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han@hannahaylward.com

Holistic Health Coach - Nutrition Consultant -
Dance Cardio Instructor - Recipe Developer

Healthy Holiday Season Hacks for Optimal Health

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Hi babes!

 

The holidays are here, and it’s getting a little crazy - scrambling to finish projects before the end of the year, making time for family, shopping for presents, attending holiday parties, dinners with in-laws, late nights, drink dates, AND trying to fit in self-care. Boy, it can be difficult. My head has been spinning trying to “fit it all in” these last few weeks, and we still have a few more to go. 

 

Whenever I feel this way, I go back to these fundamentals that I know will have me feeling my best. Here are my top tips for navigating this busy time and coming out the other end alive, healthy, and thriving:

 

 

START WITH LOVE
Focusing on your health during this time of year (and always) is an act of self-love. Love to take care of yourself. Love to prioritize your own health. Love to connect with the beautiful body given to you. Love to feel your best so you can give your best to others. It’s not an act of punishment. It’s not this “annoying” thing that you “have” to do. In fact it is quite the opposite. Whenever you feel like giving up, come back to love.

 

GRATITUDE
Even though this time of year can seem nutty, it is also packed with so much magic, community, celebration and love! Embrace it. There is much to be thankful for during this time of year. Overflowing calendars...celebrating with those you love! It may throw you out of your routine, but you can get back to that routine for the other 11 months of the year. You’ll be ok. I promise.

 

BREATHE + SURRENDER
This may be number one. Sit back, take a few deep belly breaths, and reflect when you’re feeling overwhelmed or off-track. What are you really feeling? Be your own detective. Deep breathing helps pacify the nervous system, which is extra important during this time.

 

BALANCED BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
The formula to keep blood sugar levels stable and cravings at bay - healthy fats + protein + fiber. This combination turns off multiple hunger hormones in the body, so make sure to include them in every meal! You will be less inclined to reach for the cookies your co-worker brought into the office.

 

FASTED MORNING MOVEMENT 
Get moving first thing in the morning, for 15-30 minutes. This sets your day, prioritizes your health first and foremost, revs up your metabolism for the day, energizes you, and gets you glowing! As soon as you start eating, insulin is produced, which inhibits the breakdown of fatty acids, leading your body to burn the sugars you've just ingested, as opposed to stored fat. Exercise first thing in the morning helps burn this stored fat. Keep it light to avoid stressing your adrenals - walks, yoga, a few short and sweet body weight exercises.

 

MOVEMENT
If you can’t get it in first thing in the morning, still make sure to get it in! Get the blood pumping and oxygen flowing. Clear out the clutter that has collected in your mind. Sweat out the toxins. Do a form of exercise that you enjoy! And throw in a yoga session or two to help keep you grounded during this chaotic time.

 

INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting has some amazing research behind its impact on longevity and metabolism. In a time of year when we’re all prone to overdoing it, giving your digestion a break can be a way of resetting. There is no one way to do this, but a simple option is to take one day per week where you go at least 16 hours between dinner the night before and your first meal the next day. 16 hours may be too much for you, and that is ok! Don’t push it. Aim for 12, which is totally sustainable to do every day, and increase up to 16 if it feels right in your body. When you do start eating again, make the rest of your intake that day focused on greens, protein and healthy fats.

 

LEMON/ACV WATER
Combine warm water with the juice of ½ lemon or 1 Tbs of organic raw apple cider vinegar or both. This helps cleanse the system of toxins, while encouraging healthy digestion.

 

MORNING POWER SMOOTHIE
Making the first meal of the day a Morning Power Smoothie sets you up for a good day. It’s loaded with fiber, greens, healthy fats and protein to squelch hunger hormones, hydrate your body, and energize you for the multiple events you are attending. Smoothies are also easier on the digestive system because they are blended. A nice ease for your overworked digestive system.

