Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

10 Healthy Eating Recipe Sites to Kick off the New Year

The holidays are over, and it is New Year’s resolution time. Since most resolutions include eating healthy, the iGnite Leaders have created a great guide to help in this — their favorite go-to healthy recipe sites.  Eating better in the new year will be much easier with these creative recipes to keep you interested. We suggest subscribing to a few of these blogs in order to get daily inspiration and motivation. Here are our top 10 favorites:

  1. Skinnytaste.com  Provides delicious, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. You can sign up to get new recipes sent to you several times a week. Check out the Top 25 Most Popular Skinnytaste Recipes of 2015 to get you going. 
  2. The Defined Dish Two Dallas-based sisters give you the dish about food, fitness and other happy and healthy lifestyle tips. Along with great recipes, the site includes workouts, fitness styling, music playlists and more.
  3. Plant-Based Pulse iGnite member Allison Quinones created this blog as resource for those trying to find a healthier lifestyle by providing delicious plant-based recipes. She strives to make all recipes as close to refined sugar and oil-free as possible. She is a wonderful resource and  periodically shares her recipes such as Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit on the iGnite blog.
  4. Connoisseurus Veg  This blog is written by a vegetarian who has a passion for cooking and sharing her favorite recipes.  Try the herb crusted whole roasted cauliflower – delicious!  
  5. AmyChaplin.com Amy Chaplin, author of “At Home in My Whole Kitchen,” inspires people to seek out local and organic vegetables, stock their pantries with nutrient rich whole food ingredients and to cook at home. Find beautiful, healthy recipes on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
  6. Elana’s Pantry A go-to website for easy, healthy, grain-free Paleo recipes.  Elana Amsterdam is the author of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.”  Her site even includes pizza, donuts, and other treats made the healthy way! 
  7. Greatist Daily Greatist covers all things healthy and makes it easy to navigate throughout their site — categorized by quick breakfasts, make-ahead meals, detox recipes and more.  Get their daily email with Greatist’s top health tips, workout ideas and delicious recipes.
  8. Oh She Glows One of the most popular vegan recipe blogs around featuring over 500 healthy recipes by Angela Liddon. Her goal is to inspire you to embrace more plant-based foods in your diet without feeling deprived. Most recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly. 
  9. Against All Grain  Paleo recipes to make you feel great created by Danielle Walker. She is the author and photographer of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook “Against all Grain.”  Use her Costco Paleo Shopping List as a great resource. 
  10. Naturally Ella Created by Erin Alderson, the blog focuses on seasonal vegetarian recipes that are pantry-inspired. Her goal is to keep the recipes simple, fresh, and exciting for the entire family. Her tex-mex inspired recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.

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*Food photography by Allison Quinones of  Plant-Based Pulse




What’s Love Got to Do With It?


“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be for creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
-Dr. Leo Buscaglia

Point to Ponder:
What are the sources of your confidence?  Are they building actual or perceived confidence?

Action Item:
Challenge yourself this week to improve your actual confidence by connecting, relating, listening, encouraging and loving people.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

While I haven’t opened The Confidence Code in over ten days, since writing last week’s Journal I continue to think about confidence every.single.day. On the surface it seems simple (like everything), but then as I dig deeper into my heart, the heavier and more complex it gets. And if I don’t get it out of my heart and on paper I think my head may explode!!!!  So here it goes:

I believe there are two types of confidence. The first is ‘Actual Confidence‘ which is spiritual confidence that is derived from our soul and tells us that WE ARE ENOUGH. We are enough just as we are and without having to perform, measure up, gain approval of or be accepted by others. And, we all have ‘spiritual confidence’ because I think we are born spiritual, a.k.a. created by God, for relationships and for one another. ‘Actual Confidence’ is sustainable, outward focused, and fulfilling because we get it from connecting, relating, listening, encouraging, and loving people.

Then, there is ‘Perceived Confidence‘, which is ‘wordly confidence’ and it’s based on societal success standards like wealth, job status and physical appearance. These types of things may temporarily validate us and give us confidence, but none are life-giving and they are all short-term. Just when we get to “the top,” there’s someone better looking, more wealthy and more successful. ‘Perceived confidence’ is unsustainable, inward focused, and unfulfilling because it’s about approval. It’s a road to nowhere.

So, how do we get and maintain actual confidence?  Again it’s simple, yet complex. The simple solution is to make our life about pouring love, joy and encouragement into others, every-single-day. What makes achieving actual confidence so complex is our consumer-filled and busy lives, which create the perception that we don’t have enough time. That busy-ness and stuff, no matter who we are, is a distraction that prevents us from connecting and loving others,  negatively affecting our actual confidence.

Finally, the million dollar question is, can we have the best of both worlds? YES, at least I think we can! I do think we can enjoy nice things, have amazing and successful careers and strive to look and feel our best, however; the foundation, which gives us the confidence to be our best, is connecting with and loving people on a daily basis.

