Sunwarrior Plant-Powered Protein Bars

Sunwarrior Plant-Powered Protein Bars

Protein bars are a great way to have a snack, satisfy your sweet tooth, and fill your quota of protein. Have you ever noticed how, often, the commercial protein bars readily available are merely glorified candy bars with all that sugar they have to add to make them taste decent? Don't get me wrong, I have totally bought and devoured said protein bars during a long hike or when I'm in a hurry and need something to fill me up. But, I'd much rather make my own with quality ingredients.

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Episode 3: Whole Food vs. Synthetic Supplements

Episode 3: Whole Food vs. Synthetic Supplements
Nutritional Connections PodcastEpisode 3: Whole Food vs. Synthetic Supplements

Do you feel like you're being chased by lions? Those lions probably aren't literal lions, but our body's chemical response to stress from losing a job for example, is essentially the same as being hunted by a lion. Unfortunately, our culture today feels like being chased by lions all the time. Even if you follow the best diet, high levels of chronic stress can deplete your reserves quickly. So how do you fill the gaps? Using supplements is a great and effective way to do that. With so many vitamins supplements on the market, how do you know you're getting the best fuel that your body can utilize best? Understanding the difference between whole food and synthetic supplements is the difference between fueling your incredible body, or burdening it even more. 

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Raw

Raw

I talk a lot about the significant role diet plays in not only physical health, but mental, emotional, and even spiritual health. However, I don't talk often about the affects in reverse. How much of our mental, emotional, and spiritual health effects the physical. I have witnessed and experienced the fact that even the best diet will do little if the mind, heart, or the soul are ill.

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Surf N' Turf Veggie Fajitas

Surf N' Turf Veggie Fajitas

Meal prep dinner #2 coming at you. This bad boy goes from the bag into a hot skillet and is done so quick. It took me a few extra minutes since I made some Homemade Quinoa Tortillas to go along with it, but you could just as easily make some cauliflower rice or quinoa to go along with it...or just enjoy as is. I don't know who said healthy eating doesn't taste good, because it totally can. This meal is great for anyone following the Paleo or Keto diet, and even simply leaving out the meat and shrimp makes it vegan. So, it's versatile and yummy too. 

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Episode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing

Episode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing
Nutritional Connections PodcastEpisode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing

The never-ending debate about what diet plan you should be following is...well, never-ending. Perhaps, the focus could be shifted to simply understanding where our food comes from and why the growth, harvest, and manufacturing of some well-loved foods can either support health and healing, or prevent it.  What we fuel our body with is all our body has to work with to make new cells. We literally are what we eat. So, let's talk about what we eat. The 3 staple ingredients in the U.S. diet: wheat, dairy, and sugar. It may surprise you, but I'm not going to tell you that everyone should cut these three foods out of their diets forever. 

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10 minute Shrimp Scampi

10 minute Shrimp Scampi

I love plans, but to be honest, I think I love being spontaneous even more. I love the challenge of taking whatever ingredients I have on hand in the house and making something right on the spot. Now, having said that I am also a mother of four busy, hungry, and sometimes picky kids (lest you think I'm not a human), my joyful spontaneity in the kitchen is sometimes less than joyful and far more stressful. It's moments like this (and they happen far more often), that I am very grateful for meal prepping and my Instant Pot.  Thanks to a little prep ahead of time and the best invention ever, this dinner was ready to eat in about 10 minutes!

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Podcast Episode 1: Nutrition & Love

Podcast Episode 1: Nutrition & Love
Nutritional Connections PodcastEpisode 1: Nutrition & Love

Food + L'amor = Nutrition + Love.

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"Don't Look around, look up!"

2017 was a year of intense life changes. Some of those changes were the fulfillment of goals and amazing positive learning experiences. I graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Functional Wellness and started working as a nutritionist. However, some changes were not all what I would qualify as positive, though there certainly is things to learn from it. My marriage of 14 years unexpectedly dissolved and I have found myself a single mom of four. Speaking of children, my oldest became a teenager which is inherently an intense change - not to mention the new phases and life changes each of my other 3 children have experienced. 

