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.

My shit’s in the street, and I eat cake for breakfast

Well, our worst fears have been realized: I’m out of balance. Okay, maybe you haven’t been worrying about my balance lately…although, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t 🙂 Every now and again I like to take a Chakra test, to see if any of my chakras are oogey. I’m sure you’ve heard of chakras before, but if you’re not sure what they are, they are the “wheels” of energy throughout the body. There are seven chakras, which align the spine, beginning at the base of the spine and going up to the crown of the head.

Why does this matter?

“These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow.”

For the first time, my Root Chakra (Muladhara) is under-active. The Root Chakra is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. In hindsight, this is really not a shocker for me: I am a gypsy, about to make an international move, I’ve recently lost the sweetest soul I think I’ll ever know, and I haven’t seen my husband regularly in 11 years. Please don’t misunderstand me: This is not a,”woe is me” post. I have an incredible life, that I wouldn’t trade with anyone I know. But, this life can take it’s toll. And I need to take care of myself.

How do you get back in balance? Consult your local, organic, pasture raised Google. There are a lot of techniques that include visualization, essential oils, yoga poses, reflexology, eating certain foods…So, you don’t have to pay someone to do this for you. If you’re interested in figuring out your whole situation, take the test (instant results, no personal info/email is required) : Chakra Test

***Can we take a minute to pray for our “friends” who have posted, or will post political posts on Facebook from now until eternity? These people need our help. They know not what they do…and they don’t realize that we want to punch them super freaking hard, repeatedly, and often.***

Now on to cake…

I really dislike foods advertised as, “guilt-free,” because I don’t like correlating food with guilt. All foods can be enjoyed in moderation…and sometimes in more-than-moderation because life can be a real son-of-a. Anyway, this can be eaten every day, and really is guilt-free. I modified this from the Easy Coconut Flour Birthday Cake recipe on My Heart Beets. I’ve taken out all of the fat and sugar (not even coconut sugar or maple syrup is added!), and it still tastes great. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk (ANY kind of dairy or non -dairy will work)
  • 6 eggs, room temperature (Coconut flour soaks up a ton of liquids, so this is not a misprint! I have not tried this with egg replacers, so I don’t know if this will turn out without eggs).
  • 3/4 cup applesauce, pumpkin, OR mashed banana
  • 25-30 drops of Stevia (more or less, depending on your taste)
  • A glug of vanilla
  • Can add some cinnamon, or other spices if you’d like
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put everything in a blender, or beat by hand.
  3. Put in a greased baking pan (I use coconut oil, and put it in an 8×8).
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Cool on a rack before slicing

I cut this into 6 pieces, and eat it for breakfast. Now, who in the hell would eat cake without anything on top? A psychopath; that’s who. I’ve tried several toppings and my favorites are:

  • A banana smashed with a scoop of Naked PB
  • Unsweetened soy yogurt (with a few drops of Stevia) and some strawberries and a banana
  • And the best is Paleo Pumpkin Avocado Chocolate Mousse. When I make this recipe, I reduce the dates to 5, and increase the Stevia to 25-30 drops (taste and add more…you can’t go back!) I also leave out the balsamic vinegar…used it the first time I made it, and I didn’t feel like it added anything to the overall taste. Why tho?

This recipe is good enough to eat for dessert. And it’s full of fiber and protein, so it’s a win-win.

Holler back for Thursday! Sun’s out! You’re alive!

This is a man’s world

Another slap in the face: Men are able to lose more weight, quicker than women. Of course they can. So, please do not be discouraged if you and your XY have started eating healthier and exercising, and his pants are getting looser while yours, well- aren’t. We can blame science for this, ladies. Here are the facts:

  1. Men are (typically) bigger than we are to begin with. They have more muscle, by nature, and muscle burns more calories than fat. Men also have quicker metabolisms…normally 3-10% faster than women.
  2. Women tend to focus on cardio instead of lifting. Lifting will build muscle, boosting muscle mass and metabolism.
  3. Our brains are wired differently. In a 2009 study, even when women said they weren’t hungry when asked to smell, taste, and simply look at foods such as pizza and chocolate cake, brain scans showed activity in the regions that control the drive to eat. This is not the case for men. Women also tend to have an emotional attachment to food, turning to food when we’re happy, sad, angry, and depressed. And these foods we turn to…let’s just say that no one is binging on kale.
  4. We all have a “hungry” hormone called ghrelin. Unfortunately for women, this hormone spikes after a workout, and our “full” hormone (leptin) plummets into Middle Earth. Men do not experience these hormonal changes.
  5. And no conversation about women would be complete without mentioning getting pregnant. When women lose weight, our bodies get scared that we’ll lose too much, so it holds on to fat stores. This is the body’s natural way of fighting energy deficits in order to preserve fertility so we can procreate. When women aren’t getting enough calories, ovulation and hormones that make reproduction possible get suppressed.

Well, what can we do?! The answer is very simple- and very frustrating…Don’t give up! “Good things come to those who wait.” Who said that? I hate that guy. But, really…that’s what it comes down to. Keep eating healthy, keep working out, keep loving yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others, stop negative self-talk, stop giving up. Health is a constant journey. You are worth all of the hard work!

We_Can_Do_It!

Everything Zen? I don’t think so.

This morning I wrote a post. It took me over an hour. I was proud of this post. It was informative, helpful, and witty. It would have made you laugh, cry, and become a better person. When I finished writing, I previewed the post (“Great job, Meg!”), and then due to a colossal brain fart, I forgot to,”Publish.” I forgot to, “Save Draft.” The whole post; gone. Maybe refreshing my screen 465 times will make it appear? Maybe hitting the back button until I have blisters? Maybe repeating a slew of therapeutic words (Think 4 letter; not Om) would somehow bring my hard work back? No. I was f&^*ing pi$$ed.

Deep breath. Ok. Minor setback. In the grand scheme of things, what did I lose? A little over an hour. That’s all. Upsetting? Yes. But, when I look back on my life, I will not remember this mistake (and I will NOT make it again). It’s how we overcome these minor setbacks that defines us. I could have remained angry, not posted at all, and created a community of Sour Patch Kids in my stomach. Instead, I walked away. I knew that trying to start over right away would not have been conducive to my well being, or my message. I took my baby dog on a walk and had breakfast…and the break gave me the idea for this post.

While life’s setbacks, bumps, and whoopsie doodles are annoying and always ill-timed, it’s important to get back on track and not get derailed (pardon the train metaphor). Here are a few ideas to calm your mind before you explode…

  • Take a break. Walk away from the situation, and clear your mind. Chances are, it’s not that bad and can be easily remedied.
  • Are you hungry? Grab a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts…get that blood sugar back up, and you’ll be more likely to make rational choices. Don’t let yourself get hangry.
  • Get some fresh air. Take deep breaths. Shallow breathing is counter intuitive to clear thinking.
  • Grab a drink or a cigarette. Do whatcha gotta do.
  • Cuss, scream, complain to someone. These actions may seem silly, but are quite therapeutic.
  • Try and find a positive spin on the situation

Obviously today wasn’t the day you were meant to hear my original post. At least I have an idea for another day’s post. Boom.  *Spin*