About me

Image

Hi, I’m Taylor Ullman. I am a student at the University of Florida, pursuing a career in public relations. I am especially interested in writing about health and nutrition. I enjoy exercising and cooking.
The goal of my blog is to encourage others to make healthier decisions, in order to live happier lives. My blog includes easy, original recipes that I create. My blog also brings awareness to unhealthy choices, and the ways we can substitute or eliminate them.
Whether you are really interested in health or not, I hope my blog teaches you something you didn’t know. I love feedback, so I encourage you to leave comments. Thank you for stopping by.

Baked Eggplant

Image

What you’ll need:
1. One eggplant (should be dark purple)
2. One tomato
3. One zucchini
4. Pasta of your choice (I used an organic basil pasta)
5. Olive Oil
6. Salt/pepper/pepper flakes/seasoning of your choice
7. Balsamic Vinegar (I used a glaze)
8. Baking sheet
9. Aluminum Foil
10. Flat pan and a pot

Directions for Eggplant:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut eggplant into thin slices, about an inch in thickness or your desired thickness.
3. Place Aluminum Foil on baking sheet.
4. Put a tablespoon of Olive Oil on the baking sheet. Use a spoon to spread the oil around.
5. Place the eggplant slices on the baking sheet. Lightly salt the eggplant, because salt will soak up the extra water and oil. This will prevent your eggplant from being soggy.
6. When preheat is done, place baking sheet in the oven.
7. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Eggplant should be crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.
8. Cut tomato into slices. I also used scallions for extra flavor. Cheese would also complement this dish nicely.

While the eggplant is in the oven for 20 minutes, you have plenty of time to make pasta and zucchini.

Directions for Zucchini:
1. Cut zucchini into thin slices (about the width of a quarter).
2. Put a teaspoon of Olive Oil in a pan.
3. Put the stove on medium-high heat.
4. Lightly salt the slices of zucchini, and place them on the pan.
5. Cook for eight minutes, or until golden brown.

Pasta directions:
I used an organic basil linguine, but any kind of pasta will do. Here are my directions for the pasta I used.
1. Bring four quarts of water to a boil.
2. Add pasta and return to a boil, stirring occasionally.
3. Boil seven to 10 minutes or until pasta is “al dente.”
4. Remove from heat and drain.

By this time, your eggplant should be almost ready or ready. Hopefully you didn’t forget about it. Now all you have to do is put everything together.
I recommend putting the tomato on the eggplant. I drizzled balsamic vinegar on top. The flavors work together perfectly. I also recommend putting the zucchini on top of the pasta, because the pasta will soak up the flavor and moistness of the zucchini.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did!

Oatcakes

Don’t you wish you could eat pancakes every morning? Now you can. ImageI created an easy, healthy recipe to make pancakes out of oatmeal.

What you’ll need:
1. Oatmeal of your choice. I used the Quaker Instant Oatmeal Weight Control combination pack that comes with four packets of maple and brown sugar, two packets of cinnamon and two packets of banana bread.
2. Two eggs
3. Light olive oil
4. Toppings of your choice (I use ground cinnamon and honey)

For protein oatcakes: 
Add one scoop of protein powder to the oatmeal and egg mix. Add one tablespoon of water.

Directions:
1. Mix the oatmeal with two eggs in a bowl. I suggest using one egg yolk, and only using the egg white from the second egg.
2. Turn the stove on medium heat.
2. Put a tablespoon of Olive Oil in the pan.
3. Pour oatmeal into the pan.
4. Cook for one minute. Flip the oatcake. Cook for one more minute.
5. Oatcake should be a light brown.
6. Drizzle your favorite toppings on top. I suggest using honey instead of syrup. I also suggest using ground cinnamon instead of sugar.

Health Benefits:
Oatmeal is good for the heart. It is high in fiber, antioxidants and protein. It can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, prevents the arteries from hardening, prevents the development of breast cancer and stabilizes blood sugar, according to symtomfind.
Eating whole grains, such as oats, has been linked to protection against ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and premature death. A new study and accompanying editorial, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, recommends at least three servings of whole grains should be eaten daily. For more nutritional information about oats, check out the world’s healthiest foods.

Walk with me

After six hours of studying in the library, my legs cramped and my neck ached. I walked out of the library feeling heavier than when I walked in. It felt like four textbooks were stacked up on my forehead.

