towards managing our own motivation, from within. 

  1. Goal Oriented Habits. Motivation doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t just arrive at your doorstep, knocking, asking to be welcomed in like an old friend. It doesn’t show up daily. It may not even show up weekly or monthly. Motivation comes along every once in a while as goal oriented habits are created and put to action in our days. Developing goal oriented habits of course, are not easy.  I could write an entire blog just on that. However, if you are thinking about creating 3-5 new goal oriented that will develop into motivation, I suggest waking up an hour earlier to live an hour longer, creating a power hour somewhere in your day, drinking water throughout your day, eating healthy energetic breakfast, and smiling at yourself daily to get started on your motivation. 
  2. Routines/Rituals. Creating routines and rituals, whichever you like to refer to them as, take a little practice and personalizing to your lifestyle. But, once routines/rituals are established, it is really motivating to keep going and feel accomplished each day. Obviously in my power hour, I talk about morning routines. But I also very strongly believe in creating daily routines – like knowing when you plan on drinking your water, fitting in your exercise, and when you’re taking your walk break, lunch break, and so forth. How do routines/rituals relate to managing motivating? Well, regardless of which rituals you start implementing, it gets motivating to feel the inner change happening in the mindset and the brain overall.  Personal development sources will often tell you the importance of creating morning and day time routines. But I also very firmly believe in an evening routine as well. How you finish one day, determines how you start your next day in your mindset and your motivation. If you can create a calming routine for your evening, such as drinking a tea, turning off technology and lights, reading a book and feeling mellow, you will start your next day with less stress and greater amounts of motivation. Routines and rituals will generate positive energy flow.
  3. Consistency: Finding consistency stems from routines. Once you determine a morning, day, and evening routine that works for you and you repeat it several times, consistency gets easier. Once you’ve repeated your routines 3-5 times,  you know you can do it for a week. Once you’ve done it for a week, you know you can do it for a month. Once you’re consistent for a month, you’ve really circled back to implementing goal oriented habits.  Days when it is really hard to feel motivated within, you have to rely on your consistency, your calendars, your checklists to keep going and keep strong. With consistency, you have that extra push that giving up isn’t an option. 
  4. Discipline:  Along the lines of being consistent in habits and routines, discipline will eventually come knocking as well. I know some days you really want a friend or coach or gym buddy to give you an extra push. But the reality is that motivation has to come from within. And when motivation starts to fade, discipline takes a stronger appearance, reminding you of why you started. Whether you’re not motivated to get your daily exercise in, or you’re not motivated to stay hydrated, or not motivated to continue your meal routines, discipline reminds you that you have a plan of action, you have routines, you have developed habits and that it is important to stick to those.  As I said, that discipline will come knocking; it will ask if you’ve drunk your water, got your exercise in, eating healthy. It will be on YOU to answer the knock with an honest response and keep up on those consistent routines we talked about.
  5. Community & Camaraderie: While this whole blog has been about finding and generating your own motivation from within, the reality is that the motivation is easier to manage when doing it with someone. Community and camaraderie from others will absolutely help. In a world that has physical distanced and virtually come together, it is fairly easy to find buddies, at least in an online setting. So, finding the community and accountability buddies can not be an excuse. We have adapted to our new world to sharing our goals and ambitions on the internet in community “tribe” like settings. If you have not found your niche, your community – do let me know and I will absolutely get you set up with the community we’ve been working with together in our facebook world through facebook groups such as “Actively Ageless” and “Wellness Workshop.”

Rest. Recover. Rejuvenate.

Being your best, strongest, healthiest self does mean resting, recovering, and rejuvenating each day. Instead of choosing one specific day as your “rest day” why not learn about how to rest and relax everyday, how to eat right everyday, how to sleep right every day.

