Tofu Keto Salad (Plant Based, No Dairy)

Air fried tofu, salad mix with romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, petite carrots, tomatoes, yellow onions, extra virgin olive oil, with avocado and hummus as dressing.

Recipe

Prep Time 7 minsTotal Time 7 mins Course SaladCuisine American

Ingredients  

  • salad mix romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, shredded carrots
  • tomatoes roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 of a small onion yellow or red, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 a pack of tofu cubed, air fried
  • carrots snack sized, petite
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp hummus regular or jalapeno hummus

Optional Ingredients

  • cheese plant based
  • a dash of salt for tofu if needed

Instructions 

  • Optional: Microwave onions with olive oil to make them soft.
  • Air fry tofu for about 10 miuntes.
  • Add salad mix base, onions, olive oil, tomatoes, carrots to a salad bowl.
  • Cut avocado into slices or mash. Add hummus to salad.

Notes

Adjust ingredients and amounts according to your preferences. The olive oil, hummus, and avocado acts as a dressing.

Hello,

I hope you are healthy and well.

Try Trader Joe’s flavorful Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus for this keto salad!

You can marinade or season the tofu after air frying.

Tofu Keto Salad (Plant Based, No Dairy)

Air fried tofu, salad mix with romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, petite carrots, tomatoes, yellow onions, extra virgin olive oil, with avocado and hummus as dressing.

  • salad mix (romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, shredded carrots)
  • tomatoes (roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced)
  • 1/2 of a small onion (yellow or red, sliced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1/2 a pack of tofu (cubed, air fried)
  • carrots (snack sized, petite)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp hummus (regular or jalapeno hummus)

Optional Ingredients

  • cheese (plant based)
  • a dash of salt (for tofu if needed)
  1. Optional: Microwave onions with olive oil to make them soft.

  2. Air fry tofu for about 10 miuntes.

  3. Add salad mix base, onions, olive oil, tomatoes, carrots to a salad bowl.

  4. Cut avocado into slices or mash. Add hummus to salad.

Adjust ingredients and amounts according to your preferences.

The olive oil, hummus, and avocado acts as a dressing.

Salad
American

Bon appetit,!

Bianca

See new video pins on soups, salads, and more by following my blog on Pinterest at biancasoriano1.

You’ll Enjoy These Recipes


Coconut Strawberry Keto Smoothie 3 Ingredients🍓

Coconut milk, fresh strawberries, and vanilla whey powder. Sweeten with erythritol and or vanilla extract. Add chia seeds and almond slice toppings.

Prep Time 5 mins Total Time 5 mins Course smoothie Servings 1

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup coconut cream canned
  • 1 cup strawberries fresh, whole, crown removed, can be frozen
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp erythritol
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • almond slices topping

Instructions 

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

  • Add optional toppings if desired.

Notes

If the smoothie is too thick, add unsweetened almond milk. The whey protein powder I used contained 2g of sugar per serving. If you are using an unsweetened whey powder or protein powder, you may add 1 tbsp of erythritol or other alternative sweetener.

Hello,

I hope you are healthy and well!

Create this thick and creamy keto smoothie with strawberries, coconut cream, and whey powder.

Add additional toppings like vanilla extract, chia seeds, and almond slices.

Here are the main ingredients used in this recipe:

  • coconut cream – Trader Joe’s
  • strawberries
  • whey protein powder

Coconut Strawberry Keto Smoothie 3 Ingredients 🍓

Coconut milk, fresh strawberries, and vanilla whey powder. Sweeten with erythritol and or vanilla extract. Add chia seeds and almond slice toppings.

  • Blender
  • 1 cup coconut cream (canned)
  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh, whole, crown removed, can be frozen)
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp erythritol
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • almond slices (topping)

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

  1. Add optional toppings if desired.

If the smoothie is too thick, add unsweetened almond milk.

The whey protein powder I used contained 2g of sugar per serving. If you are using an unsweetened whey powder or protein powder, you may add 1 tbsp of erythritol or other alternative sweetener.

 

smoothie
almond, almonds, chia seeds, coconut cream, erithritol, strawberry, vanilla extract, whey protein powder

Bon appetit,!

Bianca

See new video pins on soups, salads, and more by following my blog on Pinterest at biancasoriano1.

You’ll Enjoy These Recipes


Spine and Back Health and Nutrition


Have you ever wondered what types of foods and habits can protect your back from injury and disease?

