Banana Apple Lactation Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Before you say these muffins aren’t for you because you aren’t breastfeeding, these muffins are for EVERYONE! They are packed with ingredients that promote lactation and can increase milk supply but also provide fiber, iron, and omega-3s which every body needs to function optimally.
*Muffins will not cause you to spontaneously lactate…no need to worry!

When I discovered lactation snacks like cookies and bars, I immediately became obsessed. But then I looked at the nutrition facts…HOLY SUGAR!! As a nutrition coach, I wanted to make something that was healthier and with NO ADDED sugar but still aided in milk production. I did some research on what makes an ingredient good for lactation (read next section) and got to work modifying one of my favorite muffin recipes!

What makes these “lactation” muffins?

I just had my second child and I’m determined to breastfeed for at least six months. My firstborn is almost 13 years old so it’s been a while since I’ve done this. I had little to no luck breastfeeding my first (I honestly don’t think I knew what I was doing and I never reached out for help). But with this baby, I did my research to ensure I would have, and maintain, a decent supply for her. This is where I discovered ingredients that can help with milk production, such as oats and flaxseed. Many lactation snacks have brewer’s yeast but not everyone can find it at their local store or they wish not to use it, so these muffins don’t have any brewer’s yeast.

The oats, flaxseed, and chia seeds in these muffins provide milk-boosting goodness. Here’s some more info:

  • Oats [oat flour]- Oats are great for milk-boosting because they contain phytoestrogens that stimulate the mother’s milk glands, increasing milk supply. They are also a good source of iron and full of B vitamins.
  • Flaxseed [meal] & Chia Seeds– Flaxseeds and chia seeds are great sources of fiber. They provide omega-3 fatty acids which are very important during breastfeeding. Omega-3s are necessary for healthy brain development.

Mix-In Ideas

I typically mix in chocolate chips and they add the perfect amount of sweetness when you’re craving a healthier snack option. They pair perfectly with the apple! Here are some other mix-in ideas:

  • Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Nuts
  • Shredded coconut (I top each muffin for a hint of coconut and added texture)
  • White chocolate or Peanut butter chips

How to make Banana Apple Muffins with Chocolate Chips

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
2 tbsp. chia seeds
3/4 tsp. baking soda
dash sea salt
1/2 cup diced apple (about 1 small)
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips or other mix-in (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare nine muffin cups with muffin tin liners or grease with cooking spray.
3. Combine eggs, banana, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine oat flour, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add oat flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until blended.
6. Mix in diced apple and other mix-ins (if using); stir until just blended.
7. Divide the batter evenly between muffin cups. Each cup will be nearly full with batter.
8. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
9. Cool muffins on a wire rack.

To enjoy: Grab a muffin for breakfast or as a snack on-the-go. I love to warm up muffins in microwave for a few seconds, cut in half, and spread butter on each half. If I’m feeling fancy, I drizzle with melted peanut butter.

A drizzle of melted peanut butter is the perfect compliment to these muffins

Nutritional information (per muffin)
Calories: 162 Fat: 7.8g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 178mg Carbs: 19g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g Protein: 7.8g

Sweet Potato Toast

One of my favorite food trends is Sweet Potato Toast. Whether you keep it simple or jazz it up, sweet potatoes are the perfect vessel for a tasty breakfast or snack!

Benefits of Sweet Potato

To make the toast: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice sweet potato lengthwise to create “toast” slices about 1/4 inch thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sweet potato slices. Brush slices with olive oil on both sides. Bake for about 13-15 minutes.

The topping possibilities for Sweet Potato Toast are endless. I like to make sweet & savory toasts. Here are my Top Three favorite ways to prepare Sweet Potato Toast:

  1. Fried Egg Sweet Potato Toast
  2. Mashed Avocado + Diced Tomato + Balsamic Reduction Sweet Potato Toast
  3. Nut Butter + Banana + Chia Seed Sweet Potato Toast

Check out this reel to watch me make them!!

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Skillet

This Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Skillet is so creamy and delicious, I had to stop myself from eating it all before I served any! Grown-up Mac & Cheese for the win.


• I used a chickpea Casarecce pasta but any kind that you like will work. Opt for pastas such as penne, rigatoni, or farfalle as they hold sauces very well.

• If you don’t have bone broth, regular broth is fine. I like mixing in bone broth for the added protein and boost of collagen!

• I LOVE the flavor of Chicken Apple sausage but you can replace with your fav kind. The possibilities are endless with this recipe!