Let me start by asking: how are you feeling? How is your body feeling? What is your heart, soul, and flowing energy telling you these days?  Hopefully your physical body and mental body and flow of energy is feeling amazing. I sincerely hope that you do feel recovered and well in whatever busy lifestyle you lead. And, if not – I have your back as I cover all my favorite tips to recovery. 

Over the last couple of days/week, I have seen various posts and heard from different people about soreness, fatigue, overwhelm, and just feeling tired in general. This is very normal after the holiday rush, the new year, winter blues, change of pace in society/country and so many other things going on. 

While we are reaching the three week mark of 2021, this is the time when individuals want to give in or give up on their goals.  This is when we begin to slowly skip a workout here and there, bail on a walk there, accept less than our best, and simply go through the movements without solid intention.  

Let’s talk about and address what is really happening here. It can be a variety of elements: soreness, fatigue,  overwhelm, pain, aches or other hiccups in the journey. These are normal. These things happen. No wellness journey or fitness journey comes easy served on a silver platter. 

I do think it is important to be proactive in the mindset and understand that these complications come up. It is important to welcome these mixed feelings, welcome them with open arms. If you can welcome obstacles into your journey, you can address them in more optimistic manners with a plan of action to over 

As I talk to you in this blog, I am going to mainly address recovery, in the area of normal soreness and normal fatigue. I am not a physical therapist or doctor that can address or solve pain. Although I can help you navigate general soreness and general fatigue in areas of workouts/nutrition. 

First, it will be important to recognize if you are experiencing soreness or true pain. It will be really important to distinguish between the two. That is hard. Only you know your body to know if it is sore, in the muscles/tightness/range of motion or is extreme pain, excruciating, shooting throbbing pains. 

If/when you’re falling into that category ‘I’m so darn sore I cannot move, I am going to skip my workout, and I will not continue this program”– keep reading. If you fall into the “I want to feel better after a workout so I can kill the next workout even better,” then continue reading also. 

I am going to give you all the tips and tricks that work for me to make it through “exercise streaks” or what we often call the “no-zero days.” This simply means that we move our body a minimum of 30 minutes a day in a variety of ways. 

Recovery Tips & Tricks: 

First of all, I firmly believe in the following order of operation to care for our body for longevity: hydration, sleep, nutrition, movement

Hydration: Whether training for a big athletic event or simply working on your body movement and mobility for 30 minutes a day, hydration is an absolute must. For any human body that is active throughout the day, I highly suggest aiming for that 100 ounces of water a day. Starting with 12-24 ounces in the morning, another 12-24 ounces before lunch, another 24 ounces between lunch and dinner, and a final few ounces between dinner and bedtime routines, your body will be hydrated enough to fulfill daily life tasks, run the internal organs, keep your muscles happy, generate overall flow in the body. 

Sleep: With sleep, your body will be able to come into rest and recovery mode, allowing the internal organs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and mind to gently shut off for a few hours and rejuvenate for the next day.  Not only do you want to aim for a descent amount of hours (7-8+ hours) of sleep, you want to aim for a schedule. It will be important that your body is on a schedule, similar to babies and children. Plan to turn off your electronics about one hour prior to sleep, create an evening routine, and go to your bed without electronics. Try to do this at the same time each evening. Over time, your body will start to fall asleep and wake up at similar times day to day. 

Nutrition: Eating real foods, anti-inflammatory ingredients and following a macros-based nutrition plan will provide your body with the necessary ingredients needed to treat your body right from the inside out. Following a plan and knowing what to eat is going to combat the fatigue faster than anything. Eating right is what is going to generate energy in a positive way. On the contrary, eating sugary foods, breads, sodas, and high inflammatory foods is going to contribute to your soreness. It will lead to your soreness becoming aches and chronic pains. Eating a poor diet is going to inflame your joints and make movement very difficult.  

