Cauliflower Greek Salad

I set out to find some easy healthy summer recipes that are quick to put together, and I think this is one you guys will like. You can prep this ahead of time, toss it on a bed of lettuce with some shrimp to make a nice salad or you can eat it as a side at a barbecue. Normally this recipe would be made with some quinoa or rice, I wanted to change it up a bit and make it a little more unique and refreshing. So I made it with cauliflower rice! If you all have never tried cauliflower rice, you are missing out! It’s a lot more flavorful than you expect especially if you put the right sauce on it. Cauliflower fried rice is the bomb, but this salad was a close second! What I love about creating these recipes is that it will help get your love ones to try new things. If you saw my last post my dad and boyfriend who don’t like beyond the rice/potato, veggie and meat usually have been enjoy the new healthy foods they have been trying, most of which I post on this blog or my insta!

The point of this blog is to get you and your whole family on the healthy eating train. It’s hard to eat healthy by yourself, but it makes like 100x’s easier when your whole family is joining you in trying new things. Now, some will be hits and some will be misses for you and your family, but it’s worth a shot!!!

Now, onto the recipe!

IMG_9145.jpg


Cauliflower Rice Greek Salad

Ingredients

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

1/2 C halved and pitted kalamata olives (unless you love them like my mom and I, then eyeball the large amount you want in there 😉 )

2 plum tomatoes, cubed*

1 head of cauliflower, riced**

Dressing 

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. Mustard

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients of the dressing and wisk will combined.
  2. Rice your cauliflower.**
  3. Add riced cauliflower to a bowl.
  4. Cut up tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. Add them to the same bowl.
  5. Add your kalamata olives
  6. Drizzle the sauce over everything and stir to combine.

*You can use any type of tomatoes that you would like, I like plum for the firmness that they have in a salad.

**If your using a head of cauliflower all you do is chop it into florets and toss it into a food processor and pulse until you get a consistency you like. I like it a little more on the small side, but some people like the pieces a little bigger. Or, you can buy pre-riced cauliflower (make sure you don’t get the frozen kind, it will be too watery in a salad) I used pre-riced, because it can get messy to use a head of cauliflower. I just pulsed the pre-riced cauliflower to get the consistency that I like!

This recipe is so easy! It only takes about 20 minutes to throw together, which is my favorite part!

Hope you guys enjoy, and start the week off right!!

Egg Roll Lo Mein

IMG_9149

Can I just brag a little about this dish? It’s SO stinking good!! Not to mention, I conquered the biggest challenge to date: My boyfriend said that zucchini noodles are better than the regular noodles 😀 While this might seem minimal to you all, it has been a challenge trying to get him to like zoodles, and I FINALLY got the right sauce on them for him to like them! Not to mention, my dad who ate regular noodles and went back for seconds (and thirds) of the zucchini noodles, because he loved them too!!!

Chinese food is one of my favorites, and I try to not eat too much soy, it’s pretty disappointing not being able to eat it like I used to, now, I will make the exception and eat it every once in awhile because it is one of my true loves… but, this dish makes life a little easier knowing I’m getting good, quality ingredients, without all the additives.

Plus, it was delicious and SO filling! Let’s get to the part you all want, the recipe!


Egg Roll Lo Mein

Sauce

1/3 C coconut aminos*

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1/2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/4 Tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ingredients

3 cubed chicken breasts, cubed

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 small onion, sliced thinly

3 celery stalks, sliced into thin half moons

3 carrots, julienned

2 C cabbage, spiralized or cut thin

3 Zucchinis, spiralized***

Directions:

  1. Cube the chicken breasts and place in a gallon sized plastic bag
  2. Combine ingredients of the sauce, add half to the chicken and place in the fridge for 30min. Reserve the other half of the sauce for later.
  3. Cut up all other veggies, other than zucchini, and place in a bowl.
  4. Add chicken to a large pot, sauté until cooked through, then set aside.
  5. Add sesame oil to the pan, add veggies (except zucchini) and reserved sauce, cook until softened. **
  6. Add zucchini, and cook till they are al dente
  7. Add chicken and stir to combine.

*Coconut aminos are a form of soy-free and gluten-free soy sauce. The sodium content in it is very low, so when making a Chinese dish, don’t be afraid to add a little salt, otherwise it’s going to be on the sweeter side.

** I added a couple more splashes of coconut aminos and salt, to the veggies to give them a little more liquid to cook down.


