FOOD & DRINK

6 WAYS TO BRING SELF-CARE INTO THE WORKPLACE

08/10/2018

BleubirdxSiggis-Q3-9With a new business venture on the horizon, my little office has never been busier. The emails don’t seem to stop, and somehow my to-do list is always longer at the end of the day than when I started. Lucky for me, my work is a labor of love and I am truly grateful for what I do, but like any job, it can still be a struggle to stay focused, manage day-to-day stresses, and to remember to keep self-care a top priority. I’ve teamed up with siggi’s to celebrate the launch of new siggi’s SIMPLE SIDES™—an on-the-go, whole milk yogurt snack with no-sugar-added mix-ins—to discuss my key tips for balancing a busy work day with personal wellbeing in mind.

1. First things first, get organized. Nothing wastes my day more than spending a half an hour looking for that important piece of paper I’m sure was right here yesterday. Personally, my life (in and outside of work) runs a whole lot smoother when I know exactly where things are, so I’m able to stay on top of things. It’s true what they say, “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” So, if you don’t have a home for everything on your desk right now, take fifteen minutes and give everything a place. An organized desk leaves more space for hustling. You can quote me on that.

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2. Create a workspace that inspires you. Family photos, kid’s artwork, fresh flowers, and a good smelling candle are some of my must-haves for a happy office, and working in uplifting surroundings can help you focus on tackling one thing at a time. Whether you have an office to yourself, a cubicle in a row, or just a little spot carved out of the kitchen counter, add whatever it takes to make the space feel like your own. It makes working more personal and fun!

3. Don’t let yourself get hangry. We all joke about getting “hangry,” but the girls in my office, can attest to the fact that everyone works together better when well fed. Cue new snacking solution siggi’s SIMPLE SIDES™. A busy day doesn’t always leave time for breaks, so these delicious, whole-milk, yogurt cups with no-added-sugar mix-ins included like nuts and dried fruit are the perfect option for keeping hunger at bay when working through lunch is a must!

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4. Speaking of breaks, take one if you need it. Some days the demands at work feel like they’re too much to handle. Other days, I have a hard time getting into a focused mindset from the moment I sit down at my computer. My solution to both is the same—to step away from my desk for a few minutes and practice a little self-care. Taking just a half hour to switch gears—taking a walk, reading a book, even phoning a friend—can reinvigorate my mind and recharge my batteries. Maybe your job only allows a short lunch break? Make the most of it and find some solitude to eat and do a little something you love, while leaving your to-do list at your desk. A good reset and a healthy meal is an A+ way to make sure you return to work feeling your best. siggi’s SIMPLE SIDES™ can help make that an easy task. There is a flavor to pair with every lunch, and the high protein will keep you full and ready to tackle the rest of your day.

5. One thing at a time. Take a moment to review your to-do list and organize points in order from “top priority” to “I’ll get to this when I can”. This helps me focus on doing the things on my to-do list instead of wasting time worrying about if I’m forgetting something important. I have more than one business that needs my attention each day, which can be tricky to navigate. I try to dedicate a set amount of time that I dedicate to each one, so the pressure of everything doesn’t get overwhelming. It can even help to set a timer. You’d be surprised how much more you are able to get done by this very simple practice.

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6. Get comfortable. Whether you’ve got a desk job or on your feet for hours, taking the steps to make sure you’re comfortable is key to happiness and good performance. This could mean a good chair with back support, a supportive pair of shoes, or even a mini heater under your desk if the building’s AC is on blast 24/7. I tend to dive straight into work still wearing the morning’s Pilates class ensemble more often than not because I’m never more productive than when I’m comfortable, but some days that means taking taking the time to get dressed up and wear a fancy dress that makes me feel confident in my own skin. Take comfort, whatever that means to you, into your own hands and do what helps you work best.

Self-care is a highly personal practice. What are some of the ways you weave it into your work day?
This post is in partnership with siggi’s.

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THREE SIMPLE BREAKFASTS

07/05/2018

Siggis-Bleu-Q2-12I haven’t always been a breakfast person, in fact, up until the last year or so, I usually skipped the most important meal of the day, and just ate a big lunch and dinner, and then snacked late into the night. Now, however, breakfast has become my favorite meal of the day—I rarely go without! I’ve teamed up with siggi’s again to bring you three of my quick and simple, go-to recipes that are healthy, deliciously fresh, and keep me full all morning long.

siggi’s is all about simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar, so I feel super confident sharing these meals with the entire family! Keep on scrolling to learn how to make these deliciously simple recipes yourself.

NEW-Siggis-Bleu-Q2-2Papaya and yogurt is my favorite summer morning meal because it’s fresh and light, not to mention incredibly tasty. Siggi’s 2% Coconut yogurt makes the perfect flavor pairing. Add in some lime, granola, hemp seeds, and pepitas, and you have a fresh and satisfying a.m. dish to power you through ’til lunch.