 

4-DAY RESET
Taking a pause to reset is critical during this time. Although indulging is fun and totally necessary, it shouldn’t last for 2 months. Following this between holidays regularly brings you back to your desired baseline. My 4-Day Reset (available on the homepage of my website!) is just 4 days free of sugar, processed foods, dairy, gluten, corn, soy and alcohol, while being packed with all of the good stuff you want - all the greens. It’s short, simple, and effective. You can totally extend it if you feel up to it.

 

When you live it up, do it the smart way.

 

ALCOHOL
Choose tequila, vodka, or mezcal with a twist, on the rocks or with water/soda water and lemon or lime – and skip beer and wine. Beer and wine have a lot of sugar, potentially gluten, yeast, and feed the bad bacteria in the gut. Avoid the drink mixes, as they are loaded with sugar and even colors and dyes. Always avoid the added sugars and syrups too. For every cocktail, have a glass of water!

 

DESSERTS + SWEETS
Bring your own. You can always make a holiday favorite healthier. If you don’t have time to make your own, then look for short ingredient lists. If we’re talking about a chocolate bar, aim for over seventy-five percent cacao, organic or non-gmo ingredients, no soy lecithin, and sugar as one of the last ingredients. I love these brands: Eating Evolved, Pascha, Theo and Green & Blacks. For other goodies, try to keep them gluten and dairy free, which is a lot easier nowadays. If you go all in, let yourself go all in! Don’t feel guilt or shame about it. Take a few, mindful bites a move on. Your body can handle it.

 

EATING OUT + SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS
When eating out, shoot for veggies + clean proteins + healthy fats. Always stock up on the veggies. It can also be really helpful to eat a small snack before you meet friends for dinner or show up to the holiday party. This prevents you from showing up starving and not making mindful decisions. Good choices are: a hard boiled egg (healthy fats + protein), a handful of nuts (healthy fats + protein), a scoop of protein powder with nut milk (healthy fats + protein) or a small salad.

 

At the end of the day, we all do the best we can with what we have. Guilt, shame, and stress are arguably worse for our health than a bit of processed food here and there, so let’s ditch them. If you need extra help, reach out to me! Schedule an initial consultation and we’ll have you feeling your best in no time.

 

With so much love, 
Hannah

 

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My Morning Power Smoothie for Optimal Energy + Hormone Balance + Healthy Weight

 

MY GO-TO BREAKFAST - MORNING POWER SMOOTHIE

I make some sort of variation of these morning smoothie almost every morning. It is easy, quick, nutrient-dense, fiber-filler, protein-packed and loaded with good quality energy to keep me full and fueled until lunch. It is also delicious. Key ingredients here are:

     -  fiber - protein - healthy fat - greens - anti-inflammatories - hydrating base -

 

Protein, Fat, Fiber + Greens ---

  • turn off over 8 hunger hormones, squelch inflammation, and provide the body with the perfect complete meal of essential nutrients
  • protein ups collagen, muscle tone, and metabolism
  • fat benefits hormones, skin, and cellular health
  • fiber promotes a healthy microbiome
  • greens (or veggies deep in color) provide cancer and inflammation fighting phytonutrients

This combination keeps you from crashing before lunch and sabotaging your healthy eating efforts. When you arrive at your next meal "alive" you can easily make conscious decisions to eat properly during your next meal.

 

*Quick note on fructose (the sugar found in fruit):

Fructose turns to fat faster than any other form of carbohydrate. When metabolized, fructose converts to an activated form of glycerol that is directly used to turn free fatty acids into triglycerides, or fat. Basically, the more fructose you consume, the more glycerol it converts into and the more fat you store.

 

Here is my recipe for my Morning Power Smoothie! 

 

MORNING POWER SMOOTHIE

Serves 1

  • 10 ounces of water + 2 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
  • two large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4 cup organic mixed berries
  • one serving of high quality, plant-based protein - I typically do a chocolate flavor
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 inch of turmeric
  • handful of mint
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of cinnamon
  • large handful of ice
     

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. I top it with cacao nibs because I love a good crunch. Enjoy!