Truthfully, eating right is the biggest component of recovery and overcoming fatigue and chronic pain. Knowing what to eat pre-workout and post workout will be key to fueling your body to work your muscles properly without fatigue. Knowing what to eat directly after a workout will be even more important for recovering worked bodies – muscles, blood flow, hydration, ligaments, tendons and even the mind.  The following video was filmed at part of my Nail Down Your Nutrition program, but addresses the pre/post workout meals. 

Seminar 8: Eating & Exercising:

The WHY, WHAT, HOW of the pre/post workout meals: 

Typically the pre/post workout meals are packed with protein, carbs, and fats – meeting each macros group. Fruit and veggies can also contribute to these macros. When it comes to fruits,  choose the most anti-inflammatory fruits that also aid your muscles – such as pineapple, mango, cherries and apples. These will contribute to your carbs and healthy glycogen, key components of your nutrition. 

These three macros working together will accelerate recovery time so that within 24 hours so that you are ready to tackle your next workout even more efficiently than the day before. After the pre/post workout meals, of course you do eat all your other meals throughout the day  to keep recovering at all times.

Movement: When it comes to movement on a regular day, I always suggest warming up or stretching prior to workout and after your workout. I also believe you need to and can stretch periodically throughout the day. This movement can come in any form: 60 second walk or stretch each out, 10 squats each time you go to the bathroom, standing stretches as your coffee brews or many other ways.

As a coach and athlete, I stand behind the importance of 30 minutes of movement every single day, even rest days. When it comes to rest days, I firmly believe in active recovery: walking, stretching, foam rolling, or meditative movement for the mind and muscles both.  As I have talked about before, you have to distinguish between pain and soreness. Pain = rest and listen to your medical professions. Soreness: we have to move through the soreness.

When feeling sore, I’m a strong believer in active recovery such as walking, biking, stretching, yoga, and pilates. When you are dead tired, feeling fatigue, and simply don’t want to move, opt for the seating stretching while watching a TV show. The stretching usually leads to walking or stepping in place, a walk outdoors or maybe even feeling well enough for a recovery bike ride. biking. 

Active recovery doesn’t need to be strenuous. Lay down & stretch.

Thing to avoid: 

Just as there are essential elements and ways to accelerate recovery, are some that slow down recovery. Being sedentary, using soreness as an excuse to give in or give up, sugary foods, low quality breads, and many others are things that cause soreness and fatigue to linger around longer than needed. As stated earlier, high inflammatory foods, processed foods, sodas, juices, alcohol and many other ingredients will aggravate your joints and muscles. They will make soreness much worse than it needs to be.  (Spoiler: they also make weight loss much harder.) So, as always, try to stay clear of processed sugars such as candies, condiments like bbq sauce and ketchup, extremely processed granola and fiber bars (pretty much almost any granola bar that comes in a box), cereals, flavored yogurts and more. Stay clear of white breads, rolls, and tortillas.

Thank you for reading thus far. Please do comment on the blog, social media, or message me with any questions/concerns.

Part 2 of – Bringing Your Health Home: Home Workouts

Last week, (in previous blog, right below this one), I wrote to you guys about my most-grabbed-gear + the gear we will be using in 2021 zoom classes……

The photo here is my favorite items of workout support: blocks, balls, bands, towels, rollers, pushup stands, sliders, dumbbells and my bike of course.

While the photo may look overwhelming at first, please note and understand that I started home workouts using body weight resistance and nothing else. I did HIIT workouts that didn’t require a single piece of equipment. These are simply the tools I have acquired throughout the years.

The following video talks about the how, why, and when I use these tools as ASSISTANCE to improve moves, but also RESISTANCE to increase the challenge of certain moves.

Once you watch, I would LOVE to hear about which exercises and tools you see yourself using over the course of 2021.

Bringing Your Health Home: Home Workouts

My most-grabbed-gear + the gear we will be using in 2021 zoom classes……

Looking at these two picture below, you wouldn’t really recognize that this is the exact same space. It isn’t quite as cute in one photo as the other, but I can guarantee you that it is just as effective.