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

If you have back pain, eating these foods will not only maintain spine health but, lessen inflammation and pain.

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor if back pain persists or if you have chronic back pain.

Back and Spine Nutrition

Dr. Barry Goldstein, A New York chiropractor and nutritionist, created the ultimate “Spinal Health Grocery List – The Best Food For Back Pain“:

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Additionally, some foods are anti-inflammatory including tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, nuts, salmon, and cherries. Source: National Spine Health Foundation

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Dr. Goldstein claims these 4 foods will hurt your spine health:

The No-Go List – Worst Food For Back Pain

  • Red meats
  • Potatoes
  • Processed, fast foods
  • Foods high in preservatives (crackers, chips)

7 Healthy Habits to Protect your Spine

source: Spinehealth.org

Photo by Lena Shekhovtsova on Pexels.com
  1. Exercise
  2. Strengthen your core
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Have good posture
  5. Use proper form when lifting
  6. Sleep properly
  7. Quit smoking

You can do core strengthening exercises as part of your workout routine to maintain your spine health.

You can do core workouts in your car or in the office. Squeeze your core successively 100 times per rep. Do 1- 5 reps daily.

Maintain a healthy weight especially in the abdomen. Reduce weight so the spine does not have to support extra pressure which may negatively affect your posture.

Practice correct posture especially when sitting and lifting heavy weights.

Remember to place your pillow in a way that supports your shoulders.

Keep your body healthy by protecting your back and spine!

Photo by Lena Shekhovtsova on Pexels.com

What can you do to maintain your spine health?


Blueberry Banana Muffin Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup blueberry
3 tbsp rolled oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp almond butter

Directions

Place all ingredients inside a blender. Blend ingredients until smooth.

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Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Recipe

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants to potentially prevent against cancer.*

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 1 min Course Breakfast, Drinks Servings 1, Calories 401 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup Sweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/3 cup Blueberries
  • 3 tbsp Oats
  • 1 tbsp Flax Meal
  • 1 scoop Pea Protein Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions 

  • Put all ingredients inside the blender. Blend ingredients for 1 minute or until smooth.

Notes

*source

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

The best blueberry smoothie breakfast for busy mornings! This smoothie is filled with oats, almond milk, protein, and blueberries! Did you know blueberries are packed with antioxidants to potentially prevent against cancer*? Even more, the oats in this smoothie will keep you full all morning!

  • Blender
  • 1 cup Sweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/3 cup Blueberries
  • 3 tbsp Oats
  • 1 tbsp Flax Meal
  • 1 scoop Pea Protein Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Put all ingredients inside the blender. Blend ingredients for 1 minute or until smooth.

Breakfast, Drinks

How Bibliotherapy Can Skyrocket Your Mental Health

5 min read


Remember not to self-diagnose disorders. Always seek a professional when thinking about how bibliotherapy can help you. Professionals will help you navigate the issue and be able to diagnose if it is right for you.

What is Bibliotherapy?

Bibliotherapy, according to Good Therapy is a “therapeutic approach that uses literature to support good mental health”. source

Books for therapy? sounds fun!

Brief history of bibliotherapy:

  • As far back as Ancient Greece, people have been utilizing the healing power of books and storytelling. Ancient Grecian libraries have been associated with “sacred places with curative powers”.
  • Even in World War II, mental health professionals used bibliotherapy for soldiers with PTSD to rehabilitate them in order to adjust to civilian life.
  • In 1978, a woman named Rhea Rubin has published a book called Using Bibliotherapy: a Guide to Theory and Practice.

What are the advantages of bibliotherapy?

  • It is cheaper than other forms of therapy. source: Regain
  • Convenient- therapy is in your pocket or bag!
  • Can use audiobooks, poetry, movies, songs, etc.
  • Many types of book genres to suit your interests

Who is bibliotherapy for?

Anyone who has mild symptoms of these mood disorders can use bibliotherapy to improve their condition:

source: Good Therapy

What about anxiety?

Bibliotherapy can have positive effects on children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. source: U.S. National Library of Medicine | National Institutes of Health

Even if you don’t have a diagnosed mood disorder, you can still use books to help your mental health

How to do bibliotherapy?