PAPAYA & CREAM

Siggi’s 2% Coconut Yogurt
½ papaya, cubed
½ lime
Granola
Hemp seeds
Pepitas

Cube half of a papya in a bowl. Add the fresh-squeezed juice of half a lime. Top with a generous scoop of Siggi’s 2% Coconut Yogurt. Add granola, hempseeds, and pepitas to taste, and dig in!

Siggis-Bleu-Q2-7Next up is a delicious, breakfast time snack that is easy to make and take on-the-go! This low-sugar, matcha smoothie is tried-and-true. It’s protein-packed with a base of Siggi’s Vanilla Filmjolk and greens to keep your energy levels high, and your belly full all morning long.

GREEN MATCHA SMOOTHIE

1 bottle Siggi’s Vanilla Filmjolk
1 large handful of greens (I use spinach and kale)
½ of a banana
½ tsp high-quality matcha powder (add more, if desired)
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of vanilla powder
1 pitted medjool date
10 ice cubes

Load all ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend together on high, and you’re set!

Siggis-Bleu-Q2-8Bircher Muesli is a traditional Swiss family breakfast that combines grains, fruit, and nuts soaked in yogurt and milk overnight. I’ve come up with a morning-of version, which I prefer for a crunchy, cereal-like bowl of goodness. I start with a large jar and add a mixture of rice and quinoa puffs, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, pepitas, mulberries, cinnamon, and dried fruit (apricot or mango is my personal fave!). With a well-tightened lid and a good shake, this dry Bircher base can be kept in the pantry for breakfast on the fly. In keeping with tradition, I topped off every bowl with several spoonfuls of Siggi’s Triple Cream yogurt, fresh fruit, and a good splash of plant milk. This winning combo is packed with nutrients and protein to equally satisfy morning hunger and tastebuds.

BIRCHER BOWL

Siggi’s Triple Cream Yogurt
Milk of choice
Fresh fruit of choice (we used raspberries and mango)
1 cup rice puffs
1 cup quinoa puffs
¼ cup buckwheat groats
¼ cup coconut flakes
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
2 Tbsp pepitas
1 Tbsp chia
1 Tbsp mulberries
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Diced dried fruit (we used mango above)

Prepare Bircher mixture in a large jar using all but the top three ingredients above. Put on the lid and shake the jar until dry ingredients are well combined. Add 1 cup Bircher to your bowl. Top with a hefty serving of Siggi’s Triple Cream yogurt and fresh fruit of choice. Finish with a good splash of plant-based milk and enjoy with a spoon!

This post is in partnership with Siggi’s.

A HEALTHY AFTERNOON SNACK/DESSERT

04/02/2018

BleubirdxSiggisQ1Hello there—long time no speak! I realize that I have not posted here in a few months, but know that the reason for that is there is a new and exciting project and site on the horizon that has been in the works for quite some time now. So, with that in mind, my team and I have whipped up some quick, easy, and delicious recipes in partnership with siggi’s for you (and the kids) that we just couldn’t wait to share!

I happen to know that I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to prepare quick and healthy snack options that my kids (both big and small) will enjoy—or that we as adults can enjoy, too! We have a family full of food allergies and picky eaters, so making anything new is always a tossup, and honestly we don’t sit for family meals as much as we used to due to the moans and groans about what’s being served up at mealtime. One thing that everyone can agree on is the love for a quick afternoon snack after returning home from school. As the weather warms up and the rain starts to clear here in Nashville (you’d think I was being poetic, but it’s actually been raining for a week straight), I can’t think of a better way to serve up a new and innovative treat that my kids will actually eat than with fun popsicles, perfect for the arrival of short-sleeves and spring weather.

BleubirdxSiggisQ1-5BleubirdxSiggisQ1-4BleubirdxSiggisQ1-12We were able to whip together these fun, robot-themed treats in less than 20 minutes (not including freeze time, of course), and my kids devoured them as soon as the backpacks hit the floor. Because we used siggi’s Whole-Milk Yogurt as a base, they’re packed with plenty of protein, so the kids have all the energy they need for those evenings when they want to spend a little extra time playing outside before sunset. Not to mention, siggi’s is all about simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar, so I feel extra confident when giving it to the kids. We added even more nutrients with fresh fruit, and sweetened them a bit with honey, so that Sailor and Birdie aren’t bouncing off the walls before their bath and bed time. Win-win! These treats are healthy and the kids are satisfied, thinking they just had a special treat. If you want to make them yourself, I’ve listed a rough outline of the recipe we came up with, below. We really eyeballed all of the measurements, but the best part about these nutritious little pops is that they’re extremely versatile. So, no matter what flavors or molds you choose—blueberry, pure vanilla, strawberry-lingonberry perhaps?—you can customize them to meet even the pickiest of eater’s desires. Bon appétit!

BleubirdxSiggisQ1-5BleubirdxSiggisQ1-7Banana, Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter Pops:
1 container siggi’s Banana and Cinnamon Whole-Milk No Added Sugar Yogurt
1/2 fresh banana, sliced
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Honey or agave, only if desired, to taste

In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, cinnamon, and honey, and put in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. This will help make the peanut butter easier to pour. Next, drizzle the PB mixture into the sides of your popsicle molds. Then, fill them one-fourth of the way with siggi’s. Add a few banana coins, then drizzle more peanut butter mixture on top of the yogurt. Don’t completely blend the two together, as the swirling and layering will provide a beautiful effect once the popsicles are frozen! Replace the sticks in the mold, and put in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Serve and enjoy!BleubirdxSiggisQ1-10BleubirdxSiggisQ1-13BleubirdxSiggisQ1-16Mango and Peach Pops:
1 container siggi’s Mango and Peach Whole-Milk Yogurt
1 cup frozen mango
1/4 fresh peach, diced
Honey or agave, to taste
Water

In a blender or food processor, puree the frozen mango. Slowly add a small amount of water a little bit at a time until the puree has reached the desired consistency; we used 1/8 cup. Fill the robot molds with a spoonful of the mango puree. Add a few diced peaches. Top with a good portion of yogurt, then repeat until the mold is full. Replace sticks and put in the freezer for 4-6 hours.

If you try these popsicles out at home, I’d love to hear what you decide to put in yours! The options really are endless, and I have a feeling these will be a staple in my household all summer long. Of course, any popsicle mold will do, but we love these mini robots!

BleubirdxSiggisQ1-2BleubirdxSiggisQ1-3This post is in partnership with siggi’s.

EAT THIS: KIMCHI SPRING ROLLS

08/31/2017

KimchiSpringRolls_BleubirdKimchiSpringRolls_Bleubird2One of my favorite restaurants here in Nashville is a vegan spot called Avo. I eat there almost weekly because I just can’t get enough of the avocado margarita and kimchi spring rolls—both highly addictive and a must-try if you’re ever visiting Music City! I crave the spring rolls and Thai dipping sauce so often that I decided I needed to try to crack the recipe, so I could enjoy these insanely delicious, yet healthy, finger foods at home. After posting about my obsession with them on Instagram Stories, an angel of a follower shared the original recipe with me. HALLELUJAH!!! I immediately ran to the store to scoop up the ingredients and got to work in the kitchen. They were spot on and now I am sharing the recipe here, so you too can enjoy this fresh and bold flavored kimchi and cashew blend of goodness. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Thai Dipping Sauce:
1 cup raw almond butter
1 Tbsp freshly chopped (and peeled) ginger
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 small jalapeno (seeds removed)

Kimchee Filling: Yields 2 quarts
4 cups cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours and drained)
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup raw tahini
1T agave (optional. I omitted, since I prefer sugar-free)
1 quart pre-made kimchi

Fresh veggies of choice
Collard Greens and/or rice paper wrappers

Process cashews, liquid aminos, sesame oil, tahini, agave (if using), and ginger in food processor until chunky consistency is achieved. Mix with roughly chopped kimchi and set aside. Using rice paper wrappers (or try collard wraps!) roll 2 Tbsp of kimchi filling, organic spring mix and julienned veggies (cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, and purple cabbage are best!) For the dipping sauce, blend all ingredients in high-speed blender. So easy and incredibly tasty!

I hope all of you non-Nashvillians will give them a try. Seriously, you need these in your life! If you’re afraid of the kimchi being too spicy, have no fear—I don’t like too much heat and these are quite mild. The chef at Avo is pure genius! I will also be sharing the oh-so creamy and boozy avocado margarita with all of you soon! xx

EAT THIS: PEANUT TEMPEH

08/10/2017

PeanutTempeh_BleubirdA friend of mine suggested I try tempeh as a protein alternative, since I am no longer able to eat red meat. For those of you who may be scratching your head as to why I can no longer eat red meat, I have Alpha-Gal, which is a sudden and serious allergy to most mammal products. There’s a great podcast about Alpha-Gal on Radiolab if you want to know more about it. Anyway, back to the tempeh. While at the farmer’s market on a Saturday, I found a little stand that makes and sells tempeh called Short Mountain Cultures. I tried a sample that was prepared with a peanut-y marinade and really liked it, so I bought some to try and make at home. The dish was a success and for the next three days, I piled my delicious peanut tempeh on top of various bowls and salads. I’ve made this several times now and am obsessed. Try it! I think you’ll like it.

Ingredients:

One package tempeh (8 oz.)
3 Tbsp Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce (add more to taste)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp un-sweetened, natural peanut butter
1-2 Tbsp coconut nectar or honey, depending on how sweet you like (I used 1)
A good squeeze of lime juice (about 1 Tbsp)

First things first. You need to remove the bitterness from the tempeh—a pro tip! Cut your tempeh into squares. Place it into steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes. While the tempeh is steaming, combine the rest of the ingredients above into a bowl and mix well. Once tempeh is done steaming, pat dry and coat with sauce. Let tempeh marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Pre-heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tempeh on baking sheet and pour excess marinate on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Tempeh will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

PeanutTempeh_Bleubird3PeanutTempeh_Bleubird2PeanutTempeh_Bleubird4PeanutTempeh_Bleubird6Recipe adapted from here.

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