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Skillet (serves 4-5)

1 tbsp olive oil

12 oz. Chicken apple sausage, fully cooked

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup apple juice

1 cup Bone broth

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 cups uncooked pasta such as Casarecce, Penne, or Farfalle

Salt & pepper to taste

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Parsley for garnish


In 5 qt. skillet or pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onions and cook until onions are soft and sausage is browned. Add garlic and cook about one minute.

Pour apple juice and apple cider vinegar into pan. Stir, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in bone broth and regular broth, cream, pasta, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until pasta is tender.

Top with shredded cheese. Cover and let cheese melt. Serve immediately.

Bone Broth Hot Chocolate

A warm and nourishing drink perfect for cold winter days

Happy New Years Eve! It’s almost 2022 and we could all use a new year right about now. One of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to really focus on my nutrition. One way I plan on doing that is by incorporating bone broth into my daily routine. As I was researching different recipes with bone broth I came across one for hot chocolate. I was curious and had to try it.

Now hear me out because every time I tell someone the secret ingredient in this recipe they look at me like I’m crazy, which I am, but you’d never know it’s in there! The 1/2 cup of bone broth adds a powerful nutrient-rich punch that amps up a traditional hot cocoa. After I tried the recipe I was hooked. I think I made this hot chocolate 3 times this week.

Benefits of bone broth

• Supports joint health and may help reduce discomfort and inflammation
• Supports a healthy, balanced gut
• Contains collagen, which supports healthy and strong hair, skin, nails, and joints
• Promotes detoxification

Bone Broth Hot Chocolate (original recipe from Fallon Danae)
1/2 cup Bone broth
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. cacao powder
Splash of vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Put all ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium-high heat.

Shrimp Avocado Lettuce Wraps

When you want something light for lunch, lettuce wraps are the way to go. These are perfect for meal prepping too, as you can keep all ingredients separated in a container until it’s time to assemble for lunch.

In all honesty, this recipe came about because I was trying to use up some produce before it went bad. I had lettuce, half a tomato, and half an avocado waiting to be used instead of thrown in the trash (which I’m notorious for doing with my produce). I had some frozen shrimp and thus, these wraps came about. A low-carb alternative to shrimp tacos if you will.

COOK: My favorite way to prepare shrimp is with onions and peppers, almost like a fajita. I season my shrimp with salt, pepper, blackened seasoning, and a little Adobo. Then I butter up my pan and sauté diced onion and bell peppers. To save time, I buy a bag of frozen onions and peppers that are already diced and ready to go.

Once the veggies have a nice brown to them, I add my cooked shrimp to the pan. It only takes a few minutes for everything to become coated in buttery deliciousness.

ASSEMBLE: I use romaine lettuce because I like how crisp it is and how it acts perfectly like a tortilla, only no carbs! I spread some mashed avocado in the bottom that I mixed with lemon juice and diced tomato. I also add salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to add a little flavor. Add 3-4 shrimp per wrap then top with the onions and peppers. I topped the shrimp with more mashed avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Oh my heavens this lunch is light, flavorful, and a new favorite in my household!

How to make Shrimp Avocado Lettuce Wraps:

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Pizza

I have found the mother of all pizza topping combos and I can’t get enough! It all started when I wanted a salad with chicken and strawberries. I opened the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and grabbed the bag of lettuce. To my HORROR, the lettuce was wilted, brown, and rather inedible. WHAT AM I GONNA EAT NOW?!

I had shredded chicken, beautiful fresh berries, and nothing to eat with them. I thought about something I could make that would pair well with chicken and strawberries. I usually put a balsamic vinaigrette on my salads and I had pita bread that needed to be used up ASAP. Add in some mozzarella and VOILA..PIZZA! Yes, I thought I was nuts, too.

This uncommon combination of ingredients comes together in a burst of bright, fresh flavors.

When I was looking for the cheese, I also found half a package of bacon and half an onion. I thought the saltiness from the cheese would be a creamy companion for the bacon but wanted one more layer of flavor which I found with caramelized onions. I’m not a huge fan of raw onions, but caramelizing an onion gives it a depth that works with this pizza. It is buttery goodness on top of cheese and bacon and c’mon, need I say more??

Trade tomato sauce for a balsamic strawberry sauce (oh yeah, it’s as good as it sounds, I ate it with turkey meatballs today). Balsamic vinegar and strawberry jam marry together in a sauce that makes my taste buds dance. This sweet yet balanced sauce is used in place of a traditional tomato sauce and it is used to coat the shredded chicken.

Now I had pita bread, sauce, cheese, chicken, toppings, and berries for topping the freshly baked pizza. All that was left was to pop this bad boy in a 375 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.

