Monday: Moroccan “Meatballs”– This is a vegan recipe, but you can easily use lean ground beef or lamb instead of chickpeas.

Tuesday: Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil– You can lighten this up by reducing the amount of butter used….1/4 cup is a bit much for this recipe (in my opinion). Remember, the sausage will release some fat when it cooks. I suggest spraying lightly with olive oil, and then tasting after everything is cooked. Each person you serve can add some butter/ghee to their own dish if they’d like.

Wednesday: Paleo Butternut Apple Chicken Salad w/ Creamy Maple Dressing– Very straightforward. If you have a favorite dressing/dressing recipe- use that. ***You can make extra chicken today, and use for tomorrow (if you want tomorrow’s recipe to be carnivorous).***

Thursday: Jackfruit Chickpea Coconut Stir Fry–  This recipe has a few spices that you can substitute. For the initial spice mix, I plan to skip the peppercorns (and simply use ground pepper). This way, I don’t have to dirty something else by grinding one spice. No mustard seeds? Replace with ground mustard. No cumin seeds? Replace with ground cumin. No asafetida? Add more garlic. No jackfruit? Use shredded chicken or tofu.

Friday: Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos-Easy recipe, that can be multiplied and frozen for the future. Be sure to check your can of chipotles if you’re gluten free…some brands contain wheat to thicken the sauce.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon– Don’t like salmon? Try this glaze recipe on chicken or pork loin.

Sunday: Super Vegan Bowls– You can use this recipe as a base to clean out your fridge for the week. Use whatever vegetables/protein you have leftover from the week.

Happy Halloween! I like Halloween. Probably because candy is delicious. I was always the kid who would come home and dive right in, running out of candy approximately 3 days later. My brother would organize his, have a piece, forget about it, and still have some up until Easter. I can not condone behavior like that. Anyway, instead of dressing up and partying this year, I’m going to the dentist. I’m actually really excited; I love the dentist. And I made sure to buy candy to hand out that while name brand, does nothing for me, as to not be tempted by it.

Monday: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese– This meal will come together quickly, so you can get homework done, costumes on, and get out of the door by twilight. To save even more time, use a can of butternut squash puree instead of making your own. For gluten free, be sure to use gluten free pasta, and replace the flour with cornstarch. I skip the breadcrumb topping all together, because I don’t like the crunch on mac n cheese.

Tuesday: Chopped Enchilada Skillet– Gluten free, can easily be made vegetarian by doubling the beans, can be dairy free if you use dairy free cheese (Trader Joe’s Almond Milk shredded cheese is really good…and my husband thought he was eating cow mucus- I mean ‘milk’ cheese). Now, I’m actually a grandma, so I make my own enchilada sauce, because store bought tends to have some ingredients that I stay away from. Here’s the recipe I use…it makes a LOT, so I freeze what I don’t use.

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups broth (any will do….use bone broth for added protein)
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried chives (or leave this out…you’ll more than likely have onions in whatever meal you’ll be using this for)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • No need to cook this…just stir/blend it and think, “Does Martha effing Stewart even make her own enchilada sauce?!”

Wednesday: Kale Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes- I could eat this every day. This is complete to me, but serve with roasted chicken (I’ve been buying a rotisserie chicken every week for my husband) or white fish for added protein. You can easily double this recipe, and have a quick lunch all ready. Here’s the link to the sauce this is served with: Out of This World Tahini Herb Sauce.

Thursday: Autumn Cobb Salad with Smoky Pumpkin Dressing: How can you not want to eat this? So, I am lazy, and I buy raw, pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery. This saves time and so many fingers. Obviously no seeds come with this, so I just use pre-roasted pumpkin seeds. But, walnuts or pecans would go really well with this, too. This is another instance where that rotisserie chicken is a perfect time saver.

Friday: Roasted Smoked Eggplant Curry–  Vegan and gluten free. I plan to serve with cauliflower rice, so I can also have naan. I try to keep my carbs to one option at each meal. Pre-riced cauliflower rice is your best friend. Trader Joe’s sells is in the refrigerated section, and I toss it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.

