Mixed Nut ‘Nola

One of my husband’s favorite breakfasts, that he eats almost every morning, is granola and yogurt. Before we became health conscious, we would just buy a random bag of granola at the grocery store and yogurt that was heavily sweetened. But once I started cooking most of our own food, one of the first things I did was start making his granola from scratch. Not only is this way less expensive, but it’s healthier and very tasty.

Making foods from scratch can sometimes seem intimidating if you are not used to it, but this recipe really is easy and much healthier for you than the store-bought brands. Plus, this recipe can be altered to your taste preference- you can swap out the type of nuts, dried fruits, amount of honey, etc. You can take this base and change it up to create your own perfect granola.

Here is the recipe for what I call Mixed Nut ‘Nola- or more affectionately, Josh’s ‘Nola. Although no two batches are the same, this is typical of what I prepare for him.

To Make the ‘Nola

Start with the oats. I buy gluten free oats for us in case I decide to have a little of the granola myself. And since my husband eats so much of this stuff, I make HUGE batches- sometimes two full bags of oats at a time. But for today, I used 1 bag which equals around 10 cups of oats.


I’m a big fan of this brand.

Now, for the nuts. You can use any combination of nuts that you want. Today, I decided to use pecans, walnuts, almonds, and cashews because that’s what I had in my pantry. I suggest using chopped nuts, so that they are more evenly distributed, but you don’t have to. I measured out about 4 cups of these and dropped them in the mixing bowl.


You can use any nuts, or even seeds, that you want. I used what I already had in my pantry.

I like to add a little almond oil to the granola so I put about 2 tablespoons in there. Then I usually add about 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.


I like adding a little nut oil to the granola because it stops the oats from getting too dry. 

For the seasoning, you can get as creative as you want. You can buy seasoning blends such as Pumpkin Pie Spice or just use plan old cinnamon with a little nutmeg. Today, I am using a Cake Spice blend from Penzeys Spices that my sister gave me for Christmas last year. I only stirred in about 1 teaspoon of this because I didn’t want the spice to be overpowering and my husband seems to prefer less spice in his granola. But you can certainly add more if you want.


This is delicious.

To cook it, I mix it all up and stick it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I recommend cooking things on parchment paper because it prevents the food from sticking in a way that aluminum foil doesn’t. Make sure you pat down the granola so that it is flat. Meaning, you don’t want large piles of it because it will not cook evenly. And if you want to sprinkle on a little sea salt at this point, feel free.

Now, I drizzle on some honey. I really don’t use a lot of sweetener because my husband’s yogurt has maple syrup in it already and he isn’t a big fan of sweets. Plus, the dried fruit we will add later gives quite a bit of sweetness and flavor. So, I just put a few globs of raw honey on top. As it melts, I will stir the granola to distribute it.


This will last him a couple weeks.

I cook the granola for about 20 minutes at 325, stirring well halfway through. If you start to notice the nuts are looking very dark, or even black, take it out sooner. There is nothing worse than getting a mouthful of burned food first thing in the morning.

Once the oats and nuts are done cooking, dump it back in the mixing bowl and add in the dried fruit and/or dehydrated fruit chips. If you decide to use dehydrated fruit that you are not making yourself, please make sure that the ingredients are ONLY that fruit. Sometimes, food companies will add in extra sugar or fruit juices or preservatives which are not necessary. You want to find a brand that only uses the actual fruit.


Like this brand. The only ingredient in here is bananas.

Our last step is to stir in the dried fruit. For this batch, I used goji berries, raisins, and dried cherries. Dried figs work very well too as do prunes- you just may want to chop them up first.



Then I let it cool before packing it into mason jars.


I love storing things in mason jars.

And there you have it. My husband always eats his over yogurt but if you don’t do dairy (like me), you can grab a dry handful as a snack or eat it like a cereal with some almond or coconut milk. And if you are experiencing digestive issues, you can soak and dehydrate both the oats and the nuts before making this recipe which may aid in in digestion. Just let them soak in a bowl of water overnight, then dehydrate them so they get their texture back.

