coffee, recipes, Uncategorized

Three-Ingredient Homemade Mocha

Hey kids, guess what? A horrible winter storm is making its way to the beach – fun times!

I, myself, am fully stocked and ready. I have plenty of food, a stack of books to read, plenty of work to do, and plenty of COFFEE!

I love me some Joe, especially when it’s cold and dreary, and I love those fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks (although my wallet, and my waistline are starting to rebel).

I thought I’d share with you my easy three-ingredient homemade mocha recipe. Really…three ingredients. I’m all about keeping it simple.

Enjoy!

1/3 cup of milk of your choice
1 ½ cups of brewed coffee of your choice
3 tablespoons of good quality dry cocoa mix or liquid chocolate syrup

1. Pour milk into blender and mix until frothy.
2. Microwave milk for 30 seconds.
3. Pour milk, coffee, and cocoa mix or syrup in blender.
4. Blend and enjoy.

You can also up the ante by adding some cinnamon to your blend. Want to get really crazy? Add a little chili powder for a bit of bite and heat. Want a peppermint mocha? Add a few drops of peppermint extract, or use a leftover candy cane from Christmas to stir your mocha.

Want to fancy it up? Top with whipped cream and a little dash of cinnamon or cocoa powder. Serve with giant marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Serve with giant marshmallows and crushed up peppermints on top. The sky’s the limit.

There you go. Hope you enjoy. Oh, and if you hurry, you can run out now and grab all the ingredients before the storm hits. Go…go now…HURRY!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Want more recipes and fun stuff like this? Sure you do! Hop on over to www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter. It’s packed with lots of great tips, recipes, and other fun health and wellness info.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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baking, recipes

Va Va Vanilla

Next time you feel a little down, take a whiff of a little vanilla extract. Vanilla has been shown to help people feel relaxed when stressed. This is likely why vanilla serves as the base fragrance for candles and is commonly added to perfumes and other body care products.

Vanilla is also an ingredient that is widely use to enhance the taste of treats such as ice cream, cookies, cakes, and even candies.

Karen’s Believe it or Not:

Do you know that vanilla actually comes from the pods of an orchid?

Wha-wha-wha-WHAT?

You betcha! Vanilla doesn’t start out in the liquid form you see in that little brown bottle of vanilla extract you buy from the grocery store. Vanilla comes from the pods of the Vanilla Orchid. It’s the only orchard among the 20,000-some varieties of orchids out there that bears something edible.

Vanilla extract is the most common form of vanilla. The extract is made by steeping the vanilla pods in an alcohol solution for several weeks. The end result is a clear, dark liquid with a rich vanilla scent and taste.

And believe it or not, you can make your own vanilla extract at home. The rich aroma and taste will make you want to mix your own at home all the time!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

20 vanilla pods
1 750 ml bottle of 75-80 proof vodka

1. Decant the vodka into a pitcher. Save the empty vodka bottle and cap.
2. Chop the vanilla pods into 1-inch pieces. You don’t need to split the pods and scrape them. Put the vanilla pieces in the empty vodka bottle.
3. Pour the vodka back into the bottle. It probably won’t all fit, so have some cranberry juice or orange juice handy and have a quick toast to your awesome kitchen skills!
4. Screw the lid back on tightly and give the bottle a good shake.
5. Place the bottle in a cool, dry place. Shake the jar every day or every other day to distribute the mixture.
6. The vanilla extract will be ready to use in about 6 weeks. It will keep indefinitely. No need to strain out the vanilla pieces. Just let ‘em keep swimming in there.

Use your homemade vanilla extract for all your cooking and baking needs, but beware – this homemade extract is so good, you may never go back to the grocery store for the prepackaged stuff!

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog. And hope you’ll come back for more!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Want more recipes and tips like this? Head on over to www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for all this and more. And while you’re there, grab your copy of my book Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes That Add Up to Big Results! It’s available now @ www.amazon.com. It’s the perfect book to kick off 2016 the right way! Enjoy!