When the pizza came out, I put a layer of sliced berries and few sprigs of basil on top. Not only was this pizza delicious but it was pretty, too. TIME TO DIG IN!

My favorite thing to make with pita bread is personal-sized pizzas. As the only one who was going to be eating this for lunch, I had to find something I could make in small batches. You can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to make this for a larger group. Serve as an appetizer at a party or for family pizza night.

Ingredients (for 1 personal pizza)

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup Strawberry jam
3/4 cup shredded chicken
1 slice whole wheat pita bread
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
about 1/4 cup caramelized onions
2 slices cooked bacon, chopped into 1/2-1 inch pieces
fresh basil for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the balsamic berry sauce by heating balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then turn down heat. Simmer for 4 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir strawberry jam into balsamic vinegar and mix well. Cook another few minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Use a few tablespoons of the balsamic berry sauce to completely coat the shredded chicken.
  5. Spread the remaining sauce (you may not end up using all of it) onto pita bread, spreading almost to edge of bread but leaving a small crust.
  6. Top with shredded chicken, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and chopped bacon.
  7. Bake on lined baking sheet (I line it with foil for easy clean up in case the cheese melts over) for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and top pizza with sliced strawberries and fresh basil. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction if desired. Cut into halves or fourths and enjoy!!

Berry Chia Seed Baked Oatmeal

Berries are by far my favorite fruit to pair with breakfast. They are bright and fresh with vibrant flavors and a sweet aromas. Strawberries and raspberries are the perfect compliment to this baked oatmeal. You could also add blackberries and blueberries. YUM!

If you’re looking for a brunch dish that will wow your guests, look no further. This baked oatmeal is flavorful and filling. I made some for a family brunch and it was a big hit with everyone. It’s a wonderful addition to a holiday breakfast or brunch with the girls. It’s also perfect to This baked oatmeal is destined to be a crowd-pleaser with tantalizing aromas of cinnamon, coconut, and berries bursting with flavor.

This berry baked oatmeal is great for mornings where you need something quick and healthy. I typically have a serving or two left over and will have it for breakfast the next day. You can also make a bigger batch and put some aside for breakfasts throughout the week. A quick reheat in the microwave, drizzled with some peanut butter and topped with a few more almonds and you’ve got yourself an insanely tasty breakfast treat in no time.

I took the original recipe and tweaked it slightly by adding Chia seeds and sliced almonds. Okay now I’m really craving some baked oatmeal!! In about an hour, you can enjoy some healthy, fresh, warm deliciousness.


  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds (more or less if desired)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (room temp.)
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare 9 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs.
  5. Add in almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla to eggs.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  7. Slice strawberries if using. I found that the thinner the slice, the more I could over the oatmeal with a pretty layer of berries. Add berries on top (some may sink) and then add sliced almonds.
  8. Bake for 45-48 minutes or until golden brown. Top with peanut butter, fruit, syrup, more nuts, and cacao nibs!


Let me know what combo of berries you use and what other mix-ins you try!

Collagen Crazy

Obvi Super Collagen Protein is a tasty, keto-friendly supplement created to give you healthy hair, skin, and nails.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is an abundant protein that is produced by the body. It provides the structure and building blocks for hair, skin, and nails. It is also a major component of bones, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen holds things together like glue, making it beneficial and necessary for joint health. As we age, our bodies slow down on the production of collagen. Que the wrinkles, fine lines, and less elasticity. But what can we do about it?!

Foods to Help Boost Collagen Levels

Check out the variety of foods that you can incorporate into your daily meals to help ramp up production of collagen in your body…besides using Obvi of course!
– Lean Meat, Fish, and Tofu
– Citrus Fruit
– Eggs
– Avocado

Benefits of Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements have been popping up all over the place. Many companies have launched collagen products in the last few years and it is a growing industry. Collagen supplements may improve joint health, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and give your skin more elasticity (for us folks above 30…not that we need it…80’s babies are perfect and don’t you forget that.) They could be in powder form or capsules, flavored or unflavored.

Why choose OBVI collagen?

Obvi Collage Protein is lab verified, gluten-free, non-gmo, dairy and lactose free, keto friendly, and comes in a variety of scrumptious flavors, including the newest flavor, Marshmallow Cereal (yes, it’s magically delicious and great with whatever you mix it with!) They recently released an unflavored collagen powder after many requests. This company is wonderful at listening to their customers and taking their feedback to create amazing products. They also have a Vegan Collagen Booster to help with the body’s production of collagen for those following a vegan lifestyle.

