Summer Dishes + Seasonal Tips

With the summer season coming up, BBQs and parties will be in full swing. I love spending time with my community, preparing delicious foods and enjoying the company of others for the day.

I think a huge misconception is that in order to be healthy you need to socialize less and isolate yourself.

I’m a big believer that community is an important pillar to healing! So...I’ve got some summer bbq tips for you and a delicious, family recipe that you can share at the party.

I’m with my community at least 4-5 meals a week in a group setting and I am still able to keep my body in a healthy and resilient state!

Is my diet perfect 100%? No, but striving in perfection in any area of life can lead to shame and guilt. However, I am conscious of how I can contribute healthy dishes and eat nutritious items with others.

Here are some tips below.

Seltzer water and a splash of cherry juice spritzer- a low sugar and refreshing beverage.

Try to be the last at the food line to resist the urge for seconds. While everyone is almost finishing, you’re still enjoying your first few bites with them. And less likely to grab more because of temptation by what’s on everyone else plate

Drink water 30 minutes before your meal for optimal digestion of your meal.


Here are two tasty recipes that I incorporate regularly!


Jicama is a wonderful root vegetable that provides a refreshing crunch and tons of fiber. A great way to avoid processed chips & snack foods. Plus the fiber will satisfy you!

Jicama Chips
Serves: 6 to 8
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into shape of fries
2 limes, freshly squeezed
Sprinkle of sea salt

Mix all together in a large bowl, then place on a platter.

This next dish has been passed down in my family and is always a hit. This is filled with fresh herbs and is a healthier version of store bought potato salad that often contains sugar and processed oils.

In addition, cooked & chilled potatoes provide fiber called prebiotics. This fiber reduces its affect as a starchy food. Meaning you can keep your blood sugar and insulin in check.

Greek Potato Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
1 lb organic red potatoes, cut into cubes
1/3 cup fresh mint & fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft, then strain.

  2. Combine potatoes in a bowl once they have cooled with remaining ingredients

  3. Allow to chill overnight in a closed container and enjoy the next day chilled.

Mushroom & Mango Tacos

I have never been a huge taco fan, but once I moved to Austin, Texas just about anything was featured in a taco! From boar to lamb to pecans! I soon realized how delicious and genius the taco concept was! A burst of flavor in one bite and finger food. Except, I also realized that not all taco is created equal. From quality to ingredients, things can get fishy (and trust me…I do love a fish taco).

So I’ve put together a delicious mushroom and mango taco. Shiitaki mushrooms are a powerful super food, while this entire dish leaves out all genetically modified foods and other poor quality ingredients. Try this twist on a taco and let me know what you think!

Mushroom Tacos

8 oz organic tempeh, sliced into cubes

1 tbs garlic powder

2 cup shitaki mushrooms, chopped

½ small onion, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

8 Boston bibb lettuce leaves

2 tbs coconut aminos

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ cup sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted

2 tbs avocado oil

2 tbs cashew butter

Steps:

1. In a skillet over medium heat, add avocado oil. Sear organic tempeh on each side for 4 minutes over medium heat, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute mushroom, onion and red pepper until soft.

2. Transfer to a bowl. Add sweet potatoes, cilantro and coconut aminos. Toss in seared tempeh.

3. In each lettuce wrap, add a scoop of filling. Drizzle each with cashew butter.


Mac N Cheese (Yes..its the real deal y'all!)

Boy oh boy, this is by far one of my favorite side dishes. It took me a few times to finally get a vegan cheese sauce that I really liked. I grew up eating mac n cheese but once I gave up gluten and most dairy items, I was a bit stumped for a bit.

So.. I have gotten a little obsessed with using nutritional yeast over these past couple of months, and trust me I am not mad about it at all! You too can enjoy your favorite kid’s meal as an adult! Or even better, if you’ve got little ones at home. Be sure to try this one.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6)

2 cups of cashews soaked overnight

4 cups water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1 TBS paprika

Sea salt and pepper

1 box chickpea pasta or 1 bag cauliflower rice.