My eyelids fought against gravity to stay open. My limbs moved like spaghetti. I took a step outside of the library. I felt the blood rush through my veins. The sun’s warmth released the weight off of my head.

I took the longer route home, appreciating the natural beauty that surrounded me. The wind brushed against my face. I felt alive. I looked up at the sun, and I watched the clouds comfort it. The lake rippled in a calming rhythm, and the pace of my heartbeat slowed.

Sometimes fresh air is all we need to release the tension between our head and our heart.

Beware fellow coffee lovers

Image

This venti iced white chocolate mocha non-fat latte from Starbucks looks like a healthy breakfast, right? Wrong. Firstly, coffee should not be a breakfast substitute. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it can make all the difference in the way you feel during the day. Coffee is the FIRST thing I drink in the morning, but it is not the ONLY thing I consume. Secondly, coffee does not fulfill the nutritional elements that we need to sustain high energy levels throughout the day. The next time you are thinking about replacing your breakfast with a drink like this one above, I urge you to think twice. Though it tastes good, it won’t make you feel good.

Believe it or not, when I ordered this drink, I thought I was making a healthy choice. I thought I could save calories by not eating breakfast. I assumed this drink was under 200 calories, and that it would give me the energy I needed to study for exams all day. After slurping the last heavenly sip, and a gargle in my stomach, I decided to look up the nutrition contents. I was shocked by what I discovered.

Who knew a coffee drink could contain 580 calories, 75 grams of sugar, 14 grams of saturated fat and 79 grams of carbohydrates? According to Starbucks, these are the components of the drink that I sucked down three days in a row for breakfast.

Image

While it is okay to indulge every once and a while to a treat like this, it is unhealthy to make this an every day habit. If you are an avid coffee drinker like me, my advice to you is to look up nutritional facts before ordering a coffee drink of this size at Starbucks. Also, try to drink coffee without extra sugar, creamer or whipped cream. Everything in moderation!

Healthy sleeping

July is approaching. I am realizing that summer is going by way too fast, mainly because I sleep too much. How much sleep is too much? How much sleep is too little?

I am guilty of sleeping in. I convince myself that there is plenty of time in the day. As I rolled out of bed at 1:00 this afternoon, I felt groggy and tired, even though I slept for 12 hours. I think people call this “oversleeping.” Studies show that sleeping more than nine hours a night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, thinking problems and premature death, according to livescience.

Six hours of sleep or less is too little. Check out this article about a gene that allows people to function on six hours of sleep. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that only three percent of the population have a gene that enables people to function well on six hours of sleep. For the other 97 percent of the population, including me, six hours of sleep leaves us feeling sleep deprived and cranky.

Most healthy adults need between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best, according to the National Institutes of Health. I am going to set an alarm every morning, and you should too, in order to regiment your sleep cycle. For a healthier you, pay close attention to how you feel throughout your day. Figure out how much sleep is best for you. Check out this sleep study for more information.

Introducing the eggocado

Healthy and happy:

Image

Image

I present to you, the “eggocado.” It is the result of cross-breeding an egg and an avocado. Follow this easy recipe, and your taste buds won’t be disappointed.

What you’ll need:
1) One avocado
2) Two eggs
3) Pepper/salt/cheese/seasoning of your choice
4) Parchment paper
5) Baking sheet

Directions:
1) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
2) Cut an avocado in half. Throw away the pit before your dog eats it. Place on baking sheet.
4) Crack an egg and put it on one half of the avocado. Crack another egg into the other half of the avocado. Depending on the size of the egg and avocado, you may have to carve a bigger hole into each half of the avocado to hold the egg.
5) Sprinkle seasoning of your choice on top of egg.
6) Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
7) Indulge in your homemade eggocado.

Results:
A creamy-textured avocado, rich in nutrients and flavor, with an egg on top.

Health Benefits:
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are rich in nutrients such as fiber and Vitamin B.  They are rich in healthy fats that help maintain a fast metabolism and healthy weight. Avocados are also great for your hair and skin, according to Reader’s Digest.
Eggs are a good source of your daily protein, complex carbs, iron and vitamins.
Together, egg and avocado make a meat-free, delicious breakfast or snack.