Rice Flour Crepes with Chocolate
Almond Butter & Jam

Lately I have been drawn to eating what I can only refer to as a very “third eye” type of diet.

What do I mean by this?

Your third eye is one of 7 energy centers in your body, also known as chakras. Located on your forehead between the eyebrows, the third eye is the chakra that governs intuition, psychic ability, dreams, wisdom and imagination.

If you meditate frequently and/or engage your intuition and mind intensely, you might be taxing your third eye a lot – which will then need replenishment, often in the form of food.

Now let me just say, I meditate a LOT. I am a big fan of meditation and over the past several months I have really adapted my life to include a mega dose of daily quieting & refocusing of the mind. I’ll do about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before going to bed. And usually I’ll listen to a meditation on my commute as well. I just love it!

Now, I have no scientific evidence to back this up or anything like that but ever since I’ve upped my daily meditations, I have been wildly craving the same odd bunch of foods day after day – purple & red berries, dark chocolate, almond butter, and various grass-fed raw dairy products (cheese, yoghurt & kefir). This is coming from someone who barely ever used to eat chocolate, let alone crave it. Many times I will feel drawn to eating some sort of combination of these foods during or immediately after I meditate. Interesting, right?

From studying the chakras, I do know that berries and chocolate nourish the third eye and these are the very foods I’ve been obsessed with the most. Seriously Cannot.Get.Enough. The body’s cravings are truly fascinating!

Anyway, I bring all this up because when I recently found a package of rice flour tucked away in the pantry, my first thought was: “How can I use this to incorporate more chocolate and berries into a meal?” :)

Rice flour is not something I cook with very often. Or ever I should say! I don’t quite remember how I ended up with it in the house but after some experimenting, I managed to mix up a batter with a consistency that looked somewhat like pancake batter. And voila – I present to you light & fluffy gluten-free rice crepes (with a special third eye nourishment filling ~ love it!!)

In the spirit of kitchen creating, the end result came out quite well!

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5 Ways to Incorporate Healthy Eating into Your Life

I was inspired to write this post after working with a couple clients of mine who are just starting out on their real food journey, eager and excited but also pretty new to cooking for themselves and a bit overwhelmed.

I totally get it too.

Though I love cooking now and am so incredibly grateful for all the health benefits I’ve received from doing a major diet overhaul, let’s just be real for a moment:

Eating healthy can be a pain in the ass!

It often costs more, you spend more time in the kitchen (especially if you’re not used to cooking much at all) and you often have to go out of your way to source health foods (raw milk, anyone?:)

That being said, I believe it is totally worth it as health is everything.

The benefits far outweigh the cost and I will happily pay in time and money to set the stage for good health to continue flourishing in the years to come. One of my favourite quotes is “pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later.” We get to choose but one of them usually gets our money.

I was thinking about all this earlier and decided to share my tips for making the healthy food transition easier and more doable. These are strategies that I’ve found to work really well and let me just say, I wish someone had given me this information when I was just starting out! For me it was very much a process of trial and error, a lot of experimentation and frustrated moments.

If you are just starting out on your real food journey and feel overwhelmed or confused, take heart — as someone who once did not know how to make anything other than pasta and ate almost every meal out, I’ve come a long way… and you can too, lovely! ♥

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When Exhaustion Strikes (+ my recipe for recovery!)

Gorgeous Thailand

I have been away from the site for a while, much longer than I anticipated. It’s amazing how quickly time flies. What was supposed to initially be just a couple weeks gone turned into a whopping 2 months! Definitely still figuring this blogging time-management thing out… (HOW do bloggers keep up with regular posts whilst working another job and tending to all other aspects that make up a healthy happy life?!) If anyone knows the secret please do share! In any case, these past 8 weeks have been quite eventful.

What have I been up to?

Traveling.. and more traveling!

My birthday recently passed and my one wish this year was to spend it somewhere beautiful and warm! You see, I am a winter baby and living in NYC, my birthday tends to fall on one of the coldest snowiest days of the year. This time I decided it would be different – I just needed to get to a different continent! So I packed up my FEAR, released the inner explorer full force and booked the longest plane ride I have ever taken in my life — 21 hrs in total — to a place I had never dreamed I would ever go to… Thailand!

It was the best birthday I’ve had in my life and I’m beyond grateful that it happened.

Warm skies & sunshine, hot springs swimming and jungle hiking, fresh bananas & coconuts and spicy noodle dishes galore, night bazaars, evenings spent lounging in hammocks, and spontaneous adventures with my hostel mates.