Steps:

1. Drain cashews, add to blender with coconut milk, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt and pepper to blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

2. Add a bit of water if you need too.

3. Serve with sautéed cauli rice or chickpea pasta. Either are a great option, depending on your choice!


Eggs with Avocado & Tasty Veggies

If you are someone who enjoys a more savory breakfast, you will without a doubt love this recipe! In addition, if you are trying to cut back on the sugar and processed foods this is the perfect go-to.


Eggs are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. Make sure you don’t skip out on the yolk. It is packed with nutrients like healthy fats, choline and vitamin D. Among many other nutrients. Talk about brain food and fuel to get you through your morning.


Opt for organic and pasture raised eggs, when possible for best quality (and super colorful yokes are a beautiful bonus!)


Ingredients:

2 eggs

Sautéed mushrooms and spinach (you can switch up the veggies each time)

½ of an avocado sliced

1 cup collard greens, chopped

1 tsp curry powder

Sea salt and pepper

Steps:

1. Cook eggs in a pan that is coated with avocado oil

2. Using the same pan, sauté your veggies and collard greens until they are the desired softness. You may need to add a bit more oil. Add salt, pepper and curry powder.

3. Add everything to a bowl, layer veggies then eggs and add sliced avocado.


Three Healing Steps Support Your Immune System During the Winter Months

Support Your Immunity During the Winter Months

As the winter months are approaching and the snow begins to cover the ground, there seems to be a wave of sickness that circulates in the air. It is extremely important to support your immune system in order to keep it healthy during this sniffly season! Let me tell you a few tips and tricks to boost your immunity!

Step 1: Probiotics

That’s right! Believe it or not, there is a really strong connection between your immune system and your microbiome. In fact, most of your immune system lies within your microbiome! In addition, probiotics promote growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines and as a result they help to strengthen the gut wall. Why is this important? Well by strengthening the gut wall your body is able to keep the toxic bacteria in the gut, until you are able to excrete it out in a safe manner. You don’t have to worry about the toxic bacteria circulating and causing an inflammatory response.

Step 2: Optimize Your Nutrition

Just as you would expect, your immune system can be very sensitive to changes in the way you eat. When you fuel your body with nutrient dense foods that are jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants, your immune system will love you.

During flu season, be sure to eat plenty of leafy greens, organic antioxidant rich berries and delicious soups featuring healing bone broths! Another addition to the diet is healthy fat. This means omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat is anti-inflammatory and can help to promote good immune function. Try adding wild caught fish, avocados and walnuts to your diet daily as just a few examples of some healthy fats.

Step 3: Chillax

The winter months can be particularly stressful with the holidays and additional traveling. Increased stress over long periods of time can weaken the immune system. Ever think about when you are working on a difficult work project or go through a season of immense stress, just to finally come out of it all and endure a terrible cold? This means the immune system has been weakened. With the flu going around and high stress levels, resilience to catching a bug can certainly go down. Try to take time and rest during these months. Make sleep a priority and set aside a few minutes daily to just slow down and sit in solitude!


Healing Hot Cacao Drink

It’s starting to get chilly, holiday music is playing and the desire for warm, hot and toasty beverages is on demand! Once it hits fall and then winter an automatic switch goes off in my head. I want comfort and drinks that soothe me!

This time of year, I always make my healing hot cacao drink. Rich and creamy like regular hot chocolate, minus all the junk- including sugar and artificial flavors and processed dairy ingredients. Instead, gain anti-inflammatory, healing benefits from the cacao, cinnamon and collagen.

Keep reading to learn more and for the full recipe!

Cacao is an antioxidant, contains magnesium, healthy fats and a natural mood lifter! Plus its delicious, I mean who doesn’t love the taste of chocolate. Next time you want to cozy up on the couch, grab a mug of this must have beverage!