I know on social media it looks like the space I work out in has been a home gym for a very long time. It looks like I have always had every tool available to me to workout from home forever.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. While the space I currently workout in and teach fitness from is very equipped, I’d like to share other space/equipment that is just as effective.

Did you know that just two short years ago my husband and I were living in a such a small home that the entire house didn’t have one single real door. It was basically a “studio style” home with a kitchen, living area, and sleeping area. As you can see in the photos below, I completed my home workouts on a yoga mat on the kitchen floor. I had a mat, a couple sets of dumbbells and bands. That was the extent of it. Yet, I managed to move my body, get my sweat on, and get results.

To this day, I still say that even without equipment, I could have got the job done. I didn’t need beautiful equipment or matching gear. The number one tool any person needs to be successful in their home workouts is discipline. With discipline and drive to get the job done, you can complete a solid workout. Between discipline, the drive to do something, a calendar to follow – you can and will be successful.

But in all seriousness and talk of gear – I used the very basics. You can see that I didn’t even have a real, full size yoga mat. I streamed my workouts off from aps on our Apple TV. I stored my mat, dumbbells, and bands underneath our tiny table. I pulled them out each morning for a new/different routine that I watched on the TV.

Side Note: at the time, I was not an instructor. I was a school teacher.

Furthermore, using the very basics, I was able to get short and effective workouts right from home, and managed to lose 50+ pounds right in that kitchen!

The weights below were the very first, mis-matched items I added to my stash of equipment. Extremely random, but they worked for me.

Moving ahead, in 2018 we made the move from our tiny 1 bedroom home to a larger home with two bedrooms and a loft. When we decided on a two bedroom house, we decided we’d like a home workout area and we’d use the loft as a guest room.

Fast forward to the transition below:

Well, first of all, I took over this room as a step up from my kitchen floor in the older house. You can see here, I still have my TV to steam workouts, a couple yoga mats in the corner and dumbbells/bands in the baskets. I stuck with that equipment for a couple months and did just fine. I could stream a body resistance workout, strength workouts, yoga, and other variations to get my sweat on.

Over time, I chose bright and energetic colors to paint the walls. This was important to me for low energy days. I covered the windows and even the top portions of the wall in my race shirts and race bibs. I acquired a Schwinn Spin bike that I had intended to ONLY use on bad weather days to cross train for marathon training. I did not intend to become a spin instructor, but I fell madly in love with cycle!

Moving on to the gear that took a few years to aquire. I did not purchase a ton of stuff over night. I took advantage of buy/sell/trade sites, second hand stores, and a lot was given to me.

First, let’s talk about the ceiling “x-mounts” and the straps hanging – these are off-brand X-mounts that are mounted to sturdy area of the ceiling. I mention these because I have gotten questions about how I use my TRX, but also how I use my aerial yoga swing. I use strong carabiners to take put them up and down as needed. The straps hanging are off brand versions of TRX connections and have loops so I can connect bands, straps, and yoga swing at various heights.

In the photos above:

The first basket is a few different brands of sliders. I love using sliders in lunges, squats, and plank variations. Com 2021, I will be putting more slider moves into my zoom workouts.

In the second basket is a couple different types of “roll and release” balls. While these are used for myofasia massage rolling techniques, they are not super popular in my home gym. I rarely use them, though I do like them. The towels shown are super cute Dollar Tree towels that bring energy to the room and assist in the sweaty days.

Photo 2 is obviously dumbbells. Thank you buy/sell/trade sites for acquiring various sizes from 2 pounds to 25 pounds. No explanation needed on how useful these are. HOWEVER – dumbbells are very expensive these days. If you are unable to find/purchase dumbbells you may consider using plastic jars filled with various items such as water, sand, stone or other heavy material.