 

Feel free to experiment and build your own with this formula!

 

PROTEIN: 1 serving or 20 g of protein organic pea, bone broth or collagen

*My favorite brands are Vega, Sunwarrior, Orgain, Tone it Up, and Garden of Life.

FAT: 1 tbsp. minimum per serving almond butter, coconut oil, avocado, walnuts, MCT oil, sunflower butter, coconut butter, cashew butter

FIBER: 1-2 tbsp - chia seeds, flax seeds, acacia  

GREENS: large handful kale, spinach, romaine watercress, cucumber, parsley, cilantro, etc

OPTIONAL FRUIT: ¼ cup maximum per serving blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai

LIQUID: unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, water

*Avoid protein powders that contain too many ingredients—simple is best. Always aim for 20g of protein per serving.

 

Try it out and let me know what you think! Tag @hannahaylwardhhc in all of your creations!

xx,

Hannah


Snack Smarter: Healthy Snacking Swaps for Optimal Health

Snacking during the day is basically a given. It hits 3pm, you’ve been running from meeting to meeting all day and you’re needing a little pick me up - a snack is in order. Whether your goal is weight loss, hormone balance, blood sugar stabilization or just feeling good, snacks can play an important part in your daily routine. I believe that food is medicine, so choose your snacks wisely.

Unfortunately a lot of foods are deemed as “healthy” when really they are health-wrecking, blood sugar spiking empty calories that your body can’t process properly. Don’t fall into the “health food” trap!

Here are 5 healthier snack swaps to power you through your day (bye afternoon crash and brain fog!) and set you up for success.


CHIPS


Yes chips can be made from potatoes or corn, but they are fried, processed and covered in inflammation producing oils. Think of food as fuel. Ditch the “these aren’t that bad” mentality. The food you eat is your main source of medicine. Chips are incredibly low in nutrients and high in calories, sodium and acrylamide, a potential carcinogen.

Replace with: seaweed snacks or kale chips.

These snacks offer that crunchy, salty factor that you long for, but also offer some nutritional benefit. Seaweed is rich in the minerals iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. Kale is ranked number 2 on the ANDI List, making it a nutrient packed food. As always, look for brands that use good quality oils (coconut, olive) and have as few ingredients as possible. Or better yet, make your own!


TRAIL MIX


Most trail mixes are packed with excess sugar, excess salt, oils, colorings and preservatives. Reading the ingredients label on this one is key! Chocolate chips in trail mix are still...chocolate chips. Cranberries, cherries, raisins and other dried fruits often come covered in canola oil and cane sugar, turning them from good to bad with a capital B.

Replace with: homemade trail mix.

Try this recipe below:

½ cup sprouted almonds
½ cup sprouted walnuts
¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw coconut shavings
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
¼ cup goji berries
Handful of dried mulberries
*For a more savory option, try ditching the dried fruit and mixing in cilantro, dried lentils, and spices like cayenne, turmeric and chile.


YOGURTS


Prepackaged yogurts are a nightmare. Sometimes these yogurts can pack as much as 29 grams of sugar, and this is not natural sugar. Fun fact: a can of coke has 39 grams of sugar. Can you say headaches and weight gain? Additionally, dairy is a common trigger food for many people, causing inflammation in the body that can show up as acne, eczema, migraines, hormone issues, you name it.

Replace with: homemade chia pudding.

Chia seeds aid in weight loss, promote digestive health, stabilize blood sugar levels and are packed with omega-3s, fiber and protein.

Try my easy recipe here:


Overnight Chia Pudding

INGREDIENTS
2 Tbs chia seeds
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp unsweetened cacao/cocoa powder
1/4 Tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbs maple syrup/a few drops of stevia

DIRECTIONS
Combine all of the ingredients into a mason jar. Shake it up and place in the fridge for the night. So easy! 