Saturday: Apricot Dijon Roast Chicken– I mean, look at that picture. This meal is beautiful. Although….I think I’m going to use a salmon fillet instead of a whole chicken. Also, I don’t know if I can find fresh apricots at this time of year, so, I think you could chop some dried ones instead. Or (and I promise I don’t get paid by Trader Joe’s), but they sell frozen apricots that are delicious and make me happy as all hell. Serve with a rice or quinoa dish to round this out.

Sunday: Crispy Carnitas– A favorite recipe of ours. It’s foolproof. Don’t skip the last step where you fry the cooked meat to crisp it up. It’s worth cleaning another dish. Aaaaand, save your leftovers, because we’re going to use them next week. It’s Sunday: Treat Yourself. Bust out the tortillas.

Please forgive me….I’m running around like a crazy person trying to prepare for our movers next week. And I just lied to you. Me…running? That would never happen.

I’m a bit short on time, but I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you.

I very rarely cook breakfast on the weekends. Which is sad, because growing up, my dad was in the kitchen every weekend cooking crepes, made to order omelets, pancakes (he would make me pb pancakes with chocolate chips added in because of health), danishes… Mr. Primo is a breakfast wiz. I’m too lazy. And my husband doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I’d be the one eating all of it. Which I totally could…but let’s just say I don’t have the metabolism of my 15 year old self. But, this weekend I’m going to make this Gluten Free Dutch Baby with Blueberry Maple Syrup. My cousin (Hi, J!) sent me this recipe, and I’ve been drooling over the thought of it for a week. There is 0 junk in this recipe. I plan to use frozen blueberries, because that’s what I have- and I need to start using what I have and not buying more. Any fruit would taste great with the maple syrup, so use what’s in the fridge/freezer! I’ll also sub the whole milk for almond milk…again; what’s open in the fridge. And I’ll use ghee or coconut oil in place of the butter. As for the directions, the only thing I’ll amend is the opening and closing of the oven several times. If I do that, my crappy little oven will drop to 300°, and will never recover. So, just preheat the pan, add the fat, let it sizzle, add the batter.

Question: Do you like ranch dressing? Well, I do. I used to go through bottles of Hidden Valley like my life depended on it. And it’s so healthy, since you can get reduced fat…*sarcasm.* I gave it up for years as I became more aware of what I was putting into my body. I recently found a recipe for vegan ranch, but of course I tweaked it…

Vegan High Protein Junk Free Ranch Dressing:

1 container of tofu (I’ve used silken and the kind that comes in water-both are fine. Buy organic tofu! When soy is involved-ALWAYS organic).

1/2 C yogurt (I use organic soy quark which is lactose free, sugar free, and the consistency of Greek yogurt. You could use any kind of yogurt, or milk…which will make it thinner).

1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (based on your taste preference)

Ranch Mix to taste- This mix is Whole 30 compliant. And you probably have all of these spices already. I also add red pepper flakes and cayenne, because I like spicy.

That’s it! Mix it up, and keep in the fridge. I’ve kept it for a couple of weeks, and it’s fine.

 

So there you have it: I’m moving, eat a Dutch Baby, and have some ranch.

 

 

Don’t fight it…

Your body naturally gets a second wind at 10pm, so it’s very important to get into bed before then. I know, it seems really early. But, if you want to get your sleep on, this is crucial!

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This article lays out all of the facts:  Sleep and Longevity

So you know what this means for the weekend? You should Day Drink, so you can meet that 10pm sleep time. Don’t say I’m not helpful.

This weekend, Treat Yo Self!

“Clothes. Treat yo’ self! Fragrances. Treat yo’ self. Massages. Treat yo’ self! Mimosas. Treat yo’ self! Fine leather goods. Treat yo’ self!”

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How did I miss “Treat Yo Self” Day on Tuesday?! I’ll have to make up for it this weekend. If you celebrated Tuesday, go ahead and do it again.

Simply put, “treating yo self,” (also known as Self Care) includes actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. For many people this is quite difficult. You know the type….kind, caring, selfless. I have 0 issues with self care. Shocking; I know. I got a facial yesterday, and it was glorious. However, self care does not have to cost you a cent. There are hundreds of things you can do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to take care of yourself. A very short list includes: going on a walk, getting a massage, watching your favorite movie, listening to your choice of music, meditating, baking, doing yoga, reading, running, crafting, getting your hair done, a night out with friends, shopping for yourself, having a glass of wine….