In the 3rd photo all the way to the right is my mess of baskets and gear. Every time I get something new it seems to end up there. I have years of bands I have collected – all colors, all resistances. Bands are a great substitute for weights. The very essential of this corner is the 36 inch foam roller. If you have ever tried one of my foam classes, you know that we use the 36 inch roller for full body stretch and spinal alignment. I use it almost daily. (And if you haven’t done one of my classes, message me for a recording.) Another essential from this corner are two yoga blocks. Obviously you can use them in yoga sessions, but also for shoulder and hip work in my stretch classes – another recording you definitely want.

Moving onto the questions of….what do I use in my zoom workouts, what we using in 2021?

Currently my classes use various equipment to enhance our exercise. In case you are shopping for gear/class accessories this Black Friday let me break it down by classes:

Barre: a chair or railing or counter top as the bar, light dumbbells, loops/bands, and occasionally sliders

Spin: a home spin bike, your bike in a bike trainer, or a recumbent bike

Get Fit While You Sit: we may progress to using a large stability ball, dumbbells, resistance loops

Strengthen and Lengthen: dumbbells, loops/bands, and occasionally sliders

Stretch: a strap, yoga blocks

Foam Rolling: 36 inch foam roller

Now…. If you have made it this far into my blog, I appreciate you taking the time to read about my home gym, my go-to-gear, and my virtual workouts. If you have never tried my workouts, I offer you a recording of each style format I teach. The links below will take you to sample workouts. If you try them, I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you decide you want to try even more workouts recorded or live, be sure to check out my services page.

A link for each style of zoom workouts that I teach:





Get Fit While You Sit:

Full Body Foam Rolling:

Cardio HIIT:

Cauliflower Cookies?!?! Yes, Please!

If nothing else, quarantine will leave us with an abundance of new recipes and new ways to test out vegetables.

I feel like it is easier to find vegetables in stores than most baking ingredients and boxed foods, so I am super satisfied with that!

Today I decided to try out easy “blend it up, pour it out cookies” that could also be an easy chocolate pancake recipe for your kids!

Cauliflower Cookies:
2 cups cauliflower
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (I use vegan chocolate shakeology so that they taste amazing)
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup water

Blend all of the ingredients listed above until super smooth. Then add in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir instead of blend so they don’t get too chopped up.
Pour into 12 cookies, about 2 inches in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Remove and let sit before you try pulling them off a pan. Because there is not flour in these cookies, they remain very moist. You can’t just grab them off the sheet pan. Remove them carefully.

You can eliminate the chocolate chips and go for healthier options such as almonds, pistacios, pecans, cranberries or anything else. You can also consider adding peanut butter or almond butter for a more savory taste.

If you try this recipe, I’d LOVE to hear how it works for you. Tag Heather or Heather Rose Health & Wellness online. On instagram: heather_rose_health_wellness

Let Lunch Cook Itself!

I mean – if you’re going to be busy at home with all the family and a ton to do, why not let lunch cook itself in the crock pot, right? Because this soup feels so much like chicken noodle soup, it’s so comforting, especially in times of the unknown.

What’s great about this soup is that you can pick up large amounts of onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and kale without worrying if they’ll go bad. I mean seriously, you can pick up 2-3 weeks worth of veggies, make this soup and freeze it.

And yes, before you ask – can you switch out the kale? Yes, you can use any greens you want. Spinach, bok choy, broccoli or anything would work. It’s just that kale is so extremely healthy for you. Plus, a little bit goes a long way.

Try this out, let me know. Take some pics. Post on social media and tag me.

Curried Lentils: Super foods for super cheap!

Who doesn’t love a good, healthy, cheap super food? I know that anytime I can make a food in bulk for pennies, it’s a serious win!! Lentils is definitely one of those foods! Super cheap, but also super nutrient dense!

Lentils are great sources of protein and carbs, as well as providing multiple nutrients. Lentils are also one of the best carbs that are antiinflammatory, as they are not highly processed, nor loaded with fillers/sugars.