 

What I love about this recipe is that it’s very customizable. You can add whatever veggies you enjoy and change it up! Also, if you have people in your life that don’t enjoy zucchini noodles, or refuse to try them, you can separate the chicken and veggies and cook some noodles on the side and toss the chicken and veggies with the noodles to create the same idea but with actual noodles! But, if you want your loved ones to try zucchini noodles, I usually toss a bit with the regular noodles to make them try it 😉

Pesto Pasta Salad

Summer is on it’s way and I can’t wait!!! I love summer between the fresh watermelon, berries, zucchini, tomatoes, and much more! I can’t wait for all the fresh salad recipes for cookouts, and that’s just what this one is! I made this for my families memorial day cookout, we spent the day by the pool with cooked burgers, brats, and had a ton of fresh salads, along with your normal BBQ things (Baked beans, coleslaw, etc. for my family)

Barbeques’s are probably one of my favorite things, I love the fresh food and the taste of grilled meat!

This recipe was delicious my only suggestion is to serve it while still warm, because it just tastes so good that way!! If your going to make it in advance I would suggest just overnight in the fridge.

IMG_9116.jpg

 


Pesto Pasta Salad 

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1 can of large black olives

8oz. of fresh mozzarella pearls

1 box of rotini pasta*

1 C pesto

 

  1. Cook pasta according to package for al dente noodles**
  2. Cut the tomatoes and olives in half and place into a bowl
  3. Once pasta is cooked add everything into the same bowl
  4. Once the pasta cools a bit, add the mozzarella pearls
  5. After all ingredients are added toss in the pesto and either serve warm or chill for a couple hours.

* We used GF, because my sister has sensitivities to is

**When making a pasta salad you want them to be a little more on the al dente side, because it soaks in sauce normally. If your using GF noodles like we did, cook them till they are like you would eat them with sauce, nice and soft. They don’t soak down like regular noodles do as well.


IMG_9110.jpg

I can’t wait to dig into this salad all summer long! I hope you all enjoy it as much as me and my family did 🙂

It’s getting real in here.. Oh, and meal prep!

So, I have to be completely honest. I started this as an outlet for the recipes I made all the time, and it’s turned into something I really love doing, but it’s also been an outlet for me with my journey through how I truly need to eat. Many of the people who actually follow me on here are probably thinking “Geez, can this girl make up her mind on how she wants to eat already??” but the answer in short… is no. Having an Autoimmune disease is weird y’all. One day, I feel perfectly fine and like I can take on the world. The next day, I feel absolutely terrible and that usually lasts for about a week, and then I feel okay, and then bad again. There’s never a consistent good or normal feeling. It’s really hard when you’re 22, and enjoy being active, yet your in the middle of a workout and you do 1 too many burpees and your out for the week, and hopefully not the rest of the month.  I’m feeling a little lost right now with what is right for me. The last few posts (other than recipes) I’ve said I feel paleo is right and that was the direction I was going, but now I’m feeling like to be a dietitian I can’t eat that way.. and in all honesty I don’t think I’m trusting the Lord in what is best for me. I plan to start that now… so you’ll be seeing a lot of mixed content until I figure out what is going on with my body and what I need, and where the Lord truly wants me to be when I start my career. Each and every one of us is different in the food we need and I don’t think any of us should categorize ourselves, we should just eat what makes us feel our best!

So, bare with me please 😀

Now onto the recipes! After I posted about meal prep, I got a good response asking what I prep and how I prep, so that’s what I’m talking about today!!

Prepping is important to reaching your goals. I usually prep a carb and vegetable and then eat whatever meat we ate for dinner the night before. You could definitely prep some meat while prepping this food at this same time though, I like to do everything that can fit into the oven, because lets be honest, I’m a busy college student, and I need to be studying.. just like most of us are busy and don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours!

 

IMG_9105


Food Prep Recipes

2 sweet potatoes

3 carrots

1 bag of broccoli

  1. First step is to get 3 baking sheets out and line 2 of them with parchment paper
  2. Preheat the oven to 350
  3. Cut everything in small, even pieces and lay onto sheet pan with the parchment. **I usually cut decently big pieces, but if you want everything to cook quicker cut smaller.**
  4. I started with sweet potatoes because those take the longest to cook. I tossed both in Avocado oil (I like Chosen Foods) oil and then I did two different seasonings on the first set I added Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute, marjoram, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper. The second one I added paprika, dried minced garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper.
  5. Place them in the oven, I like the top rack because I like my sweet potatoes a little burnt.
  6. Next peel the carrots, then cut the carrots in half, then slice them lengthwise.
  7. Place the broccoli and the carrots on the same tray, but half and half.
  8. Toss the carrots in oil, salt, pepper, dried minced garlic, rosemary and sage.
  9. Toss the broccoli in the oil, dried minced garlic, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder.
  10. I set a timer for all of them for 30 minutes and about halfway through, flip the sweet potatoes.
  11. Once everything is brown and crispy take everything out and put in tupperware!

