I’ll cut right to the chase today…

Monday: Chana Dal With Cauliflower and Coconut Milk: Vegan and gluten free- Feel free to use heavy cream if you can tolerate dairy.

Tuesday: Lemon Sundried Tomato Quinoa: Vegan and gluten free, but any lean protein can easily be added.

Wednesday: BLT Summer rolls with Avocado: The epitome of quick and easy…gluten and dairy free. You can use meat free bacon (surely that exists somewhere…) to make this vegan. You can use rice wraps, coconut wraps, tortillas…

Thursday: Indian Spiced Baked Potato and Egg Foil Packets: Vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free. This is so fast and simple and can easily be transported as leftover breakfasts and lunch.

Friday: Slow Cooker Basil Chicken: Gluten and dairy free. I plan to use chicken breasts because I just can’t do thighs. And, for me, naan trumps rice. So, I’ll serve this over something low carb so I can justify the copious amounts of naan that I plan to consume.

Saturday: Burger Bar- Anything you want! When we have a burger bar I like to make a burger salad, so I feel no guilt when I eat a bunch of oven fries. Not that there is anything wrong with carbs, but the bun and potatoes is too much for me, personally. Here’s a great vegan In-N-Out recipe. I’ll definitely be making this sauce: Copycat In-N-Out Burger with mayo free Spread.

Sunday: Crock Pot Rosemary Carrot Parsnip Mash and protein of your choice. The mash is gluten free and paleo. If you can’t find parsnips, try using potatoes instead.

 

The only wisdom I can impart on you today is this: Love every second of everyone and everything. It’ll be over before you know it.

This week, it’s a week of soups! Just kidding. I would NEVER do that to you. Eating soup right now would be like admitting spring is never going to get here. These meals will probably take more time than last week’s….but there’s much more variety, and they are easy peasy.

 

Monday: Pasta with Kale Walnut Pesto– Vegetarian, leave out cheese or sub nutritional yeast to make vegan. You can also use store bought pesto to make this incredibly fast.

Tuesday: Portobello Fajitas– Add meat, if you’d like. Use whatever toppings and extras that fit your dietary needs.

Wednesday: Spicy Lemongrass Thai Salad– Gluten free, leave out the chicken for vegan, can sub tahini or almond butter for the peanut butter if you have an allergy or are strict Paleo.

Thursday: Miso Glazed Eggplant– Vegan and Gluten free. Serve over rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice…This recipe also gives directions for a kale and seaweed side dish, but I’m modifying it to leave out the seaweed, because I’m fresh out.

Friday: Summer Rolls with Garden Veggies– Gluten free and vegan. You can add meat to these, or serve these alongside meat as more of a side.

Saturday: Pineapple Chicken Peanut Satay– For a vegan option, try using tofu instead of chicken…not sure how it’ll turn out, though!

Sunday: Vegan Calzones– For gluten free, use a pie crust mix like Glutino or Bob’s Red Mill.

Taking a different route this week…not a menu plan, per se. More of a, “Choose your own Adventure,” kind of plan. This week I’m making Buddha Bowls every night. This is a great way to make a complete and healthy meal, and is also very fast and provides opportunities for lots of different options. Here’s what I mean…

1- Pick a base (quinoa, rice, millet, farro, amaranth, greens, cauliflower rice, zoodles)

2- Pick a protein (chicken, shrimp, salmon, pork, fish, eggs, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils)

3- Pick your vegetables (any and all….roasted, sauteed, raw- anything but fried)

4-Pick extras (don’t go too crazy with these, but do add some for extra flavor and texture- avocado, nuts, seeds, cheese)

5- Drizzle with a dressing- Get creative…this could be as simple as salsa, or you can blend a nut/seed butter with spices and a little bit of water to thin it out. Another good option is to blend an avocado with a little yogurt or coconut milk, with some spices and lime juice.