And that feeling that travel always brings, the one that makes it all worth chasing: Expansiveness. Freedom. Joyously, Beautifully Alive.

I snapped this pic right after meditating by the water in southern Thailand. Pure joy!

I snapped this pic right after meditating by the water in southern Thailand. Pure joy!

One of THE best experiences of my life - swimming with elephants!!

One of THE best experiences of my life – swimming with elephants!!

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Notes from the Road


Scandinavia & Budapest

I’ve been solo backpacking through Europe for the past 2 weeks – an amazing and challenging experience to say the least. Travel always sparks a ton of new ideas and creativity in me and I can’t wait to put some of these into motion with the new year ahead. Here is a quick rundown of some of the things I’ve experienced so far:

The Sights

Traveling during the Christmas holiday has definitely made this trip extra special as all the city streets glow with beautiful lights and decorations. Stockholm in particular had stunning colossal displays, definitely taking the prize for going all out Christmas-style.

Frozen Tjörnin in Iceland

Iceland Tjörnin

Beautiful Gamla Stan

Beautiful Gamla Stan

Stockholm

Stockholm at dusk

Holiday smiles :)

Holiday smiles :)

Gorgeous nighttime views

Gorgeous nighttime views

The streets of Budapest

The streets of Budapest


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Why You Shouldn’t Delay Your Happiness

In a couple days I’ll be off on a backpacking journey around Europe for the holidays. While I’ve traveled before, this trip will be a completely new kind of adventure.

In my previous travels, I’ve always been the ultra-prepared and well-researched type – daily itinerary written out, guidebooks in tow, housing & car rentals booked way in advance.

This time, I’m essentially winging it.

I have my plane tickets and a couple of overnight stays set up but other than that, I’m flying by the seat of my pants and have no idea what’s going to happen. Probably a lot of aimless wandering and getting lost in foreign countries but I’m psyched all the same. And for the first time ever, I’m doing it all solo.

This kind of wanderlust backpacking trip has been a dream of mine for quite some time. How exciting I always thought it would be to meet travelers from all over the world, to wander and explore and lose myself in a new city and culture, to be surrounded by newness and adventure and possibility.

I always held back though, telling myself for years all the reasons why I couldn’t travel like this.

It’s a waste of money
It’s not safe to travel alone
I’m afraid to go
I can’t afford it
I can’t get the time off work
My boss won’t like that I’m gone this long
I’m too old to be backpacking around aimlessly – that’s something college kids do
I need to be responsible
I should be saving money
There’s other more practical things I should be buying instead
I have to do x, y, z first…

Do you tell yourself one or more of these things and hold back from following your heart’s desire?

Maybe you want to quit your job and do something you love; maybe you want to eat better or heal your body. Maybe you want more excitement in your life but are holding back and have convinced yourself that it just can’t happen. Here’s why I think you should reconsider and make your happiness a priority NOW:

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Decadent Chocolate Kefir Smoothie

Food cravings are the best and the worst.

There’s nothing like the sweet, sweet bliss of satisfying a craving; that first taste of utter joy where for just a brief moment in time, nothing else seems to matter. You wonderfully and happily lose yourself in the moment of sheer food awesomeness.

“Im sorry, I missed what you were saying as I relished this triple-chocolate ice cream and TIME STOPPED.”

But then those food cravings also drive you insane sometimes, taking over your mind, compelling you to do crazy things like go out in snowy, freezing weather to buy a jar of almond butter. At 9pm at night. Because you just HAVE to.

Am I the only one who does stuff like this?

Enter the Chocolatey Kefir Smoothie — my ultimate quick fix for when I’m craving a mountain of chocolate but want something with better ingredients than a sugary candy bar.

It’s SO good, so rich and decadent and creamy with the consistency of a thick milkshake. It actually is packed with healthy ingredients and only fruit as a sweetener – I have this smoothie often for breakfast and occasionally for a snack/dessert and it just functions well for all occasions.

Did I mention it also takes less than 5 minutes to make? There is just so much to love about this smoothie!
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How To Eat Well While Traveling

flight

What do lambswool socks, raw cacao nibs, a package of probiotics, and a “Best Of” christmas classics playlist all have in common?

Well.. nothing that I can think of actually, except they’re all coming with me in my backpack while traveling this month!

Since the holiday season is travel time for a lot of you, I thought I’d share my tips for eating well on the road. This post is written specifically with air travel in mind but can also be applied to long-distance car or train rides.

Travel is one of my forever lifelong loves.

It energizes me, inspires me, nourishes my soul and makes me come alive. But I am really NOT fond of the exhaustion, jet lag, and digestive upsets that often come along with it.