Another great thing about lentils is that you can literally flavor them any way you like. My favorite is definetely curried lentils. For me, I actually like them for breakfast with two over-easy eggs. But they are also an excellent lunch and dinner side.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can do it on one pan. No need to dirty a whole lot of dishes. Let me walk you through the process step by step.

Start by putting the following into your pan on low heat:
1tsp olive oil
4 diced garlic cloves
1 full diced onion
1tsp diced or powdered turmeric
1tsp roasted red pepper flakes.

Let these ingredients saute on low heat for about 5 minutes. Together the garlic, onion, turmeric, and red pepper are excellent sources of anti inflammatory foods.

After those have heated and small amazing, add in 1 cup diced mushrooms. Let them heat for about 3-5 minutes. Mushrooms are also excellent for your immune system!

Now you’re ready to add in 1 large can (28ounces) of crushed tomatoes, with 1 small can tomato paste – which also contribute to your daily vitamins and aid your digestive system. Stir well. Leave on low heat for another 3-5 minutes.

Once all your veggies have mixed well and the flavors have come together over low heat, you’re ready to add your lentils. Add in 3 cups of lentils (assumed that you’ve already soaked them).

This is when you can add in your curry. Use a curry packet/powder of your choice. This is where you have to work with the flavors based on your liking. Add in as much or little as you want, depending on how much flavoring/spice you want. I’d suggest adding about 1tbsp at a time, let it simmer. Taste Test. Then go from there and decide if you need more. Continue gradually adding until you’ve reached the desired taste.

With this recipe, using 3 cups of lentils – that is 6 servings – since carbs should be eating 1/2 cup at a time. You can portion this out to six containers or leave in your fridge and eat throughout the week. It also freezes very well. So, feel free to double the recipe and freeze for future weeks.


Quarantine Brownies, anyone?

All jokes aside, I really did purchase baking cocoa powder, peanuts, and chocolate on my last grocery store trip before “shelter in place” began. I know that chocolate is my weakness and I knew baking is comforting. I knew that eventually I’d want to experiment.

So, let’s talk about sugar free, yet super chocolately-nutty brownies. And, why are they in individual ramekin dishes? Well, first of all, we have a rule in our house that we can only bring in desserts in individual portion sizes and we can only bake sweets in the amount we’ll eat in that sitting. We try hard to not have sweets and processed foods just hanging out. Because, let’s be honest – we’ll eat it all that night.

So, I made just enough for two individual ramekin dishes for Josh and I. I made them in FIVE easy steps!

Step 1: Bake 1 sweet potato until soft.

Step 2: Put the following into your blender: 1 cup mashed sweet potato, 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder, 1/2 cup nut butter of your choice. I had actually made 1/2 cup worth using powdered peanut butter. Add in about 1tbsp natural honey. Blend well until a brownie mix consistency.

Step 3: This is when you can add in any “extras” of your choice. I added in 1/4 cup peanuts for a nutty brownie. But you can add in any nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruits or anything.

Step 4: Pour equal amounts into your ramekin dishes.

Step 5: Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until baked all the way through.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Vegan Pad Thai Stir Fry – in 5 easy steps

Let’s talk about ways to make vegetables last longer without wilting, getting filmy texture, or getting soggy. Stir fries are always great! But stir fries with flavors and that can freeze are even better!

Like most of my recipes you’ll read about on my blog, I didn’t measure a single thing for this stir fry. I have a rule in my kitchen: measure with your heart. That simply means, if you like that ingredient, add as much of it as you want. If you don’t like it, only add a little bit or simply eliminate it entirely.

Pad Thai Stir Fry is no different. Use what you like, get rid of what you don’t. Let’s talk about this in FIVE easy steps.

Step 1: Cut your spaghetti squash in half and bake it for about 40-45 minutes depending on size. The larger the squash, the longer is bakes. The smaller the squash, the less it needs to bake.

