My day started off like this. And all credit must go to Trader Joes for their new gluten & dairy free pancakes. I make 95% of my food fresh, cooking it myself, but sometimes on busy work mornings such as today a frozen pancake with minimal ingredients was a-ok to me. I sprinkled them with fresh, organic blueberries and I got organic, all natural chicken and maple sausage to go along with. Mmmm!
I must say I felt very balanced & accomplished today. I give all the praise to my heavenly father for that one because lately I've felt a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with two jobs, the house and relationships. Today I managed to:
I usually don't toot my own horn, but since I've wanted to spend a lot of this month in bed (partly due to my current ear infection and earlier this month due to hormonal and food issues) I have to give praise and thanks for super productive days. Especially since I'm currently trying to be more intentional on being a Proverbs 31 wifey and woman to those around me. Energy definitely comes in handy for that! So.. on to those new recipes! I posted a ton of new recipes this weekend with even more to come. The latest additions are all gluten & dairy-free with additional notations made on each recipe. If you have any dietary restriction recipe requests, let me know! Without further adieu.. bon appetite!
So, at it's conception I started my little blog here to post recipes. Recipes of food that was safe for me, and others who can't tolerate dairy or gluten, to enjoy. As it started to bloom and I started cleaning up the environment around me, I branched out into incorporating fitness and ways to clean your home without all the harsh, gross chemicals. After getting my certificate in natural beauty my love for organic, all natural ways to do my hair and makeup and skin care inspired me to add that. And so on.
Yet, as I look at my life and all the wonderful little puzzle pieces... one of the things, if not the main thing, that makes me most happy, and healthy to my core, healthy in my heart, my soul, is love. God's love, love I pour out to others, love that others pour onto me and this man right here. My husband's love. My Mr. Charming.
I've opened up about my story. I go through these things in my life for a reason and I adore helping others make healthy choices, so I felt like, if I didn't share our story I wasn't sharing a big piece of me with you all. My best friend and I got married September 17th, 2011 and I adore this man. He supports me in all that do. He cheers me on to go for my dreams, he will go to twenty grocery stores in a day just to see a smile on my face when I finally find that perfect gluten free treat I'd been searching for. He holds my hands on the days that are scary and celebrates with me on the days that are amazingly God-gifted and beautiful. I pray that I can one day give this man all the little babies his heart desires, which is one of the reasons I stay on this journey to figure out my health stuff so that I can be strong and healthy to have a family. I thank you all for reading. For being a part of my little journey. I love being able to share and inspire and in return learn and be inspired from all of you.
I will be sharing more of our journey together here on my love page, as well as other ways we can inspire and love one another!
So, if you're like me and possess type A personality tendencies, you probably adore list making. The satisfaction of crossing something off of a list is one of things that makes me most happy in life. It's that feeling of gratification and accomplishment. Sidenote: It is NOT the same on a phone. iPad. Computer. Or any other technological device that's come along and threatened to take away my pad & paper obsession. I love planners. Spiral bound, real day planners. I love chalkboards. So, much so that I am converting my refrigerator into one.
My office is also covered in white boards and schedules. But I love it this way, that is my happy place. I also firmly believe that bookstores, magazines and newspapers should never go away. Because they too, are my happy place. That and it's how I make a living.
Tonight we had a crazy big storm here, in Arizona we have a "monsoon season", which is basically massive thunder and lightening storms paired with insane dust clouds that make everything gross and dirty and add to my sinus issues. I've drank 3 mugs of echinacea tea today, by the way. So in the midst of the storm, haha haha, sorry, I perused blogs while trying to set up some more freelance jobs and find more recipes for fall I could de-gluten. And I stumbled upon this lovely blog where she made a plan to make 52 lists over the course of a year. And I fell in love with the notion. If you're looking for a way to connect to the beauty in life, this is a great start.
This week has definitely had its fair share of ups & downs. It mentally exhausted me. I cried a lot. Tried not to worry too much. Spent time with family and let my soul laugh and rejuvenate I got to spend some much needed one on one time with my husband. And I wrote and worked, a lot. In a nutshell I went in for some tests, that looked as if they may be worse than they were, however, my Dr. is amazing and wanted to be thorough. So I am alright kiddos, however, I have been feeling sicker lately. A mix of hormonal stuff and I think grains were getting the best of me and I am on a mission to be grain free by Christmas. And a long term goal to control my candida.
And this goal has really been a challenge for me. Because I like rice with stuff in moderation. I gave up gluten, dairy and corn cold turkey. Didn't look back, even though I still dream about cheese sometimes, but for some reason letting go of rice and sugar (even in the healthy, organic honey kind of way I consume it) hasn't been as cut and dry.
But my candida hasn't cleared and I know that it poses a real health danger. Fungi can lead to all kinds of worse health problems like my little scare this week so I want to do everything in my power to put the healthier fuel in my body, the fuel that God created for me to consume, that my body can handle. This week when I had a crazy chocolate craving I sat down and ate this. A big bowl of spinach, smothered in apple cider vinegar. I can't let it win.
So, this week I am planning to attempt to create "rice" out of cauliflower to serve as a side dish. I will let you know how it goes, Mr. Charming isn't a cauliflower fan so I shall attempt to make it as "ricey" as possible with sea salt and a little coconut oil. A happy moment highlight, I spent the weekend at my sisters house and my picky-with-food two year old niece loved my lasagna and it made my heart happy! Wishing you all health, healing, love & happiness. Take it one day at a time. The great ones make it all worth it.
So, I am obessesed with fall and winter. Yes, I ADORE the beach and cute summery clothes, but it pretty much ends there. Even living on the beach, summer has always been my least favorite month. Except for my birthday. (June 20th, woot woot!) I adore birthdays. And celebrations. Parties of any kind really. Anyways. I wanted to make something that tasted like fall but that was healthy. I'm really excited to make healthy dishes for the holidays this year and wanted to start testing some out. Mr. Charming and I woke up the other morning and while he was cooking us up some organic eggs I made us coconut flour pumpkin muffins. Next time I will use almond flour, because for some reason I still can't get down with the strong sweetness in the coconut flour, but these were fun and would make a good addition to a Labor Day BBQ. (and even cuter when made with stars & stripes cupcake wrappers.) You can find the recipe here.
Anything warm and fluffy. Or warm and savory. Or made with pumpkins. Or squash. Or turkey. Makes me want to curl up with an old movie and countdown the days until Christmastime. <3 What's your favorite time of year and why? Send me your favorite Fall recipe and if its allergen friendly I will add it as a guest post! If it's not, I can show you how to adapt it to be!
So this past weekend was filled with work, tons of writing and a simple date night with my love. I havn't been feeling to good lately, so we took it easy and decided to do a game night in at home (he kicked my butt at yahtzee!). I decided to skip dinner and lighten the load on my digestive system and just had my anti-inflammatory smoothie for dinner. Usually when I do this I will treat my hubby to Jamba Juice and a Builder Bar so he can get a fruit smoothie too and I ended up picking some some organic dehydrated apples to munch on if i got hungry! (which I did, and they were delicious!)
We've also posted the sequel to Miss Kaity's Chinese Herb piece here, which I find fascinating and we hope you do too, even helpful! She is really inspiring me to put my own story out there more, exposing even the dark corners of all of this, why we have to eat this way, live this way. Blessed to have her be a part of the Nosh & Nurture journey. Everyone enjoy your week! Be productive and healthy!
So apparently today was National Sister Day. One of those random, made-up "holidays" like National Donut Day or National Wear Pink Socks Day that is totally ridiculous. However, any day I get to spend with my sister, Ashley, is an amazing one so we thought "what the hey" let's celebrate this bogus little "holiday" and so we did. I was ecstatic to hear of a little coffee shop in Scottsdale from the owner of my work, Elements.(Thanks, Shauna!) Jolta Java and Echo Coffee in Scottsdale both have rice milk and almond milk lattes! YAY for not having to roadtrip it 90 miles to Prescott for good organic, vegan coffee! And while I barely do sugar, and can't handle caffeine (decaf all the way for me) sometimes I like to sit in a quaint coffee shop, catching up with my sister and splurge on something yummy that won't totally take me down. Enter, the vegan latte.
Afterwards, we hit our favorite shopping quarter and did this.
Because being healthy in mind body and spirit, always includes a little retail therapy, right? ;)
So, my good friend Karly (and mother of our adorable Godson, Elijah, seriously how cute is this kid??) requested that I come up with a list of quick breakfast ideas for a working mom on the go who has a toddler.
I thought about the mornings that even I, without any kids, have to throw a quick breakfast together to get out the door for work on time and I thought I could help out those who face this same predicament every morning. Or at least, most mornings. Below are the top 10 healthy, grab-and-go breakfasts I mix up in my week. Enjoy! P.S. I love your suggestions! Keep them coming.
Friday Flashback Fact: I grew up in an Italian household. My dad is pure Italian, (and if you've seen my gorgeous olive skinned sister Ashley, you'd see the proof) As kids we got delicious homemade meals every night of the week. We grew up with lasagna, ziti and spaghetti and meatballs (as well as salads, grilled chicken and every 80's kids staples macaroni and spaghettios). All italian meals were homemade and all traditional Italian recipes by my dad. As I grew up and moved out on my own to Hollywood and hosted my own dinner parties (another huge love of mine), my go to dish was spaghetti with homemade meat sauce and my sisters famous ziti is still a huge hit with our family. So you can imagine when I had to give up gluten and dairy in one fell swoop I was devestated over the loss of my beloved italian food. It reminded me of home and my dads homecooked meals. Having to sit out with my salad at family events hasn't been the same. And though my health comes first, and I would never cheat, I was determined to create a safe alternative that could maybe at least resemble my childhood favorite. I was perusing the store one day and I found these gluten free lasagna noodles and had seen a recipe that used white beans as "ricotta", and although that recipe included other elements I can not tolerate, I thought I'd wing it with my own version.
Look how PRETTY it looked even before it was cooked! You will find the link to the recipe at the bottom of this post, and it's also Augusts featured recipe. After Mr. Charming mashed the white beans with egg and spices for me I got to layer my little creation in a baking pan. I used nitrate free sweet turkey sausage, an organic tomato basil sauce from sprouts, the alternative "cheese" mixture, lots of spinach to get my greens and of course, the gluten free noodles. A perk of using rice lasagna noodles was that I didn't have to cook them first! They came out PERFECT in baking.
Above is how it looked before it went in. Make sure to use A LOT of sauce. Since the noodles are NOT cooked prior to baking, it will use the moisture from the sauce to soften your noodles.
I will tell you in the year and half that I have been eating gluten and dairy free this has to be one of the BEST dishes I've made. Mr. Charming even said it tasted JUST like lasagna and that you couldn't even tell I used white beans instead of cheese. We cozied up with a movie and each went back for seconds. Ok, thirds. Sometimes you just have to indulge. We will be making this again and I look forward to bringing this to my next Italian family dinner! For the recipe, click here.
I adore writing. Blogs, stories, songs, books, scripts. It just all fascinates me and is a dream come true that I get to do it for a living. I grew up reading books upon books upon books. I love being able to be expressive and creative in that way. I had to take a few days away from Nosh & Nurture to work on my articles for Runway and am so blessed to be able to view exquisite couture clothes and write about them.
I wanted to bring up that I write professionally, while I am creating my own little brand here in case there are days I can't put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, to write an entry here. **i've probably passed out at my desk before I had a chance to head on over here...**
Because of my crazy busy schedule, it's vital that I hold myself accountable of eating healthy food, taking time to relax, working out and staying hydrated so I don't get sick, and I've had quite the sinus issues lately from my candida that I'm fighting hard to beat, and can keep up with the pace of the studio, the writing, class and my music career. I just make sure to breathe slowly, connect with God daily, sometimes hourly, and take everything one day at a time, one moment at a time, and one story at a time.
Find me on Barnes and Noble and Target Newstands!
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.