Happy Wednesday! Today I'm pleased to publish an exclusive sneak peak into A Nourished Holiday, my Holiday cookbook, launching later next month. I'm sharing a recipe from the book in hopes that you will firstly enjoy the heck out of it because--yum. But also so that you will be inspired to purchase a copy for yourself and/or a friend when it's released!
So without further ado, may I present to you the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie?
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(makes 1 smoothie)
¼ c raw cashews, soaked in water for at least half an hour
½ large banana, frozen
¼ c pumpkin puree
1 t pumpkin pie spice
2 t maple syrup
½ c organic milk (or non-dairy substitute, if desired)
Pinch of coconut sugar (optional)
Strain cashews, discarding liquid and tossing nuts into a high-powered blender. Add milk and blend until nuts are liquified. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until you have a smooth texture. Serve in a glass and sprinkle with optional pinch of coconut sugar, if desired.
If you're wondering what I, as a Health Coach, actually eat from day to day, it's good you tuned in today. I'm opening the doors to my refrigerator and pantry to show you what my grocery haul and times of food prep produced for this week's meals. Let me start with a throwback to the subject of bio-individuality. Subscribing to the philosophy that there is no one-size-fits-all diet, I'm ready and eager to share with you all how I eat, only with the caution that it does not prescribe or suggest a similar diet for you, necessarily. So here's a little snapshot of my personal dietary guidelines:
My only sensitivities are certain nuts and acidic foods, as I'm prone to mouth sores. With that said, I do eat gluten, dairy, and other animal products. I allow myself only whole grains and natural sugars (fruit, honey, coconut sugar, etc) for the most part. If I'm eating conventional sugar, it's organic and comes in at less than 10g/serving. As for organic products, I strive for organic (or at least naturally raised) animal products and organic produce from the dirty dozen list. Basically everything else is fair game. I'm at a point in my health journey where I know when my cravings are coming from my body or my mind and have a pretty good handle on exceptions to the personal guidelines I just shared. It has to be said--I love getting clients to this place! Knowing when and how much of a treat you can or cannot handle is so freeing!
Ok, back to the kitchen. This week, I've got the following foods on hand:
In the fridge door-
A small organic milk, fizzy waters, organic apple cider, organic half and half, and red wine.
Inside the refrigerator-
Cage free eggs, an organic cucumber, organic yogurt, and in the containers: sautéed brussels sprouts, quinoa pasta, antibiotic free chicken meatballs, and pumpkin puree.
In the pantry-
Organic dark chocolate with sea salt, raw honey, raw cashews, organic popping corn, quick oats, maple syrup, and all natural peanut butter.
Aaand in the fruit basket-
Clementines and bananas!
There you have it! This may or may not excite you as much as it does me, but my purpose in sharing a glimpse into my kitchen today is not necessarily to excite. It's to inspire you that making healthy choices takes effort even for a Health Coach who lives and breathes this stuff daily. The fact of the matter is: if I hadn't gone to the grocery store and carved out time to cook the ingredients that needed prep, I'd be relying on store-bought food or restaurants multiple times throughout the week. It's a simple concept, but one that requires a choice.
So my encouragement to you is to plan when you'll grocery shop and prepare your meals for the coming week! It will make all the difference if this isn't already a habit for you.
What day of the week do you most enjoy grocery shopping? Share in the comments below!
In our busy culture, taking time to rest can seem selfish or irresponsible. Declaring that I’m not free to hang out with someone only to go home and change into my yoga pants for a quiet night of reading or Netflix consumption can oftentimes bring up feelings of guilt. Can you relate? There are a few mental steps I go through to decided if I really should have said yes to that social engagement or if I should free myself from the guilt of saying no.
For one, I am an introvert. Everyone needs down time and even extroverts need alone time, but specific for introverts is the need to have regular alone time for the sake of mental clarity and energy restoration. For this reason, I intentionally purpose to keep at least one evening per week free of any commitments. Occasionally, I can spend time with John or an intimate girlfriend on this evening because these people understand that sitting and watching a TV show or just having a quiet dinner and going for a walk is all I’m up for.
Another thing I have to consider when dealing with the misplaced guilt of taking time off is the confidence and maturity of “no”. One of the biggest themes I preach to my clients is the importance of stress management. When I realize that not taking time once a week for unscheduled time would leave me irritated, tired, and possibly unstable both physically and emotionally, the decision is settled. Why would I cheat myself and my loved ones out of the best I have to offer? Taking time to care for myself is paramount to modeling the kind of life I hope my clients can buy into. It also frees me up to work hard when it’s time to get things done and there’s not space for rest.
With the responsibility of discerning when it’s time to say no, however, is also a responsibility to do so delicately. This is when I find that keeping my unexciting plans private sometimes spares friends’ feelings. I can either explain this whole philosophy every time, apologetically, or I can have the confidence to believe that when I say I’m not free, I’m legitimately expected to be somewhere else: home. And let me take advantage of this space to make clear that my unscheduled evening is separate from a normal Sabbath day, during which I put work down for the entire day. My unscheduled evening is usually on a work night, which makes it easier to be at home since part of Sabbathing can be enjoying community.
This leads me to the last thing I will say about introverts. Sometimes we do need to stretch ourselves to say yes to interpersonal interactions. I’m frequently tempted to take a second or third night off in a given week to just be alone and quiet, and there are some weeks where this is perfectly acceptable for some. But I know that if I do not regularly push myself to interact with others, I’ll lose another piece of my wellness, which is wholeness and refreshment through community. Just as I purpose to keep one evening per week free, I also purpose to making plans with someone on Friday nights. Once I’m engaged in conversation with that person, I’m always glad I made it a priority and I’m filled up in a different way.
So deciding what rest looks like to you is about balance. It’s about realizing whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. It’s about deciding that you’ll make time for yourself to be both quiet and engaged, depending on your needs. It’s about having the confidence to decide that taking care of yourself is mature and important to those in your life. And often, it’s simply about taking a deep breath and enjoying an evening off...because as far as everyone else is concerned, you’re not available.
Ready for some exciting news? I'm launching a holiday cookbook that will be available by December 5th (if not sooner!) of this year. As some may remember in my announcement about the far-off-plan of a BIG cookbook that will launch in late 2016, I've been working diligently to write and test enough recipes to make up a reliable and desirable collection. Well it hit me recently that in all my work toward that book, I've created enough seasonal recipes to start a "baby" cookbook, if you will, just in time for the holidays!
A Nourished Holiday will be a small cookbook made up of 3 breakfast, 3 beverage, 6 side, 3 main course, and 3 dessert recipes. Putting out a short book made sense for a number of reasons:
1. It will be ready in time for all of you, my faithful friends and followers, to purchase as a Christmas gift.
2. It will be affordable! These guys will sell for under $20 a piece.
3. It offers access to some of the recipes that will be featured in the larger Nourished! cookbook later next year.
I'm so excited to share this project with you! So mark your calendars for the beginning of December and consider, if you would, making A Nourished Holiday your go-to gift of the season! More information will follow...and soon! Pictured above are a few recipes that will be featured in the book.