The point of this is to be quick and easy. You can change these meals entirely with your spice choices. To make this even easier, make an entire bag of your grain today, and then you won’t have to for the next couple of days. After you purchase your proteins, you can marinate them right when you get home, and then you won’t have to deal with that for a few days, either. Roast up a large pan of vegetables, and then you can grab them when you need them.

For example…tonight I’m making quinoa, topped with lots and lots of vegetables and spicy peanut sauce. Tomorrow will be quinoa, shredded chicken, pecans, grapes, sheep’s milk bleu cheese, drizzled with balsamic creme. It can’t get any easier than rice, raw veggies, maybe some shrimp or salmon, soy sauce/liquid aminos/coconut animos/tamari, and wasabi- boom; sushi bowl.

If you need a little more inspiration, here are some suggestions: Buddha Bowl Recipes

The greatest love of ALLLLLLLLL!!!!!

“Learning to love yourself; it is the greatest love of all.” Thank you, Whitney Houston!  Forget ever thinking of working with me….play this song on repeat and you’ll be set for life.

I saw this article today, and it just shows how ridiculous/contrived/unrealistic/sad things can be for people today.

Victoria’s Secret model quits after being told to lose weight

To save 5 minutes, the gist of the article is: She was told for 2 years by VS to lose weight (they had a goal weight for her), and instead of becoming anorexic/self hating/unhealthy- she quit.

How are you supposed to be stick thin, with large breasts, a firm booty, and have muscle? When I figure this out, I’ll let you know. Until then, as hard as this may be sometimes: Be kind to yourself and to the one body you have (in this lifetime!). Chances are, your body is really working for you. You have legs that carry you around all day, arms that allow you to lift people/puppies/weights, a torso that’s strong enough to allow you to stand tall, and a brain that can help you see how much your life would suck without the things that make you happy and bring you joy.

It’s not easy (for everyone) to see the good in yourself. I have struggled with this my whole freaking life. I remember being in high school…about 20lbs less than I am today…wishing that my butt and thighs weren’t so big. Full disclosure: I still think that on more days that I can count. But, hey. Life’s a journey, man. Just keep truckin’. Try and give yourself one compliment a day. You may begin to realize all of the things that you actually love about yourself.

 

 

The Yankees play today!!! I don’t care how you feel about it; this is all that’s getting me through the day. This is a nostalgic time of the year for me. It makes me miss killing time after school with my bff, waiting for softball practice. We used to nosh on healthy snacks like white cheddar Cheeze-Its and Little Debbie snacks, and washed it down with Diet Coke- balance. Can you imagine eating garbage and then being able to run around for hours? Youth. I can’t even eat a banana and do cardio now without wanting to vom.

Hopefully this dinner menu won’t make you want to vom, and if it does…eat something else.

Monday: Creamy Goat Cheese Asparagus Quinoa Salad– vegetarian and gluten free- Double or triple this recipe to enough as an entree, and maybe some leftover for lunch.

Tuesday: Burrito Bowls with Pineapple Salsa– gluten free and vegan- You can definitely add any protein to this recipe, and any salsa will do.

Wednesday: Salad Bar

Thursday: Lemongrass Pork Meatballs with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce– use g-free soy sauce- This recipe absolutely must be multiplied…unless you’re not very hungry. I suggest serving with rice or quinoa, and a salad or vegetable if you don’t want to make lettuce wraps.

Friday: Coconut Lime Chicken– You can use this marinade with shrimp or white fish too.

Saturday: Thai Salmon Burgers– Use gluten free bread crumbs, buns, and soy sauce.

Sunday: I believe Americans should eat one hotdog per year, and I’m cashing mine in today. We’re having hotdogs (can’t remember which brand I buy, but they’re 100% beef, organic, no nitrates) wrapped in Auntie Anne’s Style Gluten Free Pretzel dough. My husband and I will miss out on baseball’s opening day together…not important to you, perhaps, but it’s a big deal for us- one of the top 5 days of the year! To modify this recipe, just wrap each hotdog in the dough and drop the baking soda wash…and then continue on with the directions. This dough should be made in advance, and can stay in the fridge for a dew days. Or, use any pretzel recipe you’d like!