Mixed Nut ‘Nola

You Will Need:

  • 5 cups oats
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (any combination of your choice- pecans, walnuts, and almonds work well)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (any combination of your choice- chopped figs, rasins, and goji berries work well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs almond oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinamon
  • honey to taste
  • sea salt (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. While the oven is heating up, put the oats in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chopped nuts to the mixing bowl and combine.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract, almond oil, and cinnamon.
  5. Lay out the oats and nuts flat onto the baking sheet and drizzle honey on top. You can add a pinch of sea salt if desired.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Keep a close eye on it because the nuts can burn fast.
  7. When the oats and nuts are toasted, put them back in the mixing bowl and stir in dried fruit of your choice.

Enjoy! And let me know what you like to add to your granola.

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Balsamic Beet Salad

Beets are one of those foods people tend to either really like or really don’t. For most of my life I was in the camp of decidedly not liking beets but I made myself eat them anyway because they have a tremendous array of health benefits.  It’s hard to argue with their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to support liver health which are two areas that are of particular interest to me. And they are high in important vitamins and minerals such as folate, maganese, potasium,  magnesium,  vitamin C, and iron.

So, earlier this year I decided to give beets another shot and I started playing around with recipe ideas. I was fortunate that the first beet salad I made was decent and it only took a couple minor tweaks to get it really yummy.


Beautiful beets!

The beauty of this recipe I am going to share with you is that it can so easily be altered and tailored to your own taste. You can make extra dressing which will mask more of the beet taste or you can leave it off completely. If you don’t eat nuts, you can chose to not make the candied nut crumble on top. And you can substitute the parsley for just about any herb you want. And you can use any color of beet you have available. I chose a rainbow assortment because I wanted the various vibrant colors in my dish. The recipe below is how I made it today for this blog, but it is so simple- you can create any variation of it you like.

But before I share this recipe, I need to give an FYI for those who have not had beets before. Keep in mind that they may turn your urine and/or stool pink or red. This is a harmless effect from the beets and is due to the pigment within the beets themselves. So do not be alarmed if you notice this.

So without further ado, here is my balsamic beet salad!

But first thing’s first- One thing to keep in mind is that the longer you cook the beets, the less betalains may remain within them. Betalains are part of what gives beets their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may assist in liver detox. For this reason, it’s recommended that you steam the beets rather than roasting them in the oven but I cooked them both ways to show you a variety. Steaming them is way easier and takes less time, but I wanted to show an alternate way for those who do not have the ability to steam them, or just prefer not to.

Cooking Option #1: Steaming

Steaming the beets is the easiest and fastest way to cook them. If you don’t have a steamer, you can make one by boiling an inch or two of water in a pot and placing a metal colander on top with a lid. I did that for years until I bought an actual steamer, which you can get relatively cheap.

So, to steam them, cut the beets into bite-sized chunks and place them in the steamer for 15 minutes. You do not need to peel them first. At the end of 15 minutes, the beets should be tender. If not, keep them cooking a bit longer.


Love that color.

Once the beets are done cooking, let them cool for a bit then use a paper towel to rub off the skin. It should slide off very easily. And there you have it!

Cooking Option #2: Bake in the Oven

To bake the beets, I preheated the oven to 400. While that was heating up, I washed the beets with some water and wrapped them in tin foil. I ended up pairing my smaller rainbow beets together and leaving the big beet on its own. I didn’t want my little guys to feel too crowded in there.


Am I the only one who thinks beets are one of the most awesome looking vegetables?

When they are wrapped, they will look something like this and are ready to be roasted!


Make sure the beets are wrapped firmly.

The beets will need to cook until they are tender and you can stick a fork through them without too much resistance. For me, this took around 1 hour.

Once the beets are cooked through, remove them from the foil and allow them cool for a bit. We are going to use our bare hands to skin them, so you want them cool enough to touch but still warm.

To Make the “Candied Nut Crumble”

While the beets are cooling, we will make the “candied nut crumble.” I put that in quotes because it’s my take on candied nuts and is decidedly less sweet than most other recipes out there you will find. And mine is so much simpler.