**If you wanted to prep some meat, I usually do bone-in skin on chicken thighs, season with your favorite seasonings and place them in the oven at the same time for about 30min.

Hope you all prep some food and enjoy it all week!!! 🙂

Best Banana Bread

 

I’m all for alliterations (obviously 😉 ) but, really… this is the best banana bread I’ve had in awhile!! So I thought I would share the recipie, these are such a great recipe for families with picky eaters because there are so many variations you can create! These are also great for families like mine that love to have something sweet at night, so this is a healthier alternative to cookies or ice cream! I made three different variations I’m sharing with you but get creative and try your own!!

 

IMG_9059
I only have pictures of 2 of the kinds I made because between me and my dad the dark chocolate ones didn’t survive the night they were made….

 

 


Best Banana Bread 

Ingredients:

2-3 very ripe banana’s (I like to use the brown bananas or darkest I have)

1/3C coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2C brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2C whole wheat flour

1/4 C milk (I used almond milk) or water

1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Place muffin liners in muffin tin
  3. In a bowl mash the bananas
  4. stir in melted oil
  5. add baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  6. add sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla
  7. mix in flour slowly
  8. Add whatever toppings you would like! I add about a 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and pecans, dried cherries and dark chocolate morsels. but this is where you vary it depending on you! try some other dried fruit, almonds, whatever you think sounds good!
  9. Bake in the oven for about 30min or until you can insert a toothpick and it come out clean.

IMG_9060Easy peasy!! These are so good with the brown sugar (I know it’s different than your normal banana bread, but don’t knock it till you try it!) I hope you all enjoy these as much as me and my family did!

Sweet Potato and Sausage Quiche

Breakfast is hard. I’ve heard this over and over again, while I’m a simple Eggs and Kale girl usually, this recipie is a great make ahead item! It has sausage so it’s savory, and sweet potato for a little sweetness in there and it’s loaded with veggies! This is my first recipe on the blog, and I couldn’t be more excited!!!! I use this on weeks I know I’m not going to be able to make breakfast, but I still want something filling.

IMG_9053

 

You can alter this recipie with whatever veggies you like, you can also just toss in whatever is left in the fridge to use your vegetables up before they go bad. That’s what I love about quiches, the ingredients are so interchangeable that anyone can enjoy them! 🙂

Now, onto the recipe!


Sweet Potato Sausage Quiche_


Ingredients:

1/2 of a large sweet potato or 1 small sweet potato, shredded

1 lb breakfast sausage

12 eggs

2C spinach

1C mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 small tomatoes

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. sage

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Shred the sweet potato with a cheese grater on the largest side
  3. Chop onion, mushrooms, garlic and set aside.
  4. Brown sausage in a pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Once finished place sausage in a lightly greased baking dish.
  6. Add the veggies and sweet potato to pan, on medium-high heat
  7. Season with all the seasonings.
  8. Once softened, add to the pan that has the sausage in it.
  9. Beat the eggs and add to the top of the other ingredients. Thinly slice tomato and place on top.
  10. Bake in the oven for 25min, or until eggs are no longer runny on top.

My Journey This Far

My journey starts somewhere in senior year (probably before if we’re honest). My senior year, I sprained my ankle pretty bad, like in a boot for 6 months bad… I couldn’t straighten my arms all the way, and my legs constantly hurt (Why I didn’t notice all of this sooner is beyond me)

IMG_2889
This was the day of my graduation, I had gotten out of the boot a few months before this, and had just learned about my arthritis

My doctor decided we needed to do an MRI about  2 or 3 months after being put into the boot, he suggested I get an MRI since he thought I might have a torn tendon because it wasn’t healing. After we got the MRI I went into the doctor’s office and he gave me a questionnaire asking if there’s anywhere else that I was hurting, and as I started to fill it out I realized it was just about everywhere. My back, elbows, hands, knees, ankles, and feet… there wasn’t a place that I didn’t hurt, and again why I didn’t think this was odd earlier is beyond me. I thought it was normal to wake up in pain everyday. I thought it was normal to throb from head to toe in bed at night and not be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Most people that knew me at this time, probably didn’t know I was in pain all the time. I didn’t really talk about it, because I didn’t want my illness to define me, and I didn’t want people to know that this was starting to define me, honestly.

When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my doctor told me that there was nothing we could do other than medication, that I more or less would be on the rest of my life. Honestly, that wasn’t good enough for me.

I started researching diets that can help inflammation and started very small with a goal to lose weight (I was still about more overweight than I wanted to be at this point, and that was inflaming my joints itself). I had already been “dieting” (in  terrible ways) and after this appointment, started researching anti-inflammatory diets.

Then, through researching foods to help inflammation, I found Whole30. This was honestly life changing for me, and I think anyone struggling with whether food can help them relieve symptoms or not should 100% try it! It’s tough, but teaches you great lessons!

Through this I realized beans, whole grains and sugar really bothered me, and inflamed my joints more than my body was already doing for itself. So as I started looking for recipes to go along with this, I came across Paleo. Paleo has been one of the best things for me, I realized my love for learning about nutrition and how the body processes these different things.

Now comes where I am today… I feel the best on paleo and I know it’s what is right for me and many others out there.

Now, lets talk about my struggles with this. I want this to be an open space where I can talk about what I’m feeling… Many dietitians have a problem with eating this way because of the restriction, and because the “heart healthy grains” are being cut out. While they are heart healthy, they aren’t gut healthy for people with autoimmune disorders. I have a hard time learning about all these things in school, yet not believing that any of them are true… I know this is what is right for me, just like being vegan is good for other people. I don’t know why Paleo, or an autoimmune way of eating isn’t considered the same as a cardiac, renal, or a diabetic diet. But, that’s what I would like to try to change as a dietitian. My goal is to reach as many people as I can, and help them realize that it is attainable to feel their best without their medication.

If you look at my Instagram, I haven’t been eating this way, but I’ve been waking up sore and in pain all day, everyday. It’s time for a change, and that’s where I’m heading with this blog. I have been testing if I feel okay, just eating regular food, but I don’t.

I’ve finally hit a wall, and realized that I can live my life fully, and eat paleo. I will, because I want my life to be a realization for others, so they don’t feel hopeless about  their symptoms, I want them to feel normal. and included in family events. I want them to feel that medication isn’t always the answer. There are so many other routes, and food is one of those.

I am going to start this transition back to paleo, by starting the fed and fit project to find my perfect you plan from Fed and Fit on May 1st!

Hope you all can understand why this change is happening, and enjoy the new recipes I’ve been working on!! (There’s 2 or 3 coming to you in the next couple of weeks!! 🙂 )

Why we’re here…

Welcome

Many of my friends and family are probably wondering why we’re here. I decided to start a blog in 2016, it was a goal for the whole year and I mentally prepared myself for what it takes throughout that whole year, along with some intense research of what the best way to start a blog was.

After quite a bit of time (obviously it took a whole year, lol) I’m ready to talk about my journey of where I am with food, life, school and I’m ready to share some of my favorite recipes I use to stay healthy with all of you!

Now onto who I am, and why I wanted to share this blog with all of you!

IMG_3247

My name is Chelsea, I am a 22 year old Nutrition and Dietetics student at the University of North Florida. I wanted to start this blog because my main goal in my career is to inspire and encourage everyone that health is easy one step at a time. Life is full of ups and downs and nutrition isn’t exempt from that. I want to encourage everyone that even if you take 1 step forward and 5 steps back, it’s better than where you were since it’s a valuable lesson learned!

I have always had a steady incline of my weight, from when I was a child on through my senior year of high school. Some of this is due to health issues, and some of this also caused their own health issues. At the age of 17 I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I struggle with this on and off still, but not as bad as I did when I was overweight. I lost 75lbs when I decided enough was enough.

I had yo-yo dieted most of my life, whether with my parents, or something I found and convinced my mom to try with me (older years, of course). After some time of trying different diets (vegetarian lunches, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Metabolic, and AIP Protocol… to name a few.)  I’ve learned that NOT stressing over my food is what helps me best. I’ve learned the ratio of carbs, fat and protein works for MY BODY, because no two people will be able to eat the exact same and be YOUR healthiest. I am by no means perfect, but I know what works for me, and if that ever changes I seem to figure it out over time!

Obviously, I still think about this so I do always wonder if I’m doing right by my body, but I think if we’re aware, then we are doing right by our body. My best advice and the only advice I can give anyone is trust the process! Life’s about grace, not perfection. 

Trust the

I hope you all will join me on this journey, and enjoy the recipes I put out to you all, while cooking right along with me!! 🙂