I have a big announcement that I've been waiting to share with you all!
As of this month, I am the newest Nourishment Instructor at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine for their Thrive Community Program!
Being able to teach even MORE people how to cook, bake and eat gluten-free and dairy-free is a dream and I love this journey more and more everyday.
If you're local to Arizona, come join me April-June, where I am scheduled once a month to teach the basics of GF/DF cooking and baking. I will be focusing on how to create the perfect Italian Dinner, a delicious Weekend Brunch and a special class on integrating Anti-Inflammatory cooking into your day to day menus.
You'll get to learn how to make the dishes seen here on Nosh and Nurture, a few surprise treats and of course, you'll get to taste ALLLL the deliciousness first hand in a state-of-the-art kitchen facility at one of my FAVORITE schools in the country!
Located in the new building on the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Campus in Tempe, Arizona, my class schedule is as follows:
You can get more information of the classes offered, pricing details and register here:
It's that time of year again! The Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo returns to Phoenix and I am SO EXCITED to attend!
With baby in tow, (and his second blogger event in his 3 months so far!), I will be scoping out the healthier, hottest and yummiest new additions to the allergen free food and health world.
Taking place this weekend November 12th and 13th at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale, AZ from 10am-4pm each day, the event offers free parking and an array of vendors offering safe samples and plenty of info on what we can expect in the GF/AF market in 2017.
You can save on your ticket by visiting this link today or tomorrow and entering the code ADVANCE to save 20% off of the door price.
I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favorites! Follow me on Instagram [ @noshandnurture ] to watch my live Instastories throughout the day as well as snaps of baby Grey and me checking out our favorite booths!
Will I see you there? If you'll be following along online, what types of products are you looking for?
Guest Post Contribution
A new season of bright, fragrant, ruby-red strawberries always holds my attention. I’m tempted to load up on as many as I can carry and head home with little else and hunker down for some serious enjoyment.
But strawberry season is a long one, lasting well through June in my region. I’ve found that branching out to incorporate berries in everyday meals and treats really pays off. Creative, unexpected uses for them is one of the highlights of spring eating!
Strawberry Tips & Tricks
A Guest Post
Protein is still considered the “it” nutrient for satiety, plus there are often many nutrients packaged with protein. Here’s how to make the best choices if you’re a vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian.
According to the FDA, an average American needs about 50 grams of protein per day. Those are the grams you see on a Nutrition Facts Panel for foods. So, for example, two tablespoons of peanut butter would provide about 7 grams towards that 50 grams daily protein goal. However you count your protein, vegetable-based sources can also be nutrient-dense, providing many other nutrients for the calories consumed.
For example, one-half cup of black beans contains 7 grams protein, 8 grams fiber (almost a third of your needs for a day), almost 20 percent of daily folate needs and more than 10 percent of daily iron allowances. Canned beans, which you can find in no-salt-added options, make it easy to rack up those protein grams to bolster salads or soups; make dips, refried beans or quickie mole; or toss with pasta. Other good protein-rich legumes to try include edamame, split peas, white beans, red beans and lentils.
Lentils work wonders in salads, dips and soups, and they supply nearly 9 grams protein for one-half cup cooked. Furthermore, that portion of lentils come with nearly 8 grams fiber (almost one-third of your daily needs) and nearly 20 percent daily iron needs.
Soybeans and nuts are processed to make a world of protein options from tofu and tempeh to nut milks and vegan cheeses. These can be excellent protein resources and hearty additions to your repertoire.
Three ounces of tempeh contains nearly 17 grams protein and 10 percent iron needs. The same three-ounce portion of tofu has seven grams of protein and 10 percent of your daily calcium needs, plus a little of your day’s iron allowance. Both are great grilled, roasted, marinated or stir-fried.