Step 2: While your squash is baking, you’ll make your cream. I’d suggest putting about 2-4tbsp of cashew butter into your blender with about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Add in 2-3 garlic cloves, about 1-2tsp of garlic, 1-2tsp of ginner, 1-2tbsp of curry. Blend it all together. Again, if you like one of those flavors a lot, add more. I LOVE ginger and always add a lot of it! Blend it all really well until it becomes a creamy texture. Use this moment to play in the kitchen. Experiment with your blender and the flavors here. Add more of things as you go if you’d like.

Step 3: Let the blender set for a while and start stir-frying your veggies in a saute pan. Start with 1tsp coconut oil in the pan. Add in 1 diced onion and let it become carmelized and flavorful in the coconut oil. Add in some diced green onions and about 2-4 sliced carrots – more if you love carrots as much as I do. Let the carrots get soft before adding in your peppers. I say: think Asian stir fries. Go for the color in your peppers. Add a few of each color. Let all those veggies fry together for a hot minute.

Step 4: Remember the sauce in your blender. Pour that into your veggies and stir well. Leave it on a low simmer for about 3-5 minutes.

Step 5: By now your spaghetti squash may be done. Take it out of the oven. Scoop it out onto your plates. Give each person about 1 cups worth of spaghetti squash. Top with as much veggies as they’d like.

Now realize – you can add whatever foods into this stir fry you’d like. I’ve made it many times and put different veggies in. For example, I have started adding mushrooms because they are delicious and I feel like mushrooms appear in a lot of Asian recipes. You can also add in some chicken or sausage so you have some protein in your stir fry.

I encourage you to use this as a “foundation” to your stir fry. Think outside the box, make some changes. Make it the way you like. When you try it, snap a photo, post it and tag me.

Lastly, this does freeze well. So if you have loaded up on veggies while quarantined, make some stir fry in bulk and freeze it.

Tofu Tomato Soup

Doesn’t everybody just feel better and a sense of comfort with a good ol’ creamy tomato soup? I know that I do. I love a good, creamy soup of any kind. But, this one really really really hits the spot for me.

I thought that during times of shut down, quarantine, and staying in, that this might come in handy. The ingredients are easy to buy canned/frozen and it’s easy to make in bulk. And, great news is that it’s fairly cheap. The other added benefit to this soup is that the tofu brings a sense of creaminess and PROTEIN. Tofu has 18 grams of protein in one serving, it’s plant based and super healthy for you!

Now, before you see the recipe and ask about substitutions, modifications, changes and all that, just remember that this is YOUR recipe, and you can make it the way you like. You can use more or less amounts of certain ingredients. Or, you can entirely eliminate some ingredients. This all depends on what YOU like in your tomato soup. I’ve made tofu-tomato soup at least six time this year and never made it the same. I change things up based on what I feel like, what I have in stock, and what I don’t have. This right here is a basic foundation. There is no wrong way to make it.

To begin, heat about 1tsp of olive oil in a pan. Saute 1 large onion until carmelized. Add in 2-3 cloves of garlic. Add in 1 cup of diced mushrooms. Saute/heat these ingredients for about 5 minutes.

Transition these sauted items to your blender. Pulse for about 20-30 seconds.

Then add in 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 can tomato sauce, and 1 large can of crushed tomatoes into your blender. Blend really well.

After that has all blended, add in 1tsp crushed black pepper, a dash of salt, and 1tbsp basil. Pulse for about 10-20 seconds.

This is when you’ll add in your block of tofu. An entire block of tofu is about 4.5 servings. So, dice your block of tofu, add it to your blender, and blend. Realize now that you have approximately 4.5 servings or more of soup. If you are serving this right away, return the entire blended soup to a pan and heat until ready to serve.

On that contrary, if you are making this for your meal prep, portion it out and put it into a fridge or freezer. In a fridge, it stays good for about 5-6 days. In the freezer it will last as long as you need.

1tsp olive oil
1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp basil
1 full block/package tofu