Healthy Holiday Tips

Hey friends! I've got a fun video to share with you! Friend and fellow #GIRLBOSS, Megan LaRussa and I teamed up to give you a few Healthy Holiday Tips as part 3 of her Style More, Stress Less video series. You might remember Megan from a webinar we did together last year, but if not, check out the video below then pop over to her page! My favorite aspect of her style coaching is that Megan helps truly empower clients to feel authentic and confident. She encourages clients to practice self-care, yoga, and nutrition in addition to teaching how to find individual, classic style! 

Much Love & Holiday Pleasure


More Style, Less Stress video series with Megan LaRussa

EmL + Hepzibah Farm

Hey hey! I'm really excited to tell you about my new Veggie Box CSA from Hepzibah Farms. A few years ago, I subscribed to a weekly veggie box from Freshfully, a local grocery. It was a total game changer. I attribute the majority of my health and dietary changes to green smoothies and veggie boxes. Finding a farm I trust and purchasing a CSA membership has been on my to-do list for over a year now, so I am thrilled to partner with Hepzibah Farms and check this off my list!

Eating seasonal, local produce is important to me and having a weekly box overflowing with fresh, local fruits and veggies makes it fun and easy to do. Most boxes range from $20-$25; so financially, I found they save me money and trips to the grocery. Centering meal planning around what produce is available that week ensures that I'm working with healthy, plant based recipes on a daily basis. I love being introduced to produce I've never tried and learning about the different cooking methods. So far, I think persimmons were my favorite veggie box surprise! 

I understand there is a certain level of uncertainty involved in making full, nourishing meals from a box of veggies. It definitely gets easier with practice - PROMISE! Below is a snapshot of a dinner I made from Week 2:

  • Grilled Eggplant - dusted with olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Spiralized squash lightly sautéed in butter with onion*, tomatoes, and garlic (*I already had butter & onion on hand)
  • Ground Beef - this was left over from the hamburgers made over the weekend, so it was super easy to add into the mix!
The Hepzibah Flower CSA + my poorly photographed veggie box meal.

The Hepzibah Flower CSA + my poorly photographed veggie box meal.

Each week, I will share photos, recipes, nutrition, or general information about the produce from my CSA to help you guys see how easy it is to make a veggie box work for your household! Please share comments and questions! I'd love to chat with you! 

Veggie Smoothie for Toddlers by Melissa Cates

Back in the good ole days, I could spoon anything into my little one’s mouth, and he would predictably mush it around and swallow. Aaaahhh... the sweet satisfaction of knowing little round belly was full of nutritious fruits, veggies, proteins, and the occasional tasty herb or spice.  (You know, for palate expansion....) Jump ahead to present day, Austin is two, and his lips might as well have a deadbolt on them. A deadbolt to which only he holds the key, and who knows what motivates him to unlock it. One day pasta is permissible, the next nothing but fruit shall pass.

Oh, two year olds. I won’t say they are “terrible,” because they are really too much fun for that label. I will say they will teach you a whole heap of things. About yourself, about them, about love, about forgiveness, about patience, about how to get crayon marks off of hardwood floors...

Really, I wish I had taken out stock in Purell and Brawny. And, maybe invested in part of a vineyard?


Anyway, ever since those little lips starting locking out my attempts at rounded nutrition, I started sneaking past the gatekeeper by throwing everything and anything into the blender and serving it up with a straw and a smile. (A little theatrical enthusiasm goes a long way with toddlers.) You may have to gradually add in the stronger tasting greens and veggies, but a good starting place is sweet baby carrots. Get that past your little culinary tyrant, and you can move on cauliflower, spinach (raw is milder than the cooked, frozen stuff), kale, even green peas! I really just use what I have in the fridge, but this one is what Austin drinks most days.

As A says when he gets up from his nap:  “It’s ‘moovie time!”

Austin’s Sneaky Veggie Smoothie

Serves 2 (momma could use a nutrional boost, too!)

  • 1 ripe banana (preferably frozen)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored
  • 1 handful baby carrots
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 handful kale
  • 2 brussels sprouts (if you dare…)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional (Austin needs the extra fat and calories)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey, agave, sugar, or molasses
  • ½ cup greek yogurt, I use weetedplain for lower sugar content
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend your heart out!

Tip: When loading your blender with all this goodness, put the heaviest foods on the bottom nearest the blade.