Plain nuts and seeds are another quality protein choice. Be aware that nuts and seeds — because of their higher fat content — are also higher in calories. Nut and seed butters are ideal because they can be used in smoothies, on sandwiches, on crackers or bananas and apples. (Just make sure to choose no-salt-added butters to minimize sodium intake) And two tablespoons of almond butter has more than six grams of filling protein, more than three grams of fiber, about 10 percent of daily calcium needs, and small amounts of zinc and iron (two nutrients commonly found in meats). And many nuts provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as filling fiber.
Your protein goal adds up quickly when you’re making smart choices at mealtime. And while the nutrition profiles of these quality plant-based protein choices are stellar, the best part is that they taste good, too. Here are our picks for delicious protein-packed options for veggie-lovers.
Going completely gluten-free in 2011, (and doing it cold turkey), was both one of the hardest things, and most rewarding things I've ever done. Food, for many of us, is more than just a means of survival. Even if we have a healthy relationship with food. It can be a social aspect of our lives, or a true lifestyle if it's a career for us or if we spend time in the kitchen baking or cooking for our families or guests on a regular basis.
So when you have to make a major diet change, of any kind for any reason, whether it be medical or for diet, it's going to take some getting used to.
It was hard for me in the sense that, in the beginning, I had no idea what was safe. What I could and couldn't eat. I did a lot of research and learned quickly, but those early months brought upon a lot of panic and uneasiness about shopping, dining out, attending events and travel.
If you have any questions, I'm always here to help. However, this post isn't going to be focusing on the how or the what's of what to eat, it's to focus on some of the mistakes or challenges that many new gluten-free foodies and clients of mine face that I wanted to address today. (P.S. I dislike the word mistake, as all of this advice comes out of love and we are all navigating these waters one day at a time, in our own way.) This is just here to serve as a helper along the journey.
Mistake #1 - The Processed Food Trap
This one is number one because it is the one I see most often when I am helping my readers through the gluten and wheat removal process. They find comfort in the boxes emblazoned with a "now gluten-free" label on it. Now while some of these items are fine, most boxed and processed foods lack real nutrition of any kind. Developing an intolerance to gluten can come about for many reasons, but for me and many of my clients, it was a breakdown in our gut health. Gut health cannot be restored through processed grains from another family, or through nutrient-lacking, sugar laden products that are so readily available today.
The best thing you can do when making your transition, is stick to whole, natural, healthy foods such as tolerated vegetables, fruit, healthy meats and fish, opting for gluten-free packaged goods in very low moderation so that you don't feel deprived.
Mistake #2 - The In-Home Contamination Issue
Many of my readers and clients say, "I have to go gluten-free, but my (husband, parents, kids, etc.) don't want to or don't have too. How can we co-exist?" Or the unfortunate instance to where they say they've gone gluten-free but continuously feel sick after eating at home with family members who aren't gluten-free.
One of the tasks I took on when I switched over, was claiming "my" safe spaces in the kitchen. Mr. Charming for the most part is gluten-free, out of support, for his health and because I cook most of the meals, haha, but he isn't 100% and does have his own snacks, occasional bread or waffles, etc.
I purchased my own toaster (this one is key because it's not cleaned like other dishes, such as pans, plates, etc are.) for starters because of waffles and other morning goods I need to heat up after a weekend of baking. I also have my own Ninja, which I know is pricey to own two, but we don't like to dishwasher clean them after each use, and it makes it easier for him to be able to use his milk-based proteins if he wants too and I don't have to worry about residual powder in my smoothie. I also have my very own shelves in the pantry. Crumbs are evasive little buggers, and those with Celiac or an allergy know they can't have even just a sprinkle of gluten, so your own shelves, preferably at the top are best. That way all of our food stays separate and his cookie crumbles don't touch my packages.
Other precautions we take are no double dipping in condiment jars. I have my own almond butter and mayonnaise. We also don't share off of plates, drink from each others glasses, etc. It may seem like a lot at first, but once it becomes a habit it will become second nature. It feels like a normal routine to us now and isn't seen as an inconvenience at all.
