Over Easy – a simple lunch

Some days I’m not up for a huge lunch, but still want to nourish myself instead of filling up on, oh, chips and salsa.

Here is what I tossed together today:

Brown rice cooked with a bit of salt and olive oil (when I have bone broth I often use it as the cooking liquid).  I’ve used this recipe’s technique for cooking brown rice (just follow the steps in the first paragraph) for years and it comes out perfect every time.

An over easy egg.

Spinach pesto (spinach + a few snap peas + olive oil + lemon juice + Parmesan cheese + pecans + salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth and adjust seasonings to your taste).

Snipped green onion.

Simple, filling, and nutritious.


Sometimes we have ‘those’ mornings

Where the kids simply settle.

Where calm, peaceful sounds of cooperation fill the air.

Where giggles float and whispers flitter.


The rustlings of creativity.

The tinkering of new things on the cusp of coming to life.


Do these mornings happen every day?

Of course not.

Yet they do happen.  I want to pause, remember, and capture the serenity that fills our home when they do.

muffin recipe inspiration here


Pumpkin Bread (with a punch!)

It’s November – bring on the pumpkin!!  I used this recipe as a starting point to add a punch of nutrition to this yummy loaf. Spinach and pumpkin together …in a breakfast bread???

Trust me, it tastes like any other pumpkin bread but with double the nutritional power.

Recipe changes:

  • Instead of blueberries, add up to 1/2 c of pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or other favorite seeds, nuts, or dried fruit.
  • Replace the banana with 1/2 c pumpkin purée.
  • Bake in a loaf pan instead of muffins, for approximately 35-40 minutes at 325F or until you get a clean knife test.
  • Sprinkle with chia seeds before baking.

Smother with butter, spread some creamy peanut butter, or drizzle with honey. Mmmm…fall!!!

Well, hello there pretty little breakfast bowl

I’m kinda digging this unbreakfast bowl habit I’ve created. Earlier this year I had it an epiphany when I realized that breakfast doesn’t have to be limited to traditional, sugary, refined carb-loaded food. It could simply be “the first meal of the day.” So, I now toss every veggie possible in the skillet, load it with healthy fats, and top it with seeds, nuts, and some type of bean, hummus, avocado, or other creamy goodness.  Breakfast for adults who can eat whatever they want.

How many veggies…

Today’s breakfast is one I’m really proud of – packed full of veggies and nutrition and tastes yum!

For the kids:

  • Breakfast burrito with crock pot refried beans and oven roasted potatoes
  • Apple-carrot sauce (half organic and all homemade)
  • Purple power smoothie (banana, carrot, mango, blackberry, raspberry, Greek yogurt, beet powder, date syrup, and water)

For me:

  • Veggie bowl (kale, chard, spinach, purple cabbage, zucchini, hummus, chia seed, green onion, and garlic)
  • Same purple power smoothies as the kids

I’ve done my part…now they get to do theirs and (hopefully!) eat it.

Chocolate-Chia Banana Bites (dairy, gluten, and refined/processed free)

Sometimes I just want a treat.

A creamy, sweet, salty, crunchy, chocolatey, decadent treat.

These babies hit the spot.


Chocolate-Chia Banana Bites

Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin.

Aside from tasting like a drop of heaven is melting in my mouth (did I mention that they are frozen, too?) this treat is good for you.  That’s right – healthy fats, powerhouse seeds, and a dose of healthy potassium.  I hesitate to even call it a ‘recipe’ because it’s so stinking’ easy to make.  Plus they are dairy, gluten, and processed/refined-food free.


First, whip up a batch of this chocolate (I used 1/2 c dates soaked in enough water to cover them in place of the honey and almond butter).  Thanks to my friend Ashley for introducing it to me.  It will change your life.  Promise.  That’s the brown stuff you see in the bowl in these first two photos.  The rest of it is in the blender on the counter, quickly being consumed by little people and one big person (that’d be me).


Peel and slice a ripe banana.  Like this.


Spread a dab of chocolate on each banana slice.  Lick your fingers often.


Line up the slathered slices on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Or, if you’re a bit more high class than we are, a cookie sheet or pan would work well too.