To enjoy Obvi and reap its benefits, I put 1/2 scoop of Obvi collagen (Cinna cereal flavored) into my coffee in the morning and then 1/2 scoop into my protein shake after my workout. Obvi also has a ton of recipes on their website to try out! I’ve made waffles, hot chocolate, and flavored whipped cream with their different flavors.

My Results

I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair and as I ran my fingers through my hair I noticed that is was so soft and healthy. I haven’t changed shampoo or conditioner. I am using the same hair products that I was before incorporating Obvi into my daily routine. When I looked at my hair closer, I realized that the dandruff I couldn’t seem to get rid of no matter what shampoo/cleanser/product I tried, was much less noticeable! My scalp is healthier. I was not expecting that pleasant result! My nails are also stronger and growing faster. I am LOVING this product and find myself ordering something every few weeks because I never want to be without it!

To snag a discount on Obvi products, check out their site here and use my code LISARUSSO to save 15%. Let me know what you think when your products arrive and you’ve had a chance to try them out!

Desktop users: Scan the QR code to pull up the OBVI website from your mobile device.

Easy Pasta Salad

There is something about summer and pasta salad that go hand and hand. Classic rock playing in the background, burgers and hot dogs grilling, and all the delicious sides ready for eating. This summer may look a little different with fewer and smaller gatherings, but that’s all the more reason to make them meaningful and memorable!

I love this pasta salad at a BBQ alongside my baby back ribs, but it is also perfect for weekly meal prep. Whip up a batch during your meal prep time along with some turkey meatballs and steamed broccoli, then portion out for lunch each day. I use portion-control containers and fill up the CARBS container (it’s the yellow one, about 1/2 cup serving) with pasta salad so that I don’t go overboard. Here’s an example of how I use portion-control containers to prep my lunches…

*You can snag these color coded portion-control containers here! They have been a lifesaver for me and made meal prep super simple.

The best part of this recipe is that you can add or omit any mix-in that you want! Don’t like olives? Don’t add them. Want some roasted red peppers in there? Do it! I have even chopped up pickles before and added them in for some texture and crunch. The possibilities are endless!

Easy Pasta Salad

8 oz. (half a box) Rotini, cooked according to package
3/4 cup Italian dressing, divided
1 (2.25 oz) can black olives, sliced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 block Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 block Mozzarella cheese (or mozzarella blend if desired)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
2. Add 1/2 cup of Italian dressing and coat pasta.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Pour remaining 1/4 cup Italian dressing and mix together to ensure dressing evenly coats all ingredients.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can use any type of block cheese that you prefer!
Hemp Hearts on top add a delightfully light and nutty flavor to the pasta salad.


Let me know what you choose to add to your super Easy Pasta Salad!

Baked Turkey Meatballs

The aromas that fill your kitchen while these bad boys are cooking will make your mouth water! Easy to prep, quick to make, and hard to resist. Instead of traditional breadcrumbs (I have also used oats in my meatballs before), this recipe calls for almond flour, making it the perfect fit for keto and low-carb lifestyles.

Great for Meal Prep

These baked meatballs are perfect for meal prepping. Cook up a batch on Sunday (this recipe makes about 24) and portion out into your meal containers. Pair with pasta or zoodles. They are also delicious on their own, dipped into some marinara sauce. YUMMMM!

Dinner Ideas

In addition to the obvious pairing of pasta or zoodles, these turkey meatballs are so versatile and can be jazzed up in a variety of ways. Here are some ways to enjoy turkey meatballs for dinner:

  1. KABOBS– grill slices of onion and bell pepper. Alternate putting onion, meatball, and bell pepper on a skewer. Pair with a creamy dip like this Tzatziki dipping sauce.
  2. TURKEY MEATBALL PIZZA– Pita bread makes a great individual pizza. Layer on your favorite pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and then crumble meatballs on top. Put pizzas on baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are light brown.
  3. MEATBALL SUB– Warm up marinara sauce in a small pot and add in meatballs. Heat thoroughly. Slice open your favorite bread roll and toast slightly. Spoon meatballs and sauce onto bread and top with a slice of cheese like provolone or mozzarella.
  4. PINEAPPLE TERIYAKI TURKEY MEATBALLS– Turkey meatballs covered in a Pineapple Teriyaki sauce and paired with rice or lo mien.

To freeze: Allow to cool completely. Portion into servings of 4-5 meatballs, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and put altogether in a gallon freezer bag or into separate freezer bags for each serving.


1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 large egg
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix almond meal, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and paprika together.
3. Add egg, parsley, onion, and garlic to almond meal mix and stir together.
4. Stir in ground turkey and use hands to mix everything together until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
5. Roll meat into 1- 1 1/2 inch balls and space evenly apart on baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes.