After you've drained & pressed your tofu, place on a cutting board & slice into 1" cubes.
Mix low sodium soy sauce & vegetable broth together in a small bowl.
In a separate small bowl, add all the dry ingredients & mix together (garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, black pepper, salt, & cornstarch).
Place cubes in a medium sized bowl & toss with the soy sauce mixture (or you can put in a ziplock bag to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge for more flavor).
Coat the tofu with the dry spices and toss well. It's ok if you have broken pieces – they'll end up super crispy & tasty!
Place cubes in the basket of your air fryer (no need to spray with oil) in a single layer and leave a little space around each piece. (you may have to do separate batches depending on the size of your air fryer)
Set your air fryer to 400°. Cook for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip them/shake basket and repeat 2-3 more times until desired crispness. 10-15 minutes total.
Remove tofu & allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy as a snack, salad topper, or main dish! Serve plain or with sauce of choice. Great to dip in BBQ sauce!
Baking Instructions (if you don’t have an Air Fryer):Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Spread cubes out in one layer on the baking sheet, with space between each piece. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or until desired crispness.
Keyword air fryer, oil-free, plant-based, tofu, vegan
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our overall health and well-being. Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, causes sluggishness, low attention span,
decreased sociability, depressed mood, insulin resistance and decreased performance. Chronic sleep deprivation is strongly correlated with behavioral health issues, such as depression, anxiety and substance use, as well as a weakened immune system.
The body profoundly needs sleep, and when a person is not getting enough quality sleep it impacts all systems of the body. A lot of people view sleep as a passive activity, but to set ourselves up for a restorative night of sleep takes preparation. Here are a few simple steps to take during the day to help set the stage for better sleep:
Preparation: Sleep is not passive; it requires a proactive routine.
Get regular physical activity in the morning or afternoon: Exercise promotes quality sleep. Exercise in morning makes it easier to fall asleep/wake up. Exercise in evening is ok if done on a regular basis and not immediately before bed.
Outdoor light exposure: Early morning light is best way to keep circadian rhythm synchronized.
Control caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol consumption: Minimize caffeine later in the day as it can prevent you from falling asleep. Limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks/day for men and 1 for women and not after 3 hours before bed. Alcohol can cause you to wake up in the night and it causes sleep to be fragmented. Nicotine is a stimulant that is best avoided entirely.
No bright/blue light 2 hours before bed: Blue light can decrease melatonin production and increase cortisol. You can purchase special light bulbs or install an app/filter on your phone to reduce blue light exposure. Of note, phones/computers/TV, etc. are stimulating even if they do not emit blue light.
Environment: Craft your surroundings to support optimal sleep.
Use the bedroom for sleep and intimacy only: No TV, laptop, tablet, etc. in bedroom. Recommended no pets or children in bed.
Turn thermostat down: Ideally between 60-67F. A drop in core body temp is a sleep signal for the body that it is time to sleep
Dark room: Try black out curtains or an eye mask. No nightlight, and cover clocks and other things that emit light.
Quiet: Try earplugs to help if your sleep is disrupted by external noises/partner snores, etc. White noise can also help to cancel out distracting noises that can disrupt sleep.
Timing: Establish a regular sleep schedule.
Establish a sleep-wake routine: Stick to a routine, even on weekends. Any routine that has a bedtime before midnight and allows for 7-8 hours is reasonable.
Don’t eat for at least 2 hours before bed: Your body needs time to begin metabolizing and absorbing food.
Keep naps to 20-30 minutes in the early to mid-afternoon: Research shows that naps (even 9 minutes long) can be restorative. Short naps prevent person from going into deep sleep, which can extend the duration of the nap, result in the person feeling sluggish, and interfere with nighttime sleep. If you have sleep problems like insomnia, naps can add to the problem especially if taken late in the day. Naps do not make up for chronic sleep loss or poor-quality nighttime sleep.
Along with laughter and good cheer, the holidays often bring busier schedules, an abundance of indulgent food and drink and increased financial stress, all of which can have a negative effect on our physical and mental health.
The good news is looking at the holidays through the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine gives us the opportunity to rethink those holiday traditions that don’t contribute to our whole-health and focus instead on prioritizing self-care so that we can truly thrive this holiday season.
1. Manage Stress Better
Stress can play a part in headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety. Chronic stress coupled with acute stressors that we may experience during the holidays leave the body overstimulated with high levels of basal cortisol which in turn increases inflammation and causes or worsens disease.
Lifestyle Tip: Tools like regulated breathing, positive thinking, meditation, gratitude, and exercise can help manage stress and fight inflammation when used every day.
2. Eat Smarter
Food truly is medicine. Beyond the physical benefits that a healthy diet affords us, food also effects our mood. It can be especially challenging to make healthy food choices during the holidays.
Lifestyle Tip: Remind yourself to eat slowly and savor each bite, especially when it comes to calorie dense foods. Be truly present when sharing a meal with those you care about by disconnecting from electronics.
3. Sleep More Soundly
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our overall health and well-being. Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, and chronic sleep deprivation is strongly correlated with behavioral health issues, such as depression, anxiety and substance use.
Lifestyle Tip: Set yourself up for a restorative night of sleep by preparing the right way. Strive to set and stick to a sleep routine that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep per night in a cool, dark place and try to disconnect from screens two hours before bedtime.
4. Connect with Others
Social connections and relationships affect our physical, mental and emotional health. Research shows that the single most important predictor of human happiness and long life is having strong social connections. There is evidence that health related measures like blood pressure and heart rate improve even with short, positive social interactions. Technology can improve social connectedness in some cases but research also finds that those who use social media the most are at a higher risk for depression.
Lifestyle Tip: Try chatting with the person in line next to you while doing your holiday shopping, or smiling as you pass others in the hallway – these positive micro interactions scattered throughout your day can have a big impact. If you use social media, be mindful of how you use technology to support the social connections in your life.
5. Move More
Consistent regular exercise benefits us both mentally and physically. Moving our bodies, especially in nature, can do wonders for our whole health. In fact, studies show that being active for as little as 10 minutes per day can positively impact our mood.
Lifestyle Tip: Even as the days get shorter and colder, make it a priority to move naturally throughout the day doing things you love; walk with friends, ride a bike, dance, or play with the children and pets in your life.
6. Avoid Risky Substances
We know that reducing the intake of items like alcohol, vaping and smoking improve our physical health, but they can also have an impact on our mental health and happiness. When we are not using substances, we are more able to be present in the moment and notice the positive things around us.
Lifestyle Tip: Take a moment to be aware of when you might be using these substances to alter your reality and focus instead on working to identify positive strategies to cope with life’s daily stressors.
Ready to take the next step?
Our Lifestyle Medicine team is here to support you on your journey to better health. Connect with one of our Board-Certified Lifestyle Medicine Specialists today.