Basically, you chop up a tablespoon of pecans and a tablespoon of walnuts and cook it on the stove top in about 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Then add in 1 teaspoon of honey* and stir for just a minute until the nuts start to clump together. At that point, remove from the heat and set aside. *The health coach in me would like to take this opportunity to recommend you use local, raw honey whenever possible.


It’s not very pretty, but this is what it will look like.

Now, Back to the Beets!

If you made the beets in the oven, once the beets are cooled, peel them. You can just use your fingers and running them under water while peeling will help quite a bit. Plus it’ll help you keep your hands somewhat less messy. In case you aren’t aware- beets tend to emit quite a colorful pigment.

20160426_132328 (1)

Peeled and ready to go!

Now, we will chop the beets (unless you steamed them in which case you can skip this step too) and set them aside in a mixing bowl. Since they are already cooked, don’t worry about getting all the pieces the same size. In fact, a little variety might be fun.



Good times.


To Make the Dressing

Next, we need the dressing. It’s a super easy dressing I put on just about all of my salads. Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. That’s it. The entire dressing recipe is two ingredients and tastes delicious. I do suggest that you use a good quality balsamic vinegar because that will really make a difference. When you are making something with only two ingredients, they both need to really shine.


Whisk away!

Now, all that’s left is to combine everything. If you want a hearty meal, line a serving dish with greens and place the beets on top. You can then top them with the “candied nut crumble” and parsley. If you want a little extra tang, you can drizzle more balsamic vinegar on top or even sprinkle some lemon zest.


I want to mention here that you can optionally add some goat cheese. Although my body does not currently appreciate goat cheese, back when I was eating it- it really set off this dish and took it to another level. So if you can tolerate goat cheese, I highly recommend sprinkling some on top. Especially while the beets are warm because the cheese will melt and get all gooey.


Not pictured- goat cheese.




Balsamic Beet Salad

You Will Need:

  • 4-5 beets, stem off (any color will do)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut oil
  • Lettuce or spring mix
  • Goat Cheese (optional)

Do This:

  1. To cook the beets, prepare a steamer with about an inch of water.
  2. Cut the beets into bite sized pieces, leaving the skin on.
  3. Add the chopped beets to the steamer for about 15 minutes, until tender.
  4. Allow the beets to rest until they are cool enough to handle but still warm.
  5. While the beets are resting, heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the chopped nuts with 1 TSP honey. Cook for just 1-2 minutes, until the nuts clump together.
  6. Once the beets have cooled a bit, peel off the skin. This should be fairly easy to do with a paper towel.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.Whisk until well mixed. If you want a tangier taste, add more balsamic vinegar.
  8. Add the chopped beets to the mixing bowl and stir until coated.
  9. In a serving dish, place a layer of spring mix, lettuce, or any other greens of your choice. Lay the beets on the greens and top with chopped parsley, candied nuts, and goat cheese (optional). Drizzle extra balsamic vinegar on top if desired.
  10. Delicious when eaten warm but can also be served chilled.

I took my beets outside with me to enjoy them in the sunlight.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know how yours turned out in the comments below.

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Facebook Cleanse in 4 Easy Steps: How to Optimize Your News Feed


Every so often, I have a friend who does a “Facebook detox.” They decide to stay off of Facebook completely for some amount of time and will usually make a post telling everyone why they feel the need to do this and when they will be back online. Usually, the reason is because they want to spend less time on Facebook so are trying to go off it cold turkey and ease back in. Or they are tired of all the negativity that shows up in their News Feed.


Computers are great, but they can be a major contributor of stress to our lives if we allow it.

While I am all for the idea of taking a break every now and then from social media, I think that for some of us social media is a reality we can’t fully escape. As a business owner, I need Facebook to stay in contact with people. Plus, most of my family and friends are scattered across the country so without Facebook I would not know what they were up to. I would miss so much of their lives if I avoided Facebook. Plus, Facebook can be a treasure trove of information on topics I want to learn more about.

That being said, our Facebook profiles can sometimes get “clogged up” with a lot of unwanted stuff. And having to filter through all this unwanted stuff on a regular basis can be time consuming and frustrating. So, I devised my own version of a Facebook detox that tweaks my News Feed so I, for the most part, only see things I care about. With just 4 easy steps, I made my News Feed much more inviting and harmonious.

Recently, my husband told me he was thinking about deleting his Facebook account because there was seldom anything in his News Feed that he really cared about- just random posts by people he didn’t know well.  Once I took the time to explain to him the tips I am about to share with you, his Facebook experience was much better. And now I invite you to try out these tips that I have used to optimize my Facebook News Feed.

1. Are your “friends” really your friends?

Think about the shape of your News Feed right now (for those who aren’t familiar with that term, your News Feed is what you see when you log onto Facebook- it’s the stream of posts that other people and pages have made that show up for you). Do you have a few people who you don’t know well (or at all) who continually post things that annoy you? Maybe it’s someone you took one class with in college who posts angry political rants on a daily basis. Or that random person whose friend request you accepted because you have some friends in common even though you’ve never met.

While it isn’t possible to avoid negativity altogether, why deal with it on your Facebook profile and News Feed when you don’t have to? Why have people on your friend list who you know are triggering for you? You should not dread logging on to your Facebook account- if you do, please keep reading these steps and try them out.


If this is you when logging onto Facebook, I’m here to help!

And keep in mind that your Facebook profile is an extension of you so the people you friend should be, for the most part, ones that you actually like and that uplift or inspire you in some way. Something that I do a couple times a year is sit at my computer and look at who is on my friend list. Since I use my personal Facebook profile for connecting with other health coaches from my school, there are quite a few I’ve never met in person. But if I look at the name and I have literally no idea who this person is and they aren’t someone whose posts I find relevant to me, I simply release them. There is no drama revolved around it, none of those “respond to this post with a comment or I will delete you” pleas. I just let it go.

I will say that one emotion that used to come up for me around releasing people off my list was guilt. I would feel bad for unfriending someone, especially if they hadn’t done anything directly to upset me. But it’s important to me that my Facebook stays in alignment with who I am and what I am aspiring to become. I find that more difficult to do if I have a friend list full of complete strangers I know nothing about. But ultimately, do what you’re comfortable with.

I suggest you also do the same thing with the pages you have “liked.” The first time I went through my list, I saw pages I had liked years ago that were no longer interesting to me. By unliking them, you are ensuring that their posts won’t show up on your News Feed and are clearing the energetic clutter from your profile.

2. The solution for when you aren’t ready to unfriend.

There’s a little Facebook trick I’ve used in specific, rare circumstances that some people are not aware of. If you are friends with someone who you feel the need to stay friends with, but do not want to see any of their posts, you can simply “unfollow” them. This means that they stay on your friend list but you will no longer see anything they post to Facebook. Just go to their profile page and click the drop down “following” box and then click “unfollow.”


Easy peasy.

This is great for those situations when you have a family member or friend who you want to stay in contact with, or avoid the drama of unfriending, but don’t care for the posts they make. Maybe it’s an uncle who posts pictures of his cats on an hourly basis or a close friend who you love dearly but are tired of seeing pictures and descriptions of all her meals throughout the day. By unfollowing them, you will no longer see their posts in your News Feed. But the best part is that you are still Facebook friends and can go to their profile page and look at their posts there if you choose. And, of course, this is totally reversible should you change your mind down the road.

3. Repopulate your News Feed with what you love!

Okay, so now that we’ve unfriended or unfollowed people/pages who were populating your News Feed with negativity, it’s time to add in some positivity! I suggest you think of a few things you are very interested in and start searching for them on Facebook using the search bar at the top of your screen that says “Search Facebook.” Is there a band whose music you love? An artist that you enjoy keeping tabs on? Are you interested in cooking or yoga? Search out pages that are devoted to posting about the things that you care about.


You can search for people, pages, trending topics, pictures, and videos among other things.

Personally, I follow people and pages that post positive affirmations and healthy recipes because those are the things that get me motivated. And the beauty of this is that once you start liking pages that are relevant to your interests, Facebook will begin suggesting more pages to you that are similar. So in no time, your News Feed is full of articles and pictures that matter to you.

And keep in mind that the more you interact with a page or person on Facebook, the more of it you will see.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:


Become friends with the “like” button. This is literally an extension of you on Facebook.

4.  Put the stuff that matters first.

Another trick to optimizing your Facebook News Feed is using the “see first” feature. Pick a couple friends and pages whose posts always inspire you or make you smile. Then go to their page and click the drop down menu next to “message” and click “see first.” This means that you are essentially telling Facebook that what this person posts is very important to you so you want to see everything they post to show up first in your News Feed.


“See First” means their posts will show up first in your News Feed. “Default” means their posts will be mixed in with everyone else’s or not show up at all.

By doing this, you are ensuring that the first posts you see when you log on to Facebook are ones that are going to make you happy or convey relevant information to you. I personally have done this to one of my Facebook friends who always posts uplifting messages in the morning. But generally, I do this with pages I really like such as FullyRaw because she regularly posts absolutely stunning pictures of raw fruits and vegetables. And of course Louise Hay and Dr. Wayne Dyer so I get my daily affirmations.

I hope these tips were helpful for you in detoxing and optimizing your Facebook! Let me know in the comments below how these tips worked for you or if you have one of your own that wasn’t featured. And if you like what you read, don’t forget to subscribe for future updates!

The Nostalgia of Chicken Skin

There are few foods I enjoy as much as a crispy, well-seasoned skin-on chicken thigh.

When I was a kid, my mother regularly made fried chicken with a flour mixture she would have shipped to us in Maryland from her home town of Louisville, Kentucky. I *loved* her fried chicken- every greasy, juicy bite of it. But as I got older, and began to develop some digestive health issues, one of the first things I had to limit then eventually cut out almost entirely was fried foods. And then about a year back I also adopted a gluten free lifestyle after a rigorous elimination diet. And through all this, the food I was perhaps most sad to lose was my mother’s fried chicken. For me, it was like a bite of nostalgia and the crispy sweetness of the skin reminded me of summers spent playing outside with my Kentucky and Ohio cousins.

There are a plethora of delicious crispy chicken recipes out there, most notably for me is Nom Nom Paleo’s “Cracklin’ Chicken” which I’ve indulged in a handful of times. But frying the chicken was still proving to be problematic for my gut, not to mention very messy for my kitchen! So when my sister pulled me aside last weekend to impart the recipe I’m about to share with you all, I was very excited to try it out. My sister is a very health conscious actress who fuels her body with a diet of primarily meat and vegetables (follow her here!). I love it when she cooks for me and cooking is an activity we generally do during the rare times when we are in the same state and able to hang out.

“Listen,” she said, looking around the room as if she was about share some top secret information. “I have to tell you about cooking chicken thighs. I found the BEST way to cook them.”

“Oh, tell me!” I replied, pulling out my phone to take notes.

“Okay, this is all you do. Put the chicken thighs on foil in the oven at like 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Skin on, bone in- it MUST be skin on, bone in. And season it with a little salt and pepper on the skin. NO oil.”

No oil? I thought to myself. Seeing the perplexed look on my face, she leaned in towards me and said “trust me.”

“So only salt and pepper?”

“On the skin, yes. You can put whatever you want on the underside.”

I vowed to try it the next evening and she nodded knowingly and went back to chopping the squash for our dinner.

I have to admit I was hesitant about her advice for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I admit that I do tend to rely on oil in my cooking. I do use oils that are as minimally processed as I can get them and in small amounts, but my food generally sees some EVOO, coconut oil or avocado oil at some point in the cooking process. And also 90 minutes seemed like an incredibly long time to cook chicken thighs at 350 degrees. Wouldn’t it dry out? But I trust my sister’s palate.

And let me tell you- the chicken I made that night was some of the most delicious, tender, crispy chicken I have ever eaten.  So when I decided to make it again for lunch this afternoon, I documented my process so I can share it with you here. Additionally to the chicken, I made a cauliflower rice that I will describe as well so you can re-create the whole meal if you desire.

So without further ado, here is how it’s done.

To Make the Chicken

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I do that first so that my chicken can go in as soon as it’s prepped. You want to start with chicken thighs that are bone-in and have the skin on. This is important because the bone releases flavors and juices into the meat as you cook it while the skin gives the finished product that crunch and also serves to flavor the meat as it cooks. You want to season it with a pinch of coarse sea salt and pepper- I eyeball the amount.


That’s just salt and pepper.

The meaty part of the chicken can be seasoned with any combination of seasonings you chose. For Christmas, my sister gave me some gourmet seasoning blends so I used some of that. But generally, my chicken gets a combination of rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper.


You don’t need to use a whole lot of seasoning.

Once the oven is preheated, stick the chicken in and set a timer for 90 minutes. Then forget about it. Literally, you do not have to touch this chicken again until the timer goes off. This is a good time to start prepping any side you want with it- in this case it’s cauliflower rice!

To Make the Cauliflower Rice

Start heating up a pan on your stove with around 1 TBS of coconut oil. We are going to cook all the ingredients here before finishing it in the oven.

Chop up about half a head of cauliflower and drop it in a food processor. In order to make the rice, you need to pulse the processor- just enough to make the cauliflower resemble actual rice. I’ve never done this in anything other than a food processor but I imagine you could also use a blender if needed. Or even just dice it finely, though the texture may not be the same. Just be sure not to over-do it in the processor or the cauliflower will lose the texture we are looking for.


You basically want it to look like this.

Then you can get creative and chop up any veggies you want to add to your rice. Today, I chose sliced onions, diced sweet potato and carrot, chopped collard greens, and garlic. You can use any vegetables you have laying around. As a general rule, onions give food a lot of flavor so I like to incorporate them as much as I can. However, onions can be problematic for some people (I have a slight issue with eating more than a small amount of them) so I decided to keep the pieces large so I could eat around it while still getting the flavor. You can do the same with garlic if you are doing a low FODMAP diet.

You want to cook the onions (if you are using onions) first and add the garlic (if you are using garlic) last. The reason is that we want to make sure the onions are cooked through and translucent and they will release their juices as they cook which will flavor the other food. I always add garlic last because garlic is finicky and can burn easily which is NOT pleasant to eat.


I always cook onions first.

Once the onions are done, add in your carrots and sweet potato. They will take a good bit of time to cook so I prefer to get them started before the collard greens and garlic which I know takes less time. But regardless of the order you cook the veggies in, make sure they are tender to the touch with a fork when you’re done.


I liked my vegetables to hang out together before I devour them.

Once it is all cooked through, add in the cauliflower. Give it a good stir to mix it up and add about 1/2 tsp of salt. I also added some more of the season blend my sister gave me for Christmas.


This is some seriously yummy seasoning.

Once it is all mixed together, cook it on the stove for around 3-5 minutes while stirring fairly frequently. Then put it in a baking dish and squeeze about half a lemon over it. The lemon juice will give it a more bright flavor. But if you have issues with citrus you can totally leave that step out.

Then stick it in the oven for around 30 minutes. You want to give it a good stir about halfway through. And I waited until I had 30 minutes left on the chicken before putting it into the oven so it would be ready at the same time.


I use a glass baking dish, but any dish will do.

At this point, you are done except for clean up and eating. When the meat and cauliflower “rice” are done, you are ready to plate and enjoy!


This was SO good.


Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

You Will Need:

  • 2-4 chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasonings of your choice (I recommend rosemary, thyme, and sage)

You May Want to Use:

  • Parchment paper because the chicken will not stick to it

Do This:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. If you wish, you can add any seasonings of your choice to the non-skin side.
  3. Place it in the oven for 90 minutes.

Mixed Veggie Cauliflower Rice

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced or cut into strips
  • 1-2 collard green leaves or any green vegetable of choice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBS coconut oil

You May Want to Use:

  • A seasoning blend of your choice
  • A food processor to get the “rice” texture

Do This:

  1. Roughly chop 1/2 head of cauliflower. Put it in your food processor and pulse it until the texture resembles rice. Set it aside. If you do not have a food processor, you will have a harder time getting the “rice” texture but can still make this dish. Just dice it finely.
  2. Saute the onions in 1 TBS of coconut oil until they are translucent.
  3. Add in the diced carrots and sweet potato. Cook until tender.
  4. Add in the chopped collard greens and garlic. Stir to combine and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in the cauliflower “rice” and stir well. You can add salt and/or any seasoning blends you like.
  6. Put the “rice” mixture into a baking dish and add the lemon juice if you chose. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, stirring midway through.


I hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know how your crispy chicken and cauliflower rice turn out.

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Why So Many New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that started off great but ended up just not working? Have you been known to say things like- “I’m going to lose <x amount> of weight before summer” only to either not meet your goal weight or meet it but later gain more than you started with? Have you ever decided that you want to eat healthier right up until you get to the grocery store and realize you don’t know how to actually do it in a sustainable and affordable way? Or maybe you come home from the store, loaded with healthy veggies you  have no idea what to do with and so they sit in your fridge for a couple weeks until they begin to rot and are tossed away.

If that sounds familiar, I want to let you in on a secret because I think it is so important to understand this if you are to make any kind of change. It’s part of the reason why diets DO NOT work long term and also part of the reason why change can be so scary. The secret is this:

If you don’t get to your why, you will struggle with the how and may never reach the what.

This is a concept I’ve adopted from Simon Sinek, whose video I have posted below. Although this video primarily focuses on helping businesses  and leaders get to their why, the same idea can be applied to individuals who are in the midst of wanting to make changes.

So what does that mean? 

What I mean by this is that true and lasting change must come from that deep place within you that is fed up with how things are and needs for them to be different (your why). If you do not connect to that place as step one, you are setting yourself up for a constant battle as you force your body to do things it is unaccustomed to (your how) and will likely not see the results you want to see (your what). If you start with the what by saying “I want to lose 10 pounds” then once the 10 pounds are gone, it will likely come back. As opposed to saying “I want to have enough energy to be able to keep up with my kids at the park” or “I want to feel more comfortable in my body.” Or even, “I watched a family member suffer with <x> illness and I don’t want that to be my path.” Those why statements are so much more powerful and will begin a more internal and deep change within you.


Writing is one of many ways to uncover your deepest why. 


So for those of you who are currently setting resolutions, I invite you to dissect why these goals are important to you. You can do this either by yourself or under the guidance of a health coach who has been trained to ask the questions that help you get to that deep why and offer guidance as to the how. Because in order to make lasting, profound change on a deep level you need to connect your reason for the change with how you are going to do it and set yourself realistic, incremental goals.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful and, as always, feel free to comment below or send me a message with any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you all on what your why is!


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Self Care Tip: Have Fun!

These past couple weeks I have been sharing self-care tips that can help you de-stress and re-energize your life. In case you missed them, the two I have already covered are aromatherapy and intentional breathing. In this post, I want to talk about something that is so often overlooked and forgotten but can have enormous benefit for our emotional and physical health. It’s something you probably did often as a child but less often as the demands and rigors of daily living began to wear on you throughout adolescence. I’m talking about something very simple and FUN- play!


Remember what it’s like to be THIS into playing a game?

When was the last time you did something that was so much fun you lost yourself for hours in it? Maybe for you it was a game, dancing around your house, singing, going to a comedy club, watching a movie or favorite TV show, or even spending quality time with a loved one. These days our culture tends to be very focused on work and getting through our list of daily activities and “to-dos.” It can be very stressful to feel as if your day is made up of running from one errand to the next or working long hours at a job you don’t like. Or if you are dealing with chronic illness, it can be immensely time consuming and frustrating to manage multiple doctor appointments and deal with the headache of insurance companies and appeals (if you have ever been chronically ill you probably know what I’m talking about here).

I believe that by inserting some fun activities into our day, we can help reduce the amount of stress and tension that we carry with us. I’ve found that sometimes the very best thing to do for relieving stress and pain is to laugh. And speaking of, are you spending time around people who make you smile and laugh? Or do you feel even more stressed out when you are with them? Sometimes it’s inevitable to interact with people who frustrate you, but try to balance that with a healthy dose of people who you can have a good time with.


Even just looking at this picture makes me feel better.

So what I suggest you do is to start by thinking of activities you are currently doing (or used to do) that bring you enjoyment. Then, and this is the important part, actually schedule those things. Like, literally write them in your planner, set a phone alarm, do whatever you need to do to make these things happen for you. Because one of the steps to living an authentic and happy life is to recognize and actively pursue the things that encourage happiness in your life. Ultimately, you are in control of your happiness but by adding in more activities that you enjoy, you will start to crowd out the things that aren’t serving you.

And for those of you reading who feel like you simply cannot fit one more thing into your schedule and are totally overwhelmed- this tip is probably extra important for you. Can you identify one thing in your life you are doing that you don’t enjoy then find a replacement that you do? For example, if you watch television every night, are you really enjoying the shows you are watching? Or can you search out a show that really excites you and that you look forward to watching? Small changes such as that can accumulate over time and lead to some lasting, healthy transformations.


Dogs need to play too. If you have a dog in your home, the two of you can play together!

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Self Care Tip: Belly Breathing

One of the most beneficial things I’ve ever done for my health is tuning in with how I am breathing. Our breath is not only essential for life, it is a tool we always have at our disposal to reduce anxiety, pull us out of “fight or flight” mode, improve digestion, and so much more. Intentional breathing can be very beneficial for creating space in our body and giving us a moment to pause and center ourselves.


There are a plethora of breathing techniques out there and I find that people become very invested in one or two that work best for them. But the one thing that most breathing techniques have in common is this: they help you get in touch with your body. They allow you to stop for a moment and focus on one singular thing- your breath leaving and entering your body.

Some people like to associate imagery with their breathing exercises such as ocean waves, and some like to produce sounds or tones as they breathe (this is one of the best “anxiety busting” techniques I have). Personally, my favorite breath is the 4-7-8 breathing technique developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. You breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7 then breathe out for 8. I was introduced to it during my health coach training program and it has really stuck with me. I find that when I do it at night, it helps me fall asleep. And if I have an important decision to make or need to slow myself down, doing this breath gently grounds me into my body. I’ve also found it to be the best breath I’ve tried for reducing pain and turning off that “brain buzzing” we sometimes get when trying to fall asleep.

Here is a video of Dr. Weil teaching the 4-7-8 breath.

Some people like to incorporate breath work with exercise such yoga or with a moving meditation practice like Qigong. You can even do a walking meditation where you sync up your breath with your feet. Breathe in for 6 steps and out for 6 steps, or however many you chose. There is no limit to the amount of breathing techniques you can try and if one doesn’t work for you- there’s another out there. Here is a great article with some examples of breathing exercises you can try.

Something else I want to mention is the quality of the air you are breathing. Taking a deep breath in the middle of an ancient forest or while dipping your feet in the ocean is going to feel very different from taking that same breath inside your home or at the doctor’s office. I’m not saying that doing a breathing exercise indoors is somehow ineffective- quite the contrary. Those are often the times when we need it the most. I’ve just found it to be a nice change every so often to wander outside near some trees and just breathe and be. When I do this, I feel as if I am breathing with the trees and am able to release more anxiety or ill feelings than I would otherwise. And if I can dig my feet into the ground a bit, especially if I’m fortunate enough to be at a beach, I can imagine any of the “crud” I’m releasing going down into the earth and away from my body. There’s something very cathartic about releasing your pain into a vessel that is so much older and wiser than you.


As the trees filter the air, I believe they can also filter pain.

So I invite you to try some deep breathing today. Whether you do so for a minute or ten, the benefits are well worth the time. Do you have any breathing exercises you like to do? If so, let me know in the comments below!


I can almost smell the ocean just looking at this.

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