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegan

Winter Brussels Sprout Salad

Have you signed up yet for my monthly newsletter? If not, stop reading (go ahead, I’ll wait) and hop on over to www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to sign up. If you do it now, you’ll be in time to receive my February and March newsletters. March is all about the health benefits of green vegetables, of which Brussels sprouts get a pretty nice shout out.

So in the spirit of green vegetables, I’m sharing with you a really wonderful, healthy, and easy recipe for a winter salad that boasts Brussels sprouts as its star.

Wonder where Brussels sprouts get their unique name? There’s no mystery here. People in Belgium have loved Brussels sprouts since the 16th century, so much so that these healthy little veggies now bear the name of the place that loved them so!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these healthy superstars; they’re in season from fall through late winter. Brussels sprouts have tons of cholesterol-busting soluble fiber and have been shown to reduce cancer risk.

This recipe makes a great starter to a festive meal, or a side dish alongside pork or chicken (if you’re a meat eater). It can be served hot, or cold, which makes it easier to serve leftovers (should you have any). Have some picky eaters that turn their noses up to Brussels? This recipe calls for the sprouts to be halved, which makes them easier to eat and less daunting to look out. Plus, the sprouts in this recipe have a little sweetness from the agave and cranberries, and some earthiness from the walnuts, which combines perfectly with the sprouts.

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad

1 ½ pounds of Brussels sprouts
1 cup of water
½ cup of chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons of olive oil (for cooking)
1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup of chopped dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of olive oil (for dressing)

1. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a large pan. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
2. Stir in cranberries, agave, and water. Partially cover pot. Simmer 5 – 7 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and sprouts are tender.
3. Put sprouts in serving bowl and toss with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Top with chopped walnuts and serve.

Enjoy!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Are you ready to make 2016 Your Best Year Yet!?
If you haven’t picked up your copy of my book, take a trip in cyberspace to www.amazon.com and grab your copy today!

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recipes, soup, Uncategorized, vegan

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Christmas is on Friday, and the weather forecast here at the beach says it is going to be 70 degrees. Forget milk and cookies for Santa – I’m leaving him iced tea and bean chips!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am so not complaining about the warm weather. I have been thoroughly enjoying this mild winter. I do however look forward to a cold and blustery day when I can stay home and make a big pot of soup.

I could live off soup and salad (with a side of crusty bread, of course). Soup is so hearty and versatile. I like cooking up a big batch to share with friends, or, making a big batch, eating it for days on end, and then freezing the rest to enjoy at a later time.

This recipe is a favorite of mine. Not only are the flavors rich and hearty, but it contains one of my all-time favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients – turmeric.

This is a fabulous, healthy, vegan recipe that hits just the right spot on a cold, blustery day.

Enjoy!

Curried Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cauliflower, onion, and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

2. While the vegetables are in the oven, bring the vegetable broth, curry paste, cumin, and turmeric to a boil in a large pot.

3. Remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the pot. Reduce the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

4. You can leave the soup chunky, or, use a handheld blender to blend it smooth. Me? I like it part chunky and part blended.

Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread for a perfect cold-weather day!

If you make this recipe, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Haven’t gotten your FREE health consultation yet? C’mon, you know you want to! Hop on over to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for all the information or to schedule your free consultation. Phone, FaceTime, and Skype sessions are available!

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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Health and wellness, healthy living, holidays, Uncategorized

Happy Healthy Holidays!

This is the time of year when I just give up! I will admit that I’ve stopped exercising regularly, have let my diet slip, and, haven’t been diligently keeping track of my budget in the midst of holiday shopping.

But I don’t want to totally derail all the good work I’ve done this year, so I’m trying to “stay on track.”

If you’re also trying to stay on track (but aren’t trying that hard, like me) here are a few quick tips to help you have a healthy and happy holiday. I hope they are useful for you!

1. If you aren’t working out as much or as hard as you were prior to the holidays, aim to get in a brisk walk at least three times a week.

2. Participate in exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. Play with the dog in the snow, build a snowman with the kids, go ice skating, or, walk the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.

