Strawberry Field Chia Pudding with Marine Collagen

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Let's be real, we all want to look and feel younger and have youthful skin, indefinitely. A while back, I had contacted my Naturopath to learn more how to get a better glow to my skin, and help with the aging process and found out that the answer: Collagen + Vitamin C.

I’ve talked before about collagen being part of my daily wellness routine and how to sneak more of it into your diet. But here’s the quick rundown. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein and an essential building block for the body, especially for healthy skin, hair, and nails, making up approximately 30% of our bodies’ protein. Think of it as an amino acid chain that strengthens the body, especially our skin, bones, joints, and muscles.

Unfortunately, collagen diminishes with age and is likely impacted by today’s diet and environmental influences. That’s why I’m such a proponent of supplementing with collagen peptides, which are a bioavailable form of collagen. And when it's combined with vitamin C, it helps reverses the harmful effects of UV exposure on the skin by neutralizing free radicals.

Interestingly though, vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Taking a collagen supplement, without vitamin C, won't have the same impact. So I searched for the best collagen on the market and have been a fan-girl of Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen.. especially this strawberry flavor!

You’ll love that it is non-GMO-certified—no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It’s also made from 4200mg bioactive collagen peptides from sustainable, wild-caught Arctic cod. The best part is that it's blended with natural vitamin C to aid our body’s normal formation and provide antioxidant support.

Aside from the Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen Strawberry flavor being a great addition to smoothies, chia puddings, and warm nut milks, it's a company you can stand behind proudly! For 23 years, they've sourced fish from the cleanest waters to create a fantastic line of marine-based supplements.

I always find it a bit difficult to find a collagen that doesn’t have an fishy or animal aftertaste to it, until I discovered Nordic Naturals! It is virtually flavorless, with the exception of the light, and refreshing strawberry scent and taste. They recommend mixing in 2 teaspoons of marine collagen powder with 5 oz. warm or cold liquids once daily.

One of the ways I've been enjoying this refreshing and nourishing Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen is with this Strawberry Fields Chia Pudding. All of the ingredients are good-for-your-skin! The fresh strawberries and goji berries help boost the already natural strawberry flavor of the marine collagen, and satisfies all your sweet cravings all with a health boost of collagen peptides. With just 8 simple ingredients you’re sure to make this healthy breakfast or treat again and again as part of your wellness routine.

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Nordic Naturals Collagen Strawberry Fields Collagen Chia Pudding  - healthy meals, gluten free, keto friendly, low carb - _ 6.jpg

Strawberry Field Chia Pudding with Marine Collagen

Recipe makes 1-2 servings.

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What You'll Need

3 tbsp chia seeds

8 oz cashew milk

2 medium strawberries

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp coconut flakes

2-3 drop stevia (or 1 tbsp honey)

1 tbsp Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen (Strawberry)

1 tbsp hemp seeds

What You'll Need

In a high-speed blender, add in 8 oz cashew milk, 2 medium strawberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 2-3 drop stevia (or 1 tbsp honey), 1 tbsp Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen (Strawberry). Blend for about 60-90 seconds.

In a mason jar, add in chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut flakes. Pour mixture, stir and let it sit for about 2 hours.

Optional: Top with bee pollen, coconut flakes, and a sliced strawberry.

Thank you to Nordic Naturals for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


The Best Vegan Plant Based Mac n' Cheese

This has got to be the best Vegan/Plant-Based Mac n' Cheese.

I’m always trying to re-create a dairy-free mac n' cheese and I feel like I finally nailed down a solid good recipe. I'm particularly excited to use basil and Oregon White Spring Truffles from my Portland Farmer's Market haul today. Fun Fact: I'm obsessed with truffles. And, not the chocolate kind. One of my dreams is to go truffle hunting in Alba, Italy.


What You'll Need

1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup oat milk
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp yellow mustard seed powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups quinoa elbow noodles (I used this band)

Optional: Oregon White Spring Truffles Shavings or White Truffle Sea Salt for a mind-blowing boost of flavor and depth. 🤯

What You'll Need To Know

Cook quinoa noodles as directed.

While the water is boiling the noodles are cooking, add to a high-speed blender all ingredients, except basil and blend for 30-60 seconds.

After the noodles have cooked, drain and pour "cheese" all over and mixed together.

Serve and enjoy!

Meal Prepping Like A Boss / Part 1

meal prep like a boss

You've probably heard that preparing your own meals instead of eating out is a great way to save calories when you're trying to lose weight or simply eat a healthy, balanced meals.

Food prepping can and will change your life! It saves time, and calories like you wouldn't believe. 

However, a home cooked meal isn't necessarily a good choice in all cases. You can prepare meals that are very high in calories without even realizing it. 

Over the weekend, I meal planned, prepped and cooked and found that, although it was time-consuming, it was actually pretty simple! 

Not knowing how to meal prep shouldn't stop you from planning and prepping your meals for the week. That's why I have some pro tips to help you on your food-prep journey!

Plan, Plan, Plan

My best tip is to have a plan for each meal. Decide what you're going to make ahead of time and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. That way you have the tools you need to prepare a low-calorie meal at home anytime you get hungry.

When I meal plan and prep, I typically make big batches of 3-4 meals for myself and my husband. These meals consist of: protein, healthy fats, veggies, and carbs. 

Protein: 4-6oz
Healthy Fats: 1/4 - 1/2 avocado, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
Vegetables: 1-2 cups
Carbs: 1/2 cup (these are starchy items like sweet potatoes or yams)

My suggestion is to mix and match from these categories and start planning:

Protein: Chicken breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, nitrate-free lean lunch meat (turkey breast, ham, or roast beef)

Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, almond flour tortillas (I love Siete brand), sweet potatoes, yams

Healthy fats: Avocado, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil and coconut oil

To be clear, you don't have to count macros to make this work. You can also use the "fist method" Counting macros or not, having detailed guidelines ahead of time will help the shopping and prep. You can even take it to the next level and label containers by day and meal.

This week I decided to plate them individually--thoroughly weighed and portioned out in individual containers. So, having a kitchen scale was paramount to this.

Purple Cauliflower Rice with roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken.

Purple Cauliflower Rice with roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken.

Eat Vegetables At Every Meal

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, which helps prevent hunger between meals. Make sure you have a vegetable at every meal.  

For my meal preps, I typically add 1-2 cups of vegetables.

I love roasted or steamed vegetables, which make great add-ins and sides. Because they are packed with fiber, your body will be satiated for very few calories. 

Once a week, roast a big pan of mixed vegetables and use them in salads and soups or as a healthy side dish all week long. Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and bell peppers are all delicious choices. I typically toss mine in coconut oil, sea salt, and oregano and roast them at 350F for 20-30 minutes, depending on what I'm roasting up.

Easy, right?


Zoodles with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

Zoodles with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

Keep It Simple

Seriously, keep it simple! You don't need to prepare 21 specific meals on your food-prep day, or you'll be in the kitchen forever!

Preparing generic, versatile foods can be even more efficient.

Cook up some veggies you love and lightly seasoned salmon, chicken breasts or ground turkey that you can throw into any recipe later on during the week.

I make 3-4 different meals for some variety throughout the week. 

The week's meals for lunch & dinner:

Zoodles with seasoned ground turkey and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and cauliflower rice

Ground turkey, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potatoes (or potatoes)
Grilled chicken with broccoli, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
Grilled chicken with roasted carrots and cauliflower rice

For  healthy fat, we top our meals with 1/2 avocado

These were the bases:
Roasted Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms

Fresh Vegetables: Zucchini zoodles, brocolli (steamed before eating each meal)

Cooked Vegetables: Purple cauliflower rice cooked in coconut oil, hemp seeds, and coconut shreds, and seasoned with lemon and sea salt

Protein: Grilled Chicken marinated in lemon juice and sea salt; Ground Turkey cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with smoked paprika, sea salt and 

What about breakfast? For breakfast, I usually have a Coconut-Avocado smoothie or chia pudding. Gregg practices intermittent fasting (IF), so his first meal is usually around 10:30/11am.

Don't Starve Yourself!

If you're trying to lose weight, you might feel inclined to cut back on calories by preparing much less food than you're used to eating. Nine times out of ten that will backfire. You'll be so hungry that you'll end up buying unhealthy snacks in between meals, spending more money, and ultimately gaining weight. You know your appetite, so meal-prep accordingly so that you don't accidentally starve your body!

Food-prepping is a lifestyle change that you should enjoy and not dread.

Prepare healthy foods you'll enjoy; if you hate Brussels sprouts and fish, don't eat only those just because they're healthy. Switch to broccoli and chicken if that's what you prefer.

Being happy is just as important as being healthy. 

Now that you know these tips, you’re ready to get started! Don’t say next week or next month; you can start the next time you go to the grocery store. When you do, make sure you share any new tips you’ve learned here.

Do any pro food-preppers have some advice to share? I want to hear it here!