According to Good Therapy, there are 3 ways to do bibliotherapy:

  1. Prescriptive Bibliotherapy- the self help method. The therapist will prescribe specific books and content that can be utilized with or without professional help. source: Good Therapy
  2. Books on Prescription- A program with a comprehensive list of books on mental health subjects dealing with grief, loss, divorce etc. in order to help the patient understand and begin to talk about their condition. source: Good Therapy
  3. Creative bibliotherapy- use of creative mediums such as plays, novels, stories etc. to help patients see themselves in a character in order to navigate his or her feelings and be able to open up and talk about issues they are dealing with. source: Good Therapy

Book therapy can be utilized in small groups or can be enjoyed by yourself.

Who can you seek for bibliotherapy?

  • Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator
  • Certified Poetry Therapist (CPT), Registered Poetry Therapist (PTR)

Read more about bibliotherapy at:

People who can help with Bibliotherapy:

  • The School of Life offers a bibliotherapy service online here
  • Google “bibliotherapist near me”

How Journaling Can Save Your Mental Health

5 min read


My senior year of high school was rough. I took all college classes including AP and Dual Credit. On top of that, halfway through senior year I was shocked to see 2 random science classes that popped up on my spring schedule. It turned out that my advisor forgot to verify I needed another science credit to graduate!

In total, I took 9 college classes.

Meanwhile, being an overachiever that I am, I had 3 honor societies and 3 leadership positions under my belt. Did I mention I was a martial artist as well?

Obviously after a few months the bubbling madness of stress took a toll on my mental health.

School can be stressful. That’s why its crucial to take a step back and reassess yourself daily.

Journaling is a powerful tool that can help cope with the stresses accompanied with your daily grind.

Journaling is actually proven to help manage your anxiety, guard against depression, and lower stress. (source: University of Rochester Medical Center) Why?

  • Journaling is a way of active thinking about your own problems, fears, and worries. You will be able to rationally talk to yourself and view your conflicts on paper.
  • Journaling can track things that make you worry or upset in order to come up with better solutions to handle them.
  • Journaling helps you talk to yourself like a friend to put issues into perspective.

source: (source: University of Rochester Medical Center)

The University of Rochester Medical Center reminds students that journaling is only one puzzle piece in building a happy and healthy lifestyle.

They highly recommend these essential practices:

They emphasize using a journal to track these necessary healthy habits everyday. (tip: a bullet journal can help you track these habits)

What is the most beneficial way for me to journal?

1. Write daily.

It is important to write daily. Set aside a time and place to write.

For example, I personally write in my bed when I wake up in the morning in a prayer journal and practice thankfulness (all of us have so much to be thankful for).

I even write at night in my bed before I go to sleep to think about things that happened in the day. I reflect on what excited me or events and occurrences that stood out that day.

2. Write everything.

Don’t think about making spelling mistakes or if your handwriting is nearly illegible. This journal is only for you.

Write everything that is bothering you. Write everything you are thinking about. Write everything that you want to.

Writing all your fears and worries down on a physical piece of paper is when the power of journaling creates a healthy state of mind.

Journaling is a physical reality of emptying your mind of toxic thoughts and putting them away in another location away from your brain.

3. Relax.

Journaling shouldn’t be stressful and should be one of your favorite parts of the day.

It is a time for you to relax and reflect. Journaling is a way of self-care.

I suggest drinking a hot cup of your favorite tea while sitting in a quiet space in your room. Surround yourself with candles, plant friends, or anything that relaxes you.

What is your favorite way of journaling?


3 Quick Secrets on Starting Your Journal

5 min read

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I tested and approved of. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that are no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks.


How can I start my own journal?

Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind

Natalie Goldberg ( author of Zen Living, Writing and Eating)

1. What is my goal through journaling ?

Having a purpose for your journal can lead you in the right direction and look back to see if you grew and met your goals.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my journal for mental health, productivity, or to express my feelings in a positive and healthy way?
  • How do I express my thoughts? Do I enjoy writing them? drawing? or both?
  • Do I like to keep souvenirs from places, people, or events?

Here’s a quick reference guide on journals for creative students:

Art, health & fitness, productivity and goal setting, and personal writing are essential towards a happy and healthy mind and body. As college students you and I need to take care of our mental health because college can be an especially stressful time.

Types of journals you can start today:

1. Art Journals

Do you like to express your emotions through images?

  • art collage – a collage of photos, art, souvenirs, memorabilia, magazine and image clippings
  • sketchbook – your own drawings, paintings, sketches of people, urban sketching, lifestyle
  • nature – a collection of pressed flowers, art, drawings, dried foliage, poems, or any observations, feelings, thoughts, or studies inspired by nature.
  • travel – a collection of photos, souvenirs, drawings, sketches, thoughts, ideas, and writing about where you’ve been.

2. Health & Fitness

  • food log – keeping track of your intake and diet, water consumption, healthy recipes, dishes you’ve tried from different cultures, your own favorite recipes
  • exercise tracker- track your workout routine, weight loss plans, goals for your sport (ballet, track, martial arts etc.)
  • women’s health – period tracker, hormones, mood swings, feelings, fertility cycles etc.

3. Productivity

4. Personal Writing

  • personal log & feelings- a record or observation of daily events that resonated with you, interesting thoughts, ideas, goals, events, what you felt, people you met etc.
  • creative narrative- story writing, describing your own life or small moments in details, and short stories
  • poem- writing songs, haikus, writing down a moment or something that inspired you through the art of poetry.

Your journal is a reflection of yourself.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”

FLANNERY O’ CONNOR

Don’t feel pressured to follow the bullet journal trend or confine yourself to a set of rules.

I personally have multiple journals that are a mix of all the above: a planner for tracking my college studies, deadlines, assignments, tests, projects as well as my social and personal life like parties, birthdays, and events. I also keep my goals, daily to-dos, and fitness plans. I have a pocket sketchbook for drawing quick sketches of people or scenes that inspire me while traveling. A bullet journal for dumping creative ideas, souvenirs, and pressed flowers and foliage. And a prayer journal for my daily life.

The most important thing about journaling is to relax and have fun!

2. Find Your Aesthetic

Finding your aesthetic may be more for creatives.

It may take some time but “find” what you like. In art, the more you practice, the more you start to develop your style.

Here are some of my favorite themes:

  • vintage theme
  • black and white
  • minimalist
  • floral
  • Brown, black, white, and gold
  • pastel
  • asian
  • glam or girly
  • travel
  • or a mix of your choice

3. Find Supplies

To me, this is the fun part.

Finding a notebook or journal that you love will make you want to write more. Here are some materials I love:

Materials ideas + recommendations

I got a lot of these from my local craft store like Michaels

Notebooks:

Writing Supplies:

Extra:

Note: you don’t have to purchase a lot of materials to journal. Just be creative with already existing papers, photos, pens, and materials.

“When it comes to art, it’s important not to hide the madness.”

Atticus

How does journaling help you?

Comment down below and check out other posts on mental health here:


3 Teas’ Secrets You Never Knew


There are so many delicious and health boosting teas to drink including hibiscus, jasmine, oolong, white tea, and peppermint.

Try:

  • black tea
  • green tea
  • matcha tea

1. Black Tea

Black Tea is definitely one of my favorite teas because of its rich taste.

It’s not bitter or sweet but has a dark, earthy, and wholesome flavor.

It is one of the most common teas on the market.

Black tea can be found at nearly every supermarket at an affordable price.

Brew hot water then add the tea.

Mix with almond milk for a healthy milk tea.

Health benefits of black tea:

  • powerful antioxidants
  • decrease inflammation
  • decrease risk of heart disorders
  • reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic (too much cholesterol) humans
  • reduces risk of stroke
  • prevents risk of cancer & inhibits cancerous cells
  • decreases blood glucose and improves insulin

click here to see the full article on the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Black tea can help diabetics, stroke patients, and decreases your risk of cancer.

2. Green Tea

Green Tea is another great tea with several positive health benefits.

Compared to black tea, green tea has a lighter taste.

It has a fresh and calming aroma.

Add a green tea bag to a steaming cup of hot water.

After 2 minutes, remove the tea bag (or else it will become bitter).

Health benefits of green tea (according to Dr. Mike):

Click here to view 7 Health Benefits of Green Tea & How to Drink it | Doctor Mike

More green tea powers:

  • decreases risk of degenerative and neurodegenerative (Alzheimer & Parkinson’s) diseases
  • protects against hip fractures
  • has recently been shown to have anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects

Make sure to read the full study here

3. Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is my new favorite!

It is originally from Japan.

Matcha tea has a rich green color that has healthy and bright appearance.

I recommend Matcha over regular green tea because it has much more health benefits.

When making matcha, they ground young tea leaves into a fine powder to capture all the essential nutrients.