Ingredients

Serves: 2

1/4 cup cacao powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbs pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

12 oz unsweetened cashew or almond milk

1 scoop collagen powder (optional)

Steps:

1. On stove top add all ingredients, whisk and allow to come to slight boil. Then turn off and pour into mugs.

The Healing Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

In my opinion, there is really nothing better than some freshly, roasted sweet potatoes added to a salad, side dish or on their own. There is something soothing, comforting and grounding about this root veggie.

It’s vibrant in color, easy to prepare and naturally sweet and savory. So, because it is by far one of my favorites and I eat it on a regular basis, I think it is only fair to share with you some of the hidden healing benefits that most people overlook!

For starters, sweet potatoes contain nutrients that can promote better digestion, improve sleep and even all the way to protecting your eyes and heart! Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, potassium, vitamin A & C, along with many other micronutrients.

Today, I want to specifically highlight a few healing benefits. So keep reading below to learn more! It’s some real exciting stuff!

Sweet Potato and Resistant Starch

When we think of starch we think of normal carbohydrates, right? Well that is not necessarily the case for a resistant starch, they have a bit of a different profile. The big difference is that these types of starches do not get digested in the small intestine at all, which we all know is the major site of digestion for many nutrients. Instead, these starches get digested in the colon by a process called fermentation. This is carried out by the microbes in our natural flora.


Why Do You Care?

There are so many health benefits to consuming resistant starches! These foods that contain this specific fiber are also known as prebiotics. Essentially, these foods act as fuel for beneficial bacteria within the gut. This produces a microbial balance within the large intestines.


The result of the fermentation process within the large intestines are end products called short chain fatty acids. Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid specifically is linked to promoting better immune function, protection against mood related disorders and even reduces risk of chronic diseases. Specifically to the gut, butyrate has an anti-inflammatory effect on the colon.

I’m sure you are all wondering what types of food have these resistant starches in them, and there are a lot of foods that do! However, sweet potatoes are a very good food choice when trying to reap the benefits of these starches. More specifically, cooked THEN chilled sweet potatoes.

More Benefits of the Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that not only taste delish both savory and sweet, but they are extremely important to our health as well. They give us protection against free radical damage and oxidative stress as they contain key antioxidants such as vitamin A & C. These vitamins act as antioxidants to protect body systems. As I mentioned earlier, specifically the heart and eyes as just a few examples.

Another benefit of the sweet potato is that it helps to increase the production of serotonin in our bodies, which is a neurotransmitter that is used to regulate our moods. If serotonin gets too low, it increases the risk of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and even those sweet cravings. We all are guilty of these sweet cravings once in a while, but you get what I mean!

Incorporating Sweet Potatoes in the Diet

Often times, I suggest trying to incorporate some root veggies, such as sweet potatoes to an evening meal. The combination of carbohydrate and its ability to produce seretonin can help to promote more restful sleep. In addition, your digestive “fire” sort to speak is much lower in the evening, as your body winds down. So eating foods that are easier to break down in the evening is also a bonus.

Check out this recipe below. It is a personal favorite that I have been eating for a long time. It hardly takes prep time and you can easily pack it! For more recipes, be sure to grab my free recipe e-book! Filled with over 50 tasty recipes.


Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

Serves: 2

1 medium sweet potato

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain goats milk yogurt or non-dairy option (optional)

1 apple, cubed

2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons almond butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and lightly dry sweet potato. Poke with a fork and place on rack or in glass pan. Bake for about an hour or until soft.

  2. Peel cooled sweet potato and slice. Set to the side. In two bowls, first place yogurt if including. Mix yogurt with vanilla extract. Then add slices of sweet potato. Sprinkle cinnamon, add nuts and apples. Then drizzle with nut butter.



Dandelion Greens and Their Healing Power

What is Dandelion? (Besides a Pesky Weed)

What if I told you dandelion greens are one of my favorite foods? I am being serious! Most people view the dandelion plant as an invasive weed that deters from a beautifully cut lawn.

However that so called “pesky plant” has an abundance of health benefits, flavor and has been a popular dish for many years in the Mediterranean culture. I would often eat fresh dandelion greens, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt at my grandmother’s house in the summer months.

To me, this was just about as normal as munching on a green salad drenched in ranch dressing! It is time that we start to truly think of our food as medicine and pay close attention to the beautiful and healing foods that mother earth provides us.

The Sneaky Benefits of This Food

Not only can dandelion greens aid in the natural detoxification of your body, but this bitter green also stimulates the digestion process in the body. The dandelion greens can be eaten or a tea can be made using the roots and leaves.

Show me the Benefits!

Now you have a basic understanding of why the dandelion greens are so beneficial, but what makes them so dang healthy!?

The greens of the dandelion plant are packed with vitamins A, C, E, B, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc! Who would have thought?

A lot of the benefits are targeted at the liver and urinary tract but that does not mean that other parts of your body don’t reap the benefit as well. The roots of the plant primarily target the liver and the detox pathways. Some studies have been conducted and the results show that dandelion root tea can actually protect against certain liver disorders, and aid in the detoxification from some medications.

Dandelion greens also act as a diuretic which is extremely beneficial for our urinary tract! The urinary tract and the kidneys work together to rid our body of any toxic waste that could potentially cause harm to our bodies, and the dandelion greens play a helpful role in this process.

Dandelion has a positive effect on the immune system as well. They help to protect against cell damage, infection, and disease. Your body is constantly fighting off toxins from the everyday environment. Dandelion root is actually an antioxidant (thanks to the Vitamin E and C). These are known to fight against the unwanted free radicals that form from toxic exposure.

Incorporating Dandi into your Day

I suggest incorporating these bitter greens into your diet weekly if you can! You can often find dandelion greens at the supermarket. I suggest steaming or sautéing them and finishing with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and a pinch of sea salt.

You can also drink as a tea. My favorite is the Traditional Medicinal dandelion root tea. It’s an excellent way to kick off your morning or use as a substitute to coffee!

I want to start my healing journey, right now!

Are you ready to learn about other ways to heal your body? Be sure to schedule your free 10 minute discovery call with me today and I’ll fill you in!


Healing Tahini Bowl


This is absolutely one of my favorite go to dinner recipes. It is incredibly simple to make, filled with nutrition and it’s delicious! What more could you ask for in a meal?

I have to admit, over the last year I have developed an obsession with tahini. It is rich in flavor, provides the perfect creamy texture and is the finishing touch to so many of my meals.

So I decided to create a meal around the tahini! When I go to create a meal, I ask myself three questions. Does it contain plenty of vegetables? Healthy fat? And protein? I will ask my clients the same!

Veggies, protein and healthy fat provide fuel, energy and the nutrition your body needs to heal. This dish is packed with a variety of veggies, avocado and tahini for good fat and ground turkey as a protein. Your dish may look a little different, based on preferences but have fun with it!

My Healing Tahini Bowl has all the yummy goodness you need at your next dinner!

Enjoy this recipe. In fact, check out my recipe e-book for over FIFTY hand-crafted recipes, just for you. xoxo

Healing Tahini Bowl

Serves: 1

1 cup broccoli, florets

2 cups spinach

½ avocado, sliced

1 cup sweet potatoes, cubed

2 tbs cup tahini

1 tbs olive oil

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs avocado oil

Sea salt and pepper

4 oz ground turkey, sautéed

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet mix broccoli and sweet potatoes with oil and cinnamon, roast for a total of 25-35 minutes.

2. Add spinach to pan over medium heat in 1 inch water, stir until wilted and then remove. Then add the spinach to the bottom of a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. In the same pan, cook ground turkey, season with sea salt and pepper.

3. Add ground turkey, sweet potatoes and broccoli on top of greens.

4. Top with avocado slices and drizzle with tahini.