Mistake #3 - The Dining Out Question Conundrum
Being prepared and doing research ahead of time can make dining out a pleasurable experience. This one took some learning and trusting for me, but once I had my tools ready at my disposable I found dining out enjoyable again and actually became a professional gluten-free food reviewer nation wide.
Find Me Gluten Free is an amazing app that allows you to find gluten-free places in your area and read reviews. The reviews are number one to me when choosing a new restaurant in a new city. Also, visiting restaurants websites and reading their menus, and even calling, can be a huge help in booking.
Mistake #4 - The Unprepared Traveler
This one I see a lot, I get many people telling me they were stuck at "the airport, hotel lobby, amusement park... etc.) with NOTHING to eat. My biggest tip for you, SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS. Always have a snack for every two hours you'll be gone and then an extra emergency one if there is a delay or it turns out the place you planned to go doesn't have safe food.
Using the Find Me Gluten Free App is always a God send in this situation too. I always map out where the closest markets are and the closest gluten-free or vegan eateries are in the area I'll be traveling too so I can make a plan to go straight there and stock up on food. Not without a stash of protein bars, fruit, veggies or nuts in my purse, just in case.
Mistake #5 - Not Speaking Up
Having a food intolerance or allergy isn't the time to be shy. Whether it's at a restaurant or a friends or families home, it's always better to ask questions, ask for a list of ingredients or ask to bring your own dish. Asking in certain situations may be uncomfortable, but better to be uncomfortable for a few moments than sick for days, or worse.
This one was especially hard for me in the beginning because I always like to be a "good guest". So I ended up starving at most social events, haha. Then as I started to open up and take back my life as an "out of home diner" I learned that most people DO care and would RATHER you ask than starve or risk getting sick at their event.
Mistake #6 - Not Embracing The Versatility
This one took the longest for me in my process. I stayed really safe with a bland rotation of the same foods for many months. It was when I started exploring my kitchen with a fresh, healthier perspective that I got to learn about God's amazing food supply and the creations I could make that could still satisfy that "home cooked meal" desire we all have inside.
Cooking delicious GF/DF meals for family and friends is a challenge I love taking on. When I see their faces light up over my lasagna (you can't even tell there's no cheese in here!") or my banana bread french toast (best. thing. ever.) it warms my heart to know that there is purpose in this journey. There is purpose in your journey too, find the blessings in it and get creative.
All of these are learning curve moments, and I was victim to a couple of them myself in the beginning. As we grow in the change, it becomes easier to handle and we begin to learn to love to cook again. Finding new ways, new recipes and holding a new appreciation for just how powerful food can be to our bodies. Either as poison or as a life-giving, nutrient dense experience.
The question I get asked the most is, "how do you live without (insert food here)?"
I simply answer, "I live healthier, happier and easier without that in my life."
Plain and simple.
Join me this Saturday on TMI Radio on the Deeper Than Music radio show while I talk about the importance of nutrition for performers in studio, on the road and for overall good health. This talk also pertains to speakers and professionals who travel.
We will also be talking about my professional background in music, how I came to nutrition in this new endeavor, how I'm still involved with NVE Records/Universal Records and much more!
I hope you tune in and call in! I look forward to sharing my love of nutrition and my love of music in the same space!
4. Keep A Journal. By keeping a journal, I am able to share food ideas as well as my specific struggles along the way. I can reference back to how it went the last time each time I embark on a new cleanse, and it gives me hope to read about the days I felt lighter, lost weight or felt super energized!
5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Remember that you are doing this for YOU. For you to feel GOOD. To feel LIGHT and HEALTHY. If you mess up, it’s OK. Be kind with you
& if you havn't yet, read my Honest Girl's Guide To Surviving A Sugar Cleanse
Last year I guest posted on Around My Family Table on my Honest Girl's Guide To Surviving Sugar Cleanse. And as many of you are working hard at your resolutions, getting healthy and striving to stay healthy if you're on a good health path, I wanted to share it here in this space this year.
t’s that time of year again. When we all set out to refresh. Wipe the slate clean. Become A “New” Person, whatever that last one means. This intention is masked with words like “resolutions”, “goal setting” and “complete turnaround”, and while the effort we make is commendable, sometimes we are setting ourselves up for disappointment if our January 1st To-Do list isn’t completed by the next time the ball drops.
