eat well | whole wheat + oat waffles

Let us introduce you to the perfect breakfast for your holiday guests (we also keep an extra stash in our freezer for busy weekdays). We may even suggest they are our favorite waffles, period. ever. They are light and moist on the inside, crispy on the outside. It may take some convincing that they are whole wheat. Adapted from Grampy Geoff Haven's Whole Wheat Waffles. Martha Stewart does it again.

light as air whole wheat + oat waffles |

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour

1 C oats, ground

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1 T baking powder

1/4 t salt

4 eggs

2 C milk

1/4 C olive oil

1 t vanilla

3 T honey

1 | Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

2 | In a large bowl, whisk together oil and honey. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; whisk well to combine. Add flour mixture and stir to combine; it should be easily pourable, so add a little more milk if it seems too thick.

3 | Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup batter into the center of iron. Cook until golden brown. Repeat. Serve immediately with pure maple syrup and fresh blueberries. Enjoy. Repeat. 

a tip a day | have a fab friday

healthy holiday party ideas |

By now, holiday festivities are in full swing, so we're sure you have something fabulous planned. Going to a party? Today, we're sharing a few ideas to keep you sticking to your health guns (and goals) even when party time comes around. If you aren't starving, thirsty, and desperate, you'll have a little better luck wrangling the party spirit. Have a light snack before you head out the door (plenty of water, fruit, veggies, nuts; those feel good options).  That way you'll have a little more control to not go straight for the dessert table. Upon arrival, load up your plate with any real food available first (veggies to munch on while you mingle).  Of course a sampling of the dessert table is in order, but if you're not ravenous, you'll be better prepared to make mindful and deliberate choices. Happy Friday! 

healthy happy holiday | a better thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is here!  We've anticipated this week for the past month as we've drooled over delicious recipes from pinterest and our favorite food websites.  We decided it would only be appropriate to share a few tips for having a healthy and happy holiday. You hopefully know by now that we're not going to suggest you pass on Grandma's rolls or say no to pumpkin pie. But we do have a few ideas to make this a holiday that you can enjoy (and not feel guilty about) with your family and friends and keep you feeling great.

(no deprivation) happy healthy holiday tips | swell mama

1 |  Drink plenty of water. We know you hear this all the time, but it really is so important.  Dehydration is more likely to happen during the holidays when you're busy running errands, cooking, and splurging. Oh and did we mention drinking plenty of water will also help to keep you from overeating? Who doesn't want any extra help they can get in that area?! It's not always the first thing on your mind when it's so cold outside, but nobody wants to spend their Thanksgiving weekend with a headache, so keep that bottle of water with you in the kitchen, in the car, whatever you're doing. 

2 |  Have a healthy breakfast. When you know there's a big feast coming Thanksgiving day it's easy to forgo other meals to get ready for the big event. Or maybe you're just too busy to even remember breakfast? You want to take the time to have some oatmeal or a green smoothie to give you a little fuel and nutrition and not leave you starving by the time dinner starts (cue: overeating and a major stomach ache). Getting those nutrients is important during this season to fight off all the sickness going around. 

3 |  Splurge. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little splurge, right? And let's make it a little splurge without the guilt. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Savor it.  And be grateful for it. You don't have to go overboard and eat the whole pie to enjoy it,  just enjoy a reasonable portion with no regrets.

4 |  Move. Take a walk or run with your family or friends. Do some yoga each night before your favorite movie. Just do something to move each day. Your body and mind will thank you, and it will keep you moving in the direction of your wellness vision. 

5 |  Set a goal for yourself to carry you through the season. We've seen the scenario all too often with clients (and ourselves). We feel that we did so horrible during Thanksgiving that we might as well just give up and eat anything until Christmas. We'll get started again at the new year, right? Enjoying all the fun of the holidays is important, but that doesn't mean you have to choose between fun or your healthy lifestyle. If it's a part of who you are, or who you want to be, feeling great is a big part of the fun. And sticking to your guns will make those new years resolutions so much easier. Set a goal that's realistic for you. You know your strengths and your weaknesses. Does the overeating thing happen when the leftovers come out?  Or can you not stop with the desserts? Just a small goal that allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and traditions during the week, but also keeps you on top of your health and in control can make a huge difference. 

Cheers to a happy and healthy week!

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving | Green beans with tomato and basil

Green beans are on your shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner, right?  Now that we think of it, they might just be the only green item on the dinner spread.  Green beans are loaded with nutrients (vitamin k, vitamin c, and folate to just name a few) so we're glad they're a part of the feast!  But why ruin a perfectly healthy veggie with that traditional casserole (yes, we're guilty, we've made it every year too).  This year we wanted to try something new and fresh with lots of flavor and even more nutrients. So we're adding in some tomato (lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin C, again we could go on and on) and basil to give you the perfect combo for a healthy flavorful side dish!


1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed (give the trimming job to one of your kids!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 large shallots, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons freshly sliced basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 | Cook green beans in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.  Rinse in ice water to retain fresh green color, drain and set aside.

2 | Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Saute about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook and stir for another 3 minutes.  Add the beans and cook until tender (about 10 minutes).  Stir occasionally as the juices evaporate.  Stir in broth and basil and let simmer for a few more minutes.  Add salt and pepper, transfer to a serving dish and enjoy! You can even top it with a little lemon juice or parmesan for a bit more flavor.

Recipe adapted from here.

happy healthy thanksgiving | parsley smashed red potatoes

These potatoes are everything we love about cozy, traditional Thanksgiving fare. Since we're not into deprivation, going without mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving is just not an option. Still, we're not into gorging ourselves (we'd like to still feel human after our meal). So we've done it smarter; healthier without sacrificing any deliciousness. We've exchanged the usual cream and butter for olive oil and greek yogurt (good fats and protein). We love the subtle tarty flavor the yogurt gives. Bay leaves add a nice layer of flavor so you don't need a lot of salt. And did we mention how easy this is to make?

Parsley Smashed Red Potatoes | Swell Mama

2 lbs baby red potatoes, halved or quartered so each piece is about the same size.

2/3 C low-fat plain greek yogurt

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/4 C scallions, finely chopped

1/4 C fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 dried bay leaves

3/4 tsp salt + more to water

Fresh ground pepper to taste

1 | Bring 1-2 quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add bay leaves, 1 T olive oil, and a dash of salt. Add potatoes and lower heat to medium-high. Let potatoes cook for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain all but a tablespoon or two of water and remove bay leaves.

2 | Smash potatoes with a fork or masher (we like to leave some chunks) as you mix in yogurt, 2 T olive oil, scallions, parsley, salt, and black pepper.