3. Sample holiday treats, but don’t go overboard. Focus on foods that you can’t get all year round. You can have biscuits from a can anytime, but maybe you only get Aunt Rita’s famous cheesecake once a year. Eat the cheesecake and skip the biscuits!

4. When hosting, or when invited to, a potluck-type event, bring something healthy. Trust me, there will be enough fattening foods available.

5. Spend time with friends and family but don’t overbook! For every party, outing, event, etc. that you say yes to, say yes to one or two days just for yourself. This is the time to enjoy with family and friends, not for experiencing burnout!

6. Keep healthy snacks with you for those marathon shopping trips. Apples, bananas, pears, and orange slices travel nicely. My trick? Pack a Ziploc bag with a napkin in it, that way, you can wipe up after you snack and then use the bag to discard the peel or rind of the fruit. Or pack other durable snacks like pretzels, trail mix, or granola bars.

7. Keep alcohol consumption in check. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, drink a glass of water to keep hydrated and to keep from overdoing it.

8. Give yourself one healthy gift this year. Go get a massage, a pedicure, manicure, or a haircut. Take a hot yoga class, or buy yourself a gym membership. Money tight? Try a free fitness class at a local gym or treat yourself to an at-home spa night.

I want to take a moment to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. I’m grateful for the support that I’ve received from all of you over the past year, and look forward to writing for you in the New Year!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Now is the time! Get your free health consultation TODAY! It’s the perfect way to kick off the New Year! Email me at: karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com or visit my website, www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for more info.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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aromatherapy, Health and wellness, recipes, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Holiday Home Spa Night

Tis the season for being stressed; for many people I know, that is. Just recently, I was coaching one of my clients and she just sounded stressed over the phone. I could tell that she really needed a day off to herself, but trying to find a whole day was, in itself, stressful.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and relax…I’ve got you covered.

Maybe you don’t need a whole day to relax. Maybe you just need an hour for a relaxing spa bath? Can’t get an hour? Even just a half hour will help you feel more relaxed.

Are you ready?

First things first, clean your bathroom! You can’t relax in a cluttered, dirty space. Tidy up and give the bathtub a good scrub.

Next, whip up a homemade bath soak. Since it’s the season of everything peppermint, here is my favorite recipe for peppermint bath soak:

1 cup of powdered milk
½ cup of cornstarch
½ teaspoon of peppermint oil

Blend all ingredients above and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Not a peppermint fan? That’s okay; how about almond and honey?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of honey
1 tablespoon of almond oil

Blend all ingredients and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Okay, it’s the holidays, so I’m feeling generous. Here’s one more. How about lavender to help you sleep?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of dried lavender

This recipe is best mixed and put into a cheesecloth (you can get them at most cooking stores). Tie a string around the cheesecloth and let it hang under the running water while you fill up the tub. Think of it as a giant tea bag! Don’t have dried lavender? Use the peppermint recipe above and substitute the peppermint oil for ½ teaspoon of lavender oil.

Once the bathroom is all spic and span and you have a bath soak that you like, grab some fluffy towels, light some candles, put on some relaxing music, and head into the tub for a soak.

While you are soaking, indulge in a cup of warm herbal tea. Skip the alcohol. It won’t really relax you and if your bath is particularly warm, the alcohol might not be a good idea.

Once you get out of the tub, before you dry off, slather your body in a rich, thick body butter before drying off and jumping into some comfy PJs or sweats.

After you’re dressed, head to the kitchen and grab yourself a glass of cool water with some orange, lemon and mint in it. Rehydrate your body and relax with a good book or magazine.

As the holiday season gets closer, be sure to take time to get rest, eat well, and sneak in some exercise. It’s when you’re busiest and don’t have time for these things that you need them the most!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time, veg in – don’t veg out!

Karen

Are you ready for a fantastic 2016? Of course you are! Kick off the New Year with a FREE, personalized health consultation to help you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Consultations can be done in person, over the phone, by SKYPE, or by FaceTime, and while they are FREE, they do book up fast, so don’t delay, schedule yours NOW. Really…RIGHT NOW before you get busy…I’ll wait.

Just email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com or call me at 267-258-7338, to get going.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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