JUICES


Oh, the juice dilemma. While claiming to provide instant energy and liquid vitamins, some juices can actually give you a solid blood sugar spike and sugar rush, complete with a big crash. This is a disaster for your hormones, skin, weight loss and energy. PSA: Not all juices are created equal. A general tip is to choose the green ones and avoid the brightly colored ones, but this can’t always trusted.


Replace with: purely green juice or a small protein shake.

Look for organic, cold-pressed juices made entirely of greens, herbs and a splash of citrus. Those juices that have been sitting on the grocery store shelf for a few days...not worth the $9. Better yet, mix one scoop of a high-quality, plant-based protein powder with a cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk. This will provide you with protein, vitamins and minerals to truly hold you over until dinner AND cure a sweet craving.


GRANOLA BARS


We get it, a granola bar is easy to just grab when you’re running out the door. The truth is, these babies can contain different processed grains, flours, multiple types of sugars, inflammatory oils and preservatives to make them last longer on the shelves. Things like soy flour, corn flour, natural flavor, dried cane syrup, soy protein isolate, soy lecithin and canola oil are present in a lot of the bars out on the market, which will send your energy levels and hormones out of whack.

Replace with: organic, grass-fed meat bars and jerky.

Choosing a plant-based paleo option will provide your body with the healthy fats and complete proteins that it needs to build muscle and ward off hunger. These are often much less processed and contain real food ingredients. Look for one with ingredients that you can pronounce and no added sugar. If the sound of a “meat bar” is throwing you for a loop, check out this brand.


Other go-to snack ideas that I love:

- Celery sticks with 1/2 avocado sprinkled with Himalayan salt.

- An apple with raw almond butter.

- A hard boiled egg.


Let’s face it. No one has time for an afternoon slump.

xx
Hannah


Chocolate Berry Smoothie - added by popular demand!

Hi friends!

I posted my smoothie this morning on my Instagram + Facebook, and you all really wanted the recipe! SO, here it is. 

As you probably know...I LOVE SMOOTHIES. They are so freaking easy and delicious. And they taste like ice cream, so clearly they are part of my daily life. 

My smoothies always contain: loads of greens + healthy fats + anti-inflammatory herbs + fiber + plant-based protein. 


CHOCOLATE BERRY SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS:

- 10-12 oz filtered water
- splash of almond/coconut/cashew milk -- always unsweetened
- 1-2 large handfuls of organic spinach
- 1/2 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1/2 cup berries (organic is best!)
- 1 serving of plant-based vanilla protein powder (I use Vega)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of raw cacao
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 avocado -- this adds some nice creaminess
- ice -- keep adding ice until you get your desired consistency, I use A LOT. 

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients, except the ice, to a high-speed blender. Blend thoroughly. Then add the ice to desired to consistency. 

xx
Hannah


Harissa Roasted Cauliflower w/ Red Onion + Chickpea + Lemony Tahini Dressing

Hi friends!

I am so excited to announce that I am now a guest chef on the Dinner Party Project team! I am a huge fan of dinner parties, community, connection and of course, delicious food. I will be cooking up some healthy eats for one of their dinner parties each month - YAY. If you haven't checked it out yet, you are missing out. 

I made this dish as an entree for my official tasting. It is amazing - spicy, sweet, "meaty" and veggie packed. Harissa is a wonder ingredient if you like spicy things and don't have a sensitivity to nightshades (a group of vegetables that causes inflammation in some people). You can throw harissa on almost anything - veggies, quinoa, eggs, etc.