You can pop these babies in the freezer as is and what an hour or so until they are frozen.  Or you can eat them just like this.  Or, if you are really ready to walk on the wild side, sprinkle a dash of chia seeds on the top of each slice.  Don’t have chia seeds?  Try hemp seeds.  Or flax seeds.  Or a dollop of homemade peanut butter.  Stop me now.FullSizeRender

There they are, in all their frozen glory.


Can we wait until breakfast to eat them?  Pshaw, who am I kidding!?!?

Me, Myself, and Wellness

This past month I’ve been a part of a Facebook fitness ‘challenge’ group, as well as participating in our campus’s yearly Fitness Challenge.  Although I don’t fully buy into the ‘use my system/shakes/videos/secret method’ angle of marketing (plus, anything that has to do with business or making money makes me uncomfortable), I have enjoyed the anonymity of being a part of something but also having a level of privacy too.  I love that I can do gentle, effective workouts that aren’t compared to anyone else.

Here are a few things I’ve learned this month about myself, fitness, health, food, and exercising:

  1. A plate of salad fills me up completely differently than a plate of pasta.  I knew it was true, but until this month I hadn’t ever tried it out.  When I go through the food line on campus, I make myself a huge salad and then sit and eat it with my family.  After I finish it, if I’m still hungry I’ll go back and get some of the protein or veggies that is served in the main meal line.  When I pass the rice or potatoes or pasta I often think, “Oh, that looks delicious!  I’m so hungry!” even after I’ve eaten a huge, veggie-loaded salad.  I’ve realized that’s simply my mind wanting to eat the food, not my stomach needing nourishment.  Now, when that thought hits my mind I immediately picture another plate full of salad.  Am I actually hungry enough to eat that?  If not, then I know I’m not really hungry, I just want to eat whatever food is calling my name.  Sometimes I say yes and have a few too many pieces of homemade French bread, but often that simple mental flip-of-the-switch has helped me pass up foods that really don’t nourish me.
  2. Breakfast can simply be ‘the first meal of the day.’  I’ve started to think of breakfast way outside the box.  Like this.  IMG_3110Sure, I still make waffles, pancakes, quick breads, oatmeal, and loads of other healthy (and hijacked – gotta fit extra nutrition in where we can) options for the kids.  Breakfast is the one consistent meal that we eat at home so I like to pack in as much nutrition as I can for the little ones.  For me, though, I’ve found that choosing a variety of real, whole foods that ‘go’ together is the best option to start my day.  Usually it’s a mix of veggies – fresh, sautéed, or roasted – with a fried egg, some Greek yogurt or hummus, nuts, seeds, and a diced apple.  It fills me up and keeps me full for awhile.  Sometimes I’ll nibble on whatever I made for the kids (especially if they snagged some of what I made for me) but I try to mostly stick with what I made for myself.
  3. High intensity exercise still sends me into a panic.  Something is there still from way back in the day when I was dating J and got into to running to make him happy. Whenever my heart rate goes up and I start to break a sweat, waves of anxiety and fear start to wash over me.  I’d rather stick with something low impact and effective (loving all of these videos – have done some of the series three or four times!) than push myself to do something that others think is good for me but really I hate.  I’ve been doing two short Pilates videos as soon as I wake up and then a bunch of sun salutations.  It’s working – I’ve gone down one notch in my belt.  I like it and I like the routine it sets for my day.
  4. If it’s not on my plate, I won’t eat it.  Back to the food line on campus…skip the bread, the tortilla, the extras that fill me up but do nothing for my wellness.  Once I get to the table I won’t eat it since it’s not in front of me anymore.  Simple but true.
  5. Late night snacking needs to go.  For the Fitness Challenge this month I set a goal to finish eating for the day by 8:30 PM.  I’ve had this goal for about three months now and it’s been revolutionary.  I had a habit pattern of eating after the kids go to bed as a reward.  I reset my pattern – thanks to HUGE stacks of books from the library – and now use the end of the day (my cue) to pick up another good book from the stack (pattern) and read the night away (reward).
  6. Sugar?  Buh-bye.  I’m seriously flirting with the idea of no sugar all year.  Sweet, desserts, candy, chocolate, drinks – all that messes with me so much.  I’m much more an abstainer than a moderator, and with no sugar this month as part of the Fitness Challenge it’s been easy to say no.