Whereas, when making green tea, the leaves are simply boiled and you do not get as much of the healthy nutrients from the plant.

Matcha is more expensive than regular teas.

Good quality Matcha is not bitter but slightly sweet.

Health Benefits of Matcha

  • decrease or inhibit cell damage
  • lower risk of chronic diseases (illness persisting for a long time or a re occuring illness)
  • has more catechins (antioxidant compounds) than any other green tea
  • prevent kidney and liver damage
  • helps with faster reaction times, focuses the mind, and recall of information

read the full article and studies from Healthline here

Conclusion

Here are my top 3 favorite teas to try:

  • black tea
  • green tea
  • matcha tea

Remember to drink tea moderately daily. Some say 3-5 is safe unless you have a sensitivity to caffeine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all dietary supplements including tea when on certain medications because of potential interactions.

disclaimer: remember correlation does not equal causation. We still need many studies to prove the health effects of tea. Regard tea and health benefits as merely an association.

clear drinking glasses
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Other great teas:

What is your favorite tea?

creative workplace with laptop and notebook
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Simple Tips For Sanity During a Lockdown

6 min read


“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear” – Luke 12:22

full verse

How can you stay healthy during such difficult circumstances? Here are 3 essential and science-backed ways on maintaining your health:

1. Take care of your mind, soul, wellbeing

take care of.. you.

It’s okay to not be okay right now. Remembering that you and I have 0% control over this challenging time is one huge leap towards a rich inner peace.

How can you take control of your mental health?

Accept your emotions of anger, frustration, sadness, and helplessness while channeling them into a healthy or creative medium such as art, poetry, writing, sports, or music.

Find your creative outlet

“ I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.”

Willie Nelson

Try writing down how you feel in a journal, prayer journal, or a bullet journal. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help “reduce stress, manage anxiety, [and help one] cope with depression”.

Practice daily prayer and mindfulness

  • Mindfulness. Your mindset is so powerful. Having hope and seeing the best of things in troubling times are keys to success to many people. Changing your mindset and practicing gratitude and thankfulness is also an incredibly great way to stay positive. 

Talking to someone

  • Communicating your feelings to your best friend, parent, or a psychologist is crucial to maintaining your mental health. Furthermore, you and I are obligated to console those who need to be consoled.
  • If you are not comfortable speaking to a friend or family member, text HOME to 741741 and connect with a crisis counselor for free 24/7 or visit crisistextline.org 

2. Take care of your body

Get moving!

Sports and exercise for at least 20 mins 3 times per week is a scientifically proven way to de-stress. Recently, I’ve been taking beginner ballet classes from a professional dancer on YouTube called the Ballet Coach.

Simply taking a leisurely walk while enjoying the scenery and fresh air (while wearing a mask of course!) can lower your cortisol levels. 

Rest and Relaxation

Time to use those gifted beeswax candles, sweet-smelling lotions, and charcoal face masks! Don’t forget to treat yourself and take care of your hygiene.

Whenever, I feel stressed and overworked I have my own inexpensive and relaxing “me day”. Give your hair a treat by deep conditioning your it with luscious leave in conditioners. You can even freshen up by cleaning up your brows and shaving your legs for girls.

Remember also to get a good night’s sleep of 8-9 hours!

Taking care of yourself and your hygiene will help you relax and de-stress.

Eat healthy foods

According to Harvard University:

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check”.

“Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote weight loss. [1] Their low glycemic loads prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.”

3. Maintaining a sense of “normalcy”

Creating a daily routine

“No Bible no Breakfast, no Bible no bed.” -Fr. Larry Richards

Purchase a planner or simply write your goals down for the day.

Have a regular and consistent sleep schedule by avoiding electronic screens 1 hour before bed as the blue light will keep you awake.

Develop a nighttime routine in replacement of screen time. You can read your favorite book such as a novel or the Bible. Another great idea is to pray and journal before you sleep.

Staying productive

Make goals and try new things.

Conclusion

1. Take care of your mind, soul, and emotional wellbeing

Accept your feelings and channel them into a healthy and creative outlet

2. Take care of your body

maintain your wellbeing through food and leisurely exercise

3. Maintain a sense of “normalcy”

craft your own daily routine and stay productive

How can you help others during Covid-19?

I would love to know how you can help or are already helping others during Covid-19 by leaving a comment down below!

“Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy”

Luke 12: 33

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