Leaving your comfortable, familiar environment or time zone can throw off your body’s rhythm and make your digestive system slow down. Combine that with long sedentary periods of time in cramped spaces, snacking from crinkly packages of empty-calories and it’s no wonder travel can be so draining!

Over the past few years I’ve found some ways to minimize the fatigue and digestive travel woes and keep your energy levels up!

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Homemade Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Ahh coconut milk. What would I do without this sweet, lovely staple in my diet?

I used to buy cartons of this stuff from the store a few years back but the problem is they always contained additives like guar gum and carrageenan or artificial sweeteners. What happened to coconut milk being made with just coconut?!

When I finally started making my own, I couldn’t believe how simple and inexpensive it is! If you’ve got a blender (even a cheap one), you can make this yourself. It tastes a bazillion times better than a lot of the packaged, watered-down versions.

What’s so great about coconut?


It seems like new coconut products are popping up everywhere lately so you probably have heard about some of the benefits by now. These are just a few reasons why I love it!

  • High in medium chain fatty acids – basically these fatty acids are easy to digest which is great if you have any digestive issues. The fatty acids are sent straight to the liver to be converted into energy.
  • High in lauric acid which is anti-microbial, anti-fungal & anti-viral
  • Makes a wonderful, healthy alternative milk for those who are avoiding dairy
  • Lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Coconut milk has completely revolutionized my smoothies (really!!) and I go through a LOT of it. I do about 2 batches at a time and that lasts me for the week. This homemade version will stay good in the fridge for about 7 days, although you get the best taste & flavor if used within the first few days.

If you want to save yourself some money and enjoy a healthy, additive-free coconut milk, try out this recipe!

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Warm and Spicy Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

I recently had my 4th annual Thanksgiving tradition with a good friend of mine and every year I have the fun challenge of creating our dinner menu. I say “challenge” because we’ve got to put together a main dish that’s vegetarian (for him) and gluten/grain-free (for me). AND of course it’s got to be made with nourishing, real food ingredients only (no newfangled oils or processed frankenfurky here please!)

It takes some work but any sort of alternative diet forces you to be more creative with cooking – and who doesn’t love creating stuff?! I’ve made some amazing dishes with ingredients that I probably would never have discovered had I not gone searching for other options.

This twist on shepherd’s pie was our main dish and although we basically made it up as we went along, it came out absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.

To me, shepherd’s pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods but all too often it’s made mushy and bland.

This version is hearty, creamy and flavorful with a zesty kick to liven things up. Cold weather comfort food at its best.

I’ve made a few shepherd’s pies over the years, some vegetarian and some not. This one is hands down the best version yet.

I used Hannah sweet potatoes in place of regular white potatoes for the topping. I liked the subtle sweet taste of the light golden hannahs but this dish would go well with regular potatoes if you can’t find them. Kidney beans were used for protein and ground beef can also easily be added if you want to turn this into a meat dish. Although honestly, this recipe rocks without it.

There’s some overnight prep work involved in making this version of shepherd’s pie but nothing super time-consuming. Just prepare the beans before going to bed and you’ll be ready to go the next day. And it is so worth it.
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New Beginnings & Trusting in the Process

new beginnings

You know those moments when you want something So.Freakin.Bad. but it feels like it’s just NOT happening? You get frustrated, impatient, and feel like you’re not good enough because clearly if you were, you’d have this awesome thing in your life already!

This past year has taught me a lot about letting go and remaining unattached to the outcome.

This site has been in the works for about a year and a half now.

I initially intended to make this a food blog focused on nourishing real food recipes and nutrition. At the time I was cooking up a storm, reading tons of food blogs, working on healing my body through food and with Nourishing Traditions as my nutrition bible.

It made sense for me to write about something that I knew so much about and was so passionate about. A food blog just made sense.

Except it never took off. Something about the focus didn’t feel completely right. Don’t get me wrong, I love nutrition, I adore cooking, and I wholeheartedly believe in the healing power of real foods. But something else was lacking, something that I couldn’t figure out. And I kept running into walls with everything I tried to set up to get this blog into motion.

I didn’t know the first thing about working with WordPress, I had major (oh so MAJOR!) design trouble with creating a logo, I signed up with the wrong web host and then the wrong theme. I kept running into walls with everything I was trying to do. Nothing was working out the way I wanted it to and weeks turned into months of frustrating trial & error without much of anything to show for. Then I started nutrition school in addition to a new job and my dream of starting up a blog faded away along with most of my free time.

And then the health crisis happened that changed everything.

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