Hi, I'm Brenda

I'm the smoothie lover, nutritional science nerd, and writer behind Crave The Benefits.




Crave the Benefits is
about one thing:

Making healthy eating delish & overwhelm-free, while nourishing your body with wholesome foods that make you feel your absolute best. We're kicking obstacles in the butt to make happy + healthy happen.

But what do I know about healthy eating?

How I went from terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days to self-care bliss

I sucked at taking care of myself.

Let me explain: Some years ago, when kale wasn't a thing yet, having a healthy & strong body wasn't among my goals.

For as long as I can remember, I had constant digestive problems that could leave me in bed for hours in agony, and I thought it was normal. "That's just how it is", I thought, and like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it became normal.

I took the medications I needed, but they never helped for long.

That "normal" was challenged during a particularly horrible epsiode: I managed to get rid of the bloating and pain with the help of a herbal remedy prepared by my grandfather with herbs picked from his garden. Yes, as simple as that. 

For the first time, I didn't need to take pills or syrups to make the pain stop.

It was then that I realized maybe there was a permanent way to feel healthy and not have to live with a cranky monster inside my belly.

After seeing - and feeling - how a herbal remedy could relieve the pain that traditional medications couldn't, my attention turned to nourishing foods. 

I started reading and learning about the scientifically-backed properties of whole foods - and how they can help prevent most lifestyle diseases and make you feel amazing.

I was obsessed and fascinated with nutritional research and the benefits of everything we eat. 

I realized that I could prevent the pain and heal my gut with what I decided to put on my plate. 

Why Crave The Benefits Was Born...

I was determined to eat better.

Not to eat less or more, not to count calories, and definitely not to just eat salads.

I was determined to eat healing, nourishing foods that could help me thrive.

But it wasn't as easy as I thought. In fact, it was overwhelming.

All the time that went into learning how to cook decent meals at home, shopping, cooking, prepping, cleaning the dishes afterward...

Healthy living was way more demanding than I had expected.

But slowly, I realized what I could do to speed up the process. I learned key recipes, cooking hacks, meal prepping hacks, and wellness habits that I could implement even when I was crazy busy with my University.

I decided to create Crave The Benefits to help others kick the overwhelm to the curb and build the healthy lifestyle they want and deserve.

This site was born to help you make happy + healthy happen, regardless of where you're at right now in your life. 

You might have read my words here: 

Why I love doing this...

I'm passionate about creating the resources you need to create the healthy eating habits you think about implementing... but never quite get around to. 

I get it. Taking care of yourself is not easy. 

You feel you don't have the time... and perhaps that maybe you don't even deserve that time. 

But you DO. 

I'm here to help you take action TODAY and start eating healthier so you can feel amazing and live your best life. 

I know you can make it happen. 

 Favorite Healthy Eating Hacks 

1. MY METHOD FOR KEEPING LEAFY GREENS FRESH FOR 2 WEEKS & BEYOND.

I hated that most of the time I couldn't use up all of my lettuce because it wilted quickly. So I found a new way to store leafy greens to keep them crisp and fresh for weeks:

Method:

1. Destem your lettuce (keep kale and spinach with their stems).
2. Rinse all the leaves and soak them for 10 minutes in a bowl of water with a few splashes of vinegar.
3. After the time is up, drain the bowl and rinse the leaves again.
4. Dry your leaves with a salad spinner or a kitchen towel. At this point, you can unstem spinach and kale.
5. When all the leaves are dried, lay out a row of 3-4 paper towels stuck together over a dry surface.
6. Place all the leaves over the paper towels in a single layer, and then roll the paper towel over the leaves, like if you were rolling a rug. You don't want to bunch up the leaves because then the paper towerl might tear when you roll it. 
7. When you have your all your rolls - you might get 2-5 depending on how many leafy greens you're washing-  place them inside large ziploc bags and store them in the crisp drawer. 

The paper towels absorb any extra moisture while the ziploc bag prevents air from wilting the leaves. 

You can learn more about this method for storing leafy greens and virtually all other fruits and veggies on this article: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUYING, STORING, AND EATING THE FRESHEST PRODUCE

2. SMOOTHIES FOR BREAKFAST

I have smoothies for breakfast every day because I love how fast it is and how much nutrition you can pack into it. 

I share my daily smoothie bowls, jars, and other yummy breakfasts in my instagram.

My favorite bowl at the moment is my Creamy Mango Strawberry Smoothie Bowl:

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of frozen mango

- 1 cup of frozen strawberries

- 1 tbsp of cashew butter

- 1/3 cup of rolled oats

- Almond milk.

3. KEEPING A 0.5 LITER GLASS JAR OF WATER WITH ME WHILE I WORK

Instead of keeping a glass of water with me, I keep a big glass jar that makes it easier to drink more water at once. 

That way I also have to get up to pee more often, which gives me a break from sitting in the desk chair. 

To keep my gut healthy, I aim to drink 1.5 liters per day - 3 jars. 

4. HEALTHY CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Hershey's chocolate syrup might not be good for you... but a homemade chocolate sauce can be :) 

I LOVE this easy recipe to make my own chocolate sauce that hardens when poured over something cold (like smoothies!):

Ingredients: 

- 1 cup of chopped dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chunks.

- 2 1/2 tablepoons of coconut oil

- Melt in the microwave in 10 second increments.

- Mix well with a fork and pour away!

I keep my leftover sauce in a glass in the fridge. It hardens, so I just pop it back into the microwave when I'm ready to iuse it again.  


 Health Goals for 2017 

1. MIND

- Reading at least 2 books per month. 
- Meditating for 10 minutes every day. 

2. BODY

- Being able to do hanstands.
- Exercising at least 4 times per week.

3. SOUL

- Helping people be healthier & happier through Crave The Benefits.
- Travelling to Europe for the first time.

 My Morning & Nighttime Wellness Routines 

MORNING

​- Wake up & take a moment to feel thankful for a new day.
- Make the bed.
- Head to my yoga mat & meditate for 10 minutes.
- Say my daily intentions out loud.
- Do a 15-20 minute flexibility yoga routine.
- Make a healthy breakfast (usually a smoothie bowl).
- Drink my smoothie while reading a book.
- Enjoy the fresh air in the backyard for a few minutes.
- Get to work.
- I exercise during the evening. 

This routine has helped become more mindful during the day and keep both my mind & body healthy.

One serious change I noticed when I began eating a healthy breakfast is that I felt more focused and energetic than before.

That was the inspiration to create the free 7 Day  Nourishing Breakfast Challenge.

NIGHT

- Do a short review of my day. 
- Check the schedule for the next day and picture what I'm gonna get done. 
- Make dinner and dine with my boyfriend while watching Netflix. 
- Drink a calming tea + more Netflix. 
- Wash my face, brush my teeth, and brush my hair. 
- Sleep. 

 Favorite Foods 

Smoothie bowls, overnight oats, vegan chocolate pudding, lentil soup, avocado toasts, my mother's pasta. 

Are you ready to eat healthier and feel amazing?

Well, now you got the 411 on me. 

Now I'd love to hear from and where you are in your health journey.

Shoot me an email at brenda@cravethebenefits and say hi! 

If you're ready to be healthier and happier, you need to know two things: 
1) You CAN make it happen. 2) You can start TODAY. 

Join the community and get exclusive resources I only send to CTB's insiders. 

    Make happy + healthy happen today   

Join the gang of kickass wellness advocates that are transforming their lifestyles and making healthy eating easy, affordable, and delicious!

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