I can’t stress this enough: Self Care is not selfish! It is so important to take time for yourself to recharge. You must take care of yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you. You can take baby steps with this…maybe all you have time for is 5 deep breaths, maybe just one cup of coffee, maybe you pick what’s for dinner, or maybe you can take an entire weekend away. Whatever you choose, be completely present and enjoy every second.

See you Monday for a delicious, healthy weekly menu!!! And please, share this site with your friends and family!

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What is a Dosha, and where can I get one?

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Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old holistic science of health, and focuses on finding balance in all areas of life. Ayurveda literally means, “the science of life.” According to Ayurveda, each person has a dominant dosha type. Simply put, doshas are the energies that make up every individual. When your dosha is out of balance…all hell breaks loose.  Each dosha (there are three: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) performs different functions in the body.

This is a great article that shares the basics of Ayurveda and Dosha types. I think it’s interesting and beneficial to learn about different forms of medicine…especially ones that prescribe food, activity, and herbs as opposed to pills. This article also includes a dosha quiz, so you can learn your dominant dosha. Don’t worry; you don’t have to give your email address to get your results. Some of the questions are strange, and ask things that you may not have considered before. Just go with your first instinct. This quiz is subjective, and your dominant dosha can change frequently. If anything, it’s a great way to kill 20 minutes while you’re at work.

Ayurveda and Dosha Types for beginners

Aromatherapy 101

imagesI am frequently asked about Aromatherapy (aka- Essential Oil Therapy). Here are the basics…

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine, that uses the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots, or other parts of a plant, to enhance mental and physical well-being. Essential oils can be inhaled, applied topically, or ingested. They can be used on their own, or combined with something called a carrier oil (a carrier oil dilutes the essential oil, making it easier for your body to absorb it).

I don’t want to make this post too science-y, but you’re going to learn something, damn it, so stay with me! How do essential oils work? The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). The BBB is a semi-permeable (lets some things through) barrier that separates blood and brain fluid. It protects the brain, helping to maintain a consistent environment. The capillaries that bring blood to your brain are highly selective…the Mean Girls of the body, if you will.  Teeny tiny molecules (think: nutrients and oxygen molecules) can pass through this barrier, but larger molecules (blood, most medications, fat) can not.  What is special about essential oils, is that they bypass the BBB, and go straight to your brain through the olfactory system (your sense of smell). Essential oils go no further than the inside of your nose, but they trigger nerve impulses, which have far reaching effects. Whew! I guess I could have said, “You smell it and it goes to your brain.” Anyway…

There is an oil for everything…however, if you’re new to oils, I recommend doing your research (thoroughly), or contacting me. You absolutely CAN NOT ingest all oils, you shouldn’t use certain oils if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use certain oils when on specific prescription meds, you might be allergic to some oils, you might build up an immunity to some, children should not be exposed to all oils….the list goes on. Fortunately for you, I’m here to help!

I do not sell oils, but I do sell my, “potions.” These are custom oil blends that are made specifically for you to assist with whatever ails you. Some of my favorite blends are used to help: digestion, headaches, anxiety, sleep issues, acne, attention issues, skin irritations, and hormonal symptoms. Prices vary base on what you need, so contact me for quotes.

I get my oils from several companies. I prefer Eden’s Garden and Plant Therapy (in the states); here in Europe, I like Fresh Skin (a UK based company). I like these companies because they don’t use a middle man, which lowers the cost SIGNIFICANTLY, without compromising the quality. Whenever you buy oils, be sure that they are, “pure, essential oils,” and not, “fragrance oils.” Fragrance oils can be mixed and diluted with synthetic junk.

For ideas, follow my Essential Oils page on Pinterest:

***Leave your questions below! Have a peaceful, relaxing weekend. A weekly menu will be up on Monday…let me know if you have any dietary needs/wants/desires that you’d like me to consider. Thank you so much for your support, words of encouragement, and for reading my ramblings. Love ya; mean it!

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