So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything! And fortunately, at Saturday’s Austin’s Fittest Competition, I saw first hand what love is and can do. Love is loud, love is colorful, love is supportive and it came to cheer Kathleen on to her third consecutive fifty and over victory! Bottom line is, love is the greatest power on the planet and WHEN WE GIVE IT, there’s no doubt that confidence is one of its many wonderful by-products, leaving us feeling, doing and giving our best.

Power Off & Look UP

“When you’re too busy looking down,
you don’t see the chances you missed.”

This is a quote from this viral, MUST-SEE inspirational video, which passionately proves why we need to power off, look up more and contemplate our amazing lives.

So without further adieu, check out the video (warning: there is adult language), power off, and spend more time with the people you love, doing what you love.

Video not showing up? Watch it here on YouTube

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Be Like Mike

Wisdom from Children’s Books & Movies IV

Image from Disney Pixar

Image from Disney Pixar

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
– Nelson Mandela

Point to Ponder:
Which area of optimism do you struggle the most with:
1. Never giving up on your dream?
2. Believing in and building up others?
3. Seeing obstacles as opportunities?

Action Item:
Choose to be optimistic about something you have struggled with recently
choose to express your belief in someone who needs it now more than ever before.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

If you had read the title of this journal twenty years ago, you may have thought I was referring to one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan. I was a giant fan of his and as you probably know, during his record-breaking career there was a Gatorade commercial titled “Be Like Mike.” If I were asked to sing the jingle today, I could easily do it — it was simple, catchy and very popular. But today, twenty years later, the Mike I think we should all strive to be like is Mike Wazowski, the green eyeball from Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. In the event you haven’t seen either of these great films, the original movie, Monsters Inc. came to the big screen in 2001. Then, just this summer Monsters University was released. While MI was good, MU is off-the-charts excellent and my all time favorite Disney Pixar movie. It is visually stimulating, extremely funny and layered with life lessons which of course are great for kids, but as always, necessary for us, adults, to be reminded of.

To give some insight into MU, it tells the story of how Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) and Sully, the turquoise big-toothed monster (voice of John Goodman) went from arch rivals to best friends to becoming the top “scaring team” in Monsters, Inc. But, more than anything, it showcases Mike Wazowski’s optimistic winning attitude and characteristics that we should all strive to possess. While I do not want to spoil the movie — because you really do need to see it — here is what I consider to be “Mike Wasowski’s winning ways:”

1. Never Give Up On Your Dreams
Since grade school, Mike was always the smallest and least scary of all of his monster classmates, but always dreamt of being a “scarer.” Despite his physical limitations and being told he would never be a scarer, Mike did not listen to the naysayers. He never took “no” for an answer and worked harder than everyone else to achieve his dream.

2. Believe In and Build-Up Others
Because Mike was always small, not scary and even considered “nerdy,” he was a bit of a misfit. As a result, he was empathetic and compassionate. He was also a constant source of encouragement, breathed confidence into others and helped everyone around him see and reach their fullest potential.

3. Obstacles are Opportunities
Even though Mike only had one eyeball, he might as well had twenty — because his view on life was large! He was fearless, enthusiastic and even after being kicked out of Monsters University (his dream school) he saw the silver lining and created an opportunity for himself and Sully.

I realize that Mike Wazowski is a one-eyed green fictional character, though I can’t help but think that the writers of this brilliant flick may have felt like misfits at some point in their lives. Just imagine all of the people who must have told them that their idea about a one-eyed green monster and a furry bear-like monster with polka-dots would never make it?

Or, what about Tom Dempsey, the former NFL kicker who in 1970 kicked a record breaking 63-yard field goal? What if he would have listened to all of the naysayers who told him that because he was handicapped (born without toes on his right foot and without a right hand) his dream of playing football, much less holding a 43-year NFL KICKING RECORD, was impossible?!  Of course their dreams were ridiculed and they experienced tremendous obstacles, but I think it’s safe to say that they, like Mike Wazowski, were inherently optimistic and never gave up on themselves or others — a great example for all of us!



Gardening 101: What to Plant in April


In honor of the approaching Earth Day (Monday, April 22 if you’re curious), we’d like to touch on the beauty of growing your own veggies, fruits and herbs. If you’re at all like me, the idea has always sounded appealing, but I have yet to actually jump in and take a stab at it. I think mainly because I just plain haven’t made the effort to learn anything about it!  So, now — a chance to get informed. Not sure what to plant?  The county and the all-knowing internet has made finding this out pretty easy for us, providing calendars of ‘what to plant when’ online.

So what’s on the list for planting in April in Travis County?

Between April 1 & April 15, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato Plants
  • Watermelon

Between April 15 & April 30, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes

For a full list and endless additional resources for gardening in Travis County, visit http://www.co.travis.tx.us/agext/garden/veggies/planting/aprjun.asp

Not in Travis County? Check out your county’s .gov website for resources specific to your region.

Go ahead, give it a go — and let us know how it turns out for you.  Happy planting, and happy early Earth Day!


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