Today I wanted to focus on healthier goal setting, specifically one of the most popular trends on every social media feed and that is “Completing a Sugar Detox” or a “Sugar Cleanse”. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a basic whole food diet that eliminates starches, breads, pastas, starchy vegetables and sugar in any form. As someone who has personally done a sugar detox in the past, and as someone who doesn’t consume dairy, my diet looked a little something like this.
– Grass-Fed and Free-Range Organic Meats
– Organic Vegetables and Some Organic Fruits
– Nuts and/or Seeds
– Healthy Fats (Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil)
Diets rich in these foods with help to cleanse and reset your system from all the holidays treats that it had to endure over the last few months and it will help you realize what you crave, what you’re sensitive too and what you can most likely live without.
As someone who has been through this, I am here to paint the honest picture of the roller coaster that you might, er, will endure, and how to fight off your sugar dragon like a superhero.
Morning Drink: Each morning I start with a warm mug of water with either a lemon slice or 1 TBSP. of Apple Cider Vinegar. Lemon helps cleanse your system, while Apple Cider Vinegar can help with flushing bacteria or yeast out of the system. This week I'm doing ACV all the way.
Garlic & Onion Everything: While everyone's cooking pumpkin into everything this year, I am adding heaps of garlic and onion into all of our dishes when I can. Just today my poor hubs said "I didn't take my lunch to work, because we have to eat in a meeting and I can't be smelly". Garlic and onion are stars at combating viruses, reduce inflammation and are very cleansing.
Herbivore: I'm also adding spices such as oregano and thyme. Oregano cleanses the respiratory and urinary systems and cleanses out candida. Thyme aids in urine volume output which helps to detox, and is good for the respiratory system.
Get Moving: I will admit and be 100% real with you. Fatigue likes to be my best friend sometimes. Especially when my body isn't detoxing (Thanks, MTHFR) (I'm not swearing it's a condition I have...) and working out is not my favorite thing. If I could just eat healthy and be super fit, that would be aces. But alas, food is 80% of it, while 20% of it is moving. Working out also helps detoxing, it eliminates stress in the body, keeps all of our systems moving and healthy. So, I joined a new gym this past weekend and I walk, use the elliptical, light weights and do Holy Yoga.
Oil Pulling: I have a full post on oil pulling and how it's benefited me, but its so great for detoxing our bodies and keeping up our oral health.
Massage & Therapy: I get regular massages. Bi-weekly I get a variation of Swedish for the relaxing properties and deep tissue to help get out any tension I'm carrying. I also go to a Pelvic Floor Therapist which has been a life saver.
Reflexology: When I am feeling irregular (welcome to my life of TMI, haha) reflexology on my feet along my ":Intestinal" points works like a gem! Staying regular is CRUCIAL for detoxing. And while we're already on this topic, get a Squatty Potty. Enough said.
Shower Time: I start my showers with dry brushing and while in the shower I alternate hot and cold water as it cleanses the lymphatic system.
Clean Air: Make sure to get outdoors regularly and use a good air filter in your home. We have a great one in the bedroom, along with organic mattress and pillow covers.
Drink All The Water: Drinking 8 glasses of clean, filtered water is one of the most important things you can do EVERYDAY.
MIND & SOUL
When I Rise: I start every day with devotions. I read a daily devotional to set my intentions with God's word, and I read bible verses and pray with breakfast.
Holy Yoga: Yoga is extremely detoxifying. Both mentally and physically. I however, wanted to be connecting to Jesus when I went through my workout so I found a local Holy Yoga class and its been amazing.
Crack A Book: Reading calms me and learning new things invigorates and re-inspires my passions. Reading in a quiet, well lit area brings contentment.
Our Inner Child: I did a whole post on the importance of play, and its crucial to our health. Adult coloring, traveling, playing in the yard, hosting game nights. The activity doesn't matter, just have FUN.
CBT: Last year I regularly saw a therapist to work through anxiety and the loss of our little. I still check in with her for maitenence appts to keep my mind clear. She's also Christian and we pray and read God's word together.
Quality Time: Spending quality time with loved ones is a great way to detox your whole body. Endorphins are magical & wondrous.
Meditation & Breathing: Deep breathing is everything in detoxing. We often breathe so shallow, taking time to be mindful a few minutes a day to breathe in fully, connect with God and clear our mind of the day is as important as the food, herbs and water we consume.
Next On The Detox Plan:
Always looking for ways to aid my body in detoxing, I've asked Santa for a rebounder (translation: adult trampoline) which aids which also gets the lymph system moving.
The gym I joined has a dry sauna which is king in ways to detox. I plan to start slow and steady under the care of my doctor and increase my time in the sauna.
I also have more tests scheduled on my detox pathways. Always growing, learning, but most importantly praying for healing.
You may have noticed detox baths (usually a mix of warm water, Epsom salt and essential oils) are missing from my list. I found each time I did one I got sick. My doctor told me they are probably to intense for me right now (which is why everyone is different) and that a foot soak is probably a better way for me to go right now.
Anything missing that you swear by to detox this time of year? Or do you have a favorite from the list? Also, for those of you that have experience rebounding or hitting the sauna, what's been your experience?
Yesterday was an emotional day. A crazy good emotional day. Having finished my finals a while back, I finally received my Diploma in Advanced Nutrition with an emphasis on Women's Health and Pediatric Nutrition.
Mouthful. But so worth it. Every class, every test, every final, every case study. Worth it, to move forward on this path God placed me on. A path of healing, of helping. A path of inspiring, encouraging. A path of being fed spiritually, mentally and because let's face it, we're foodies, physically by this community and the women I've been blessed to meet along the way.
This day was especially wonderful because this is the first time I've worn a cap a top my head. I was homeschooled in highschool and never had a proper graduation ceremony, or photos. I started touring right when I turned 18 and didn't go to college until I was engaged to Mr. Charming. Music was my life until I turned 24.
But yesterday, yesterday I got to don a cap and I want to say to all men and women who dream, it's never too late to chase your purpose.
It may be that I need to let go of other irons in the fire, ones that I feel I hold on to for security. A security that is false and comes from the world, and not of my Father. I pray that He would grant me wisdom and help me to be diligent in His plan for me, for us. And that I can put aside my fears or my own understanding of what I think is the right answer and dive in, with all of me, into what He's calling me to.
Not an easy feat by any means for us mere humans. But with Christ's strength, it's a whole other ballgame. One He's already shown us the final score for. And the great news is, the best news is, that we win. With Him, we always win. Doesn't mean it's an easy game. Doesn't mean we won't skid our knees or take a few balls sliding into home, but it does mean we will get there. And that's a promise worth holding on to.
Now that the tassel is displayed in my office, as a reminder that no matter what twists and turns we take, we can find our way back to purpose, I will pray on, and diligently work at, the next step. In helping those who need to get back to health. Who are seeking a better relationship with food. I'm beyond excited to work with others to understand our bodies, our food sources and make a game plan for them, and for their families, in nourishing their bodies, minds and souls in the best way.
I would love for you to share your stories below. It fascinates me to hear how people find their purpose. The roads they take, the detours that lead them to somewhere better. Let's chat. And to all of you who support this journey. For everyone who's read this blog, a blog that started with just 5-10 readers (my dad being one of them, my husband, another) that has now grown into the tens of thousands, I thank you. For sharing your stories with me, for inviting me into your lives and your communities. For trying my recipes, for laughing and crying along with me. Thanks for being the encouragement that got me to this milestone in my life. It's because of you that I got to wear a cap and tassel, for the very first time.