Try this out for yourself at your next dinner party. I served it over a big bed of quinoa with tons of fresh herbs. If it was just for me, I would have served it over some wilted greens, like kale or spinach. Spice it up however you like. :)

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower w/ Red Onion, Chickpeas and a Lemony Tahini Dressing

INGREDIENTS
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you can save the aquafaba for another recipe, like my chickpea scramble!) 
1 small red onion; sliced
2 – 3 tablespoons spicy harissa
½ bunch each Italian parsley and cilantro, washed with leaves picked and chopped
1 lemon

Lemon Tahini Dressing

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
a few dashes of garlic powder
Himalayan salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
water to desired consistency (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread the cauliflower out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add 3 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon salt and the cumin seeds. Roast until the cauliflower is tender and golden, about 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and roast an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them.
2. Make the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Add water to desired consistency. Make this dressing your own, with a bit more maple syrup, lemon juice, salt or pepper here and there. The basics are sound, so you can't mess it up!
3. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are soft. Then, stir in the harissa along with 1 tablespoon water.
4. Squeeze the lemon over the chickpeas, top with the fresh herbs and combine with the harissa onions.
5. Serve with a generous drizzle of the lemon tahini dressing. Enjoy!


Recipe up on Further Food! - Creamy Lemon Pasta

Hey guys!

I recently became a contributor on the Further Food website. It's a great resource for recipes and healthy living tips!

Check out my recipe up on the site now!

This recipe is awesome for a dinner party, or for when cooking for those that aren't *used* to healthy eating. I made this for a party that I catered and no one had any idea it was vegan + gluten-free - WIN. 

Try it out for yourselves!

Much love,
Hannah


My Brownie Recipe on the Clean Program Blog! - vegan + gluten free + dairy free

I love chocolate, and I will never give it up...and you don't have to! There are so many easy ways to make healthier chocolate treats, like these brownies. They are so simple and easy, AND are super fudgy and delicious. 

You can thank me later.


Check them out on the Clean Program blog now

xx
Hannah


My Egg-free Chickpea Scramble on the Clean Program Blog! - dairy free + gluten free + soy free


Hi everyone!

I developed this YUM recipe for the Clean Program a few weeks ago. If you are interested in doing an elimination diet, or just eating cleaner, this recipe is a solid option. It is savory, warm and oh so satisfying. Even my little brother approved (this is a big feat).

It also contains no common allergens - BIG WIN

Check it out here

And if you want more information about an elimination diet to really figure out what works for YOUR individual body, e-mail me and schedule a free consultation!


New Article up on the Clean Program Blog! - HOW EXERCISE GOES FAR BEYOND THE CALORIES BURNED



I believe that one on my purposes in life is to instill courage in others - courage to take the leap, courage to believe, courage to love, courage to say no, courage to say yes, courage to keep on going. This word means so much to me. 

I like to strengthen my "courage" muscles whenever I can. One of the ways that I do this is through daily exercise. To me, it is such a simple, matter of fact way that I can easily see my strength. Exercise is so much more than burning a few calories. It is a form of sacred self care and strength building (far beyond just the muscles). Check out my article on The Clean Program's blog here all about the benefits of exercise, that are far beyond the calorie burn - I'm talking brain health, detoxification, and much more. 

xx
Hannah

New Article On CLEAN Blog - WHY ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING?

troublesleepinghero


Hi babes!

I want to talk about sleep for a second. I know for me, sleep is a total deal breaker (but I am getting better at dealing!). If I don't get proper sleep, which for me is about 8-9 hours, then my day is let's just say "different". I am totally not at my best and I can feel it. Everything becomes just that much more difficult, and it sucks. 

Ever have those days where you are thinking, ugh I wish I could just wake up and start over tomorrow? Well, so have I - and they are usually due to lack of sleep. I think it hits me a bit harder because usually I am bouncing all over the place smiling from ear to ear. 

Sometimes I don't get enough sleep because I just don't have the time. Sometimes it is because I simply can't sleep - my mind is racing, I'm dealing with a little insomnia, my to-do list seems a mile long. Whatever it is, there is usually something you can do to help manage. More tools! I love tools. 

Check out this article I wrote for Dr. Alejandro Junger's CLEAN Program blog on why you are having trouble sleeping. This will help you identify your own WHY, so you can get more zzzzz's asap. 

Happy Wednesday!
xx
Hannah

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