It has been a year where my faith, confidence, and patience (not to mention mental/emotional health) has been tested like I have never experienced before. And sitting here at the end of it, I can now say that I am stronger today than I was before. I'm more compassionate, better at maintaining healthy boundaries, and learning to be more kind (to myself and others). 

In short, I choose happiness. I choose to not consider circumstances outside my ability to control with negativity any longer. I choose to see it as an opportunity for greater growth, new experiences, and possibilities. Anger doesn't serve me and I don't like how I feel or respond when I allow anger, hurt feelings, resentment, or blaming to take up residence in me.
I also won't just be nice anymore (Hear me out on this one). Most of the time people are "nice" to each other, which is...nice. However, what you and I need to be more of is kind.
The difference is that niceness has a tendency to sacrifice personal happiness or well being for the happiness or well being of another. That's nice, but it robs the one sacrificing and breeds resentment, defensiveness, taking advantage, and misunderstanding.
Kindness, on the other hand respects each individual person's boundaries and limits, while also acting or speaking in ways that promote the well being and happiness of another.

I'm heading into the new year with a plan, hope, and faith, despite all the remaining fears. I'm looking forward and up. I have so many amazing things in the works for the newly revamped Food & L'amor this coming year. Bring it on 2018!

"Don't look around, look up!" - Yoon Hwan Choi

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Vegetable Fajitas over Quinoa

Vegetable Fajitas over Quinoa
​Look back with gratitude; look forward with faith.  It's New Years resolution time. I have so many goals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Often, we interpret healthy eating only with losing...
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Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)

Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)

Where I live there isn't a whole lot of agriculture left. That isn't just due to expansive population or the withdrawal from living off the land. It also has lot to do with the desert climate. However, what is left are small family owned peach and pecan orchards and a few other similar farms. So, at the end of every summer I have my eyes and ears peeled for any news of local, organic surplus produce from these local mini farms. Lucky for me, the last couple years the peaches have been plentiful.

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Frozen Yogurt Slushy

Frozen Yogurt Slushy

 

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Roasted Artichoke with Tarragon Garlic Butter Sauce

Roasted Artichoke with Tarragon Garlic Butter Sauce

A cool spring rain storm came through the other night and made everything outside perfectly fresh and clean. I'm pretty sure heaven smells like the desert when it rains. It seemed like just the right time for nibbling something savory and simple. I just so happened to have some fresh artichoke that were just waiting to be eaten. There was a time I didn't use fresh artichoke because I wasn't really sure how to prepare or eat them. If you're like I was then here's a link to a quick video on how to prepare an artichoke. You can either leave it whole like in the video or cut it in half like I did. Either way works. The point regardless is to get to the meat at the ends of each spiky leaf and the nutritious heart in the middle and stem.Artichokes are one of the most underappreciated super foods. That's right, super food. Fresh artichokes are high in natural phytonutrient antioxidants, fiber, and folate (folic acid). Artichokes are also high in vitamin K, which aid in brain health as well as bone health. These thorny green veggies also supports healthy liver function, blood pressure, the immune system, and metabolic function.Now add all that natural artichoke goodness to this savory organic butter, tarragon, garlic, and lemony-hinted dip. I'll admit, I was that kid who used to just eat straight butter. When it's organic butter from free range cows with this kind of flavor...let's just say I may revert back to my childhood tendencies. It's so good! Remember, despite the fat-free craze that was pushed for so many years, new research supports a diet rich in healthy fats for weight loss and overall health. If you'd like to read about it here's a great research article to learn more.

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Beet & Carrot Coleslaw {No Mayo - Dairy Free Option}

Beet & Carrot Coleslaw {No Mayo - Dairy Free Option}

 

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Spring Cleaning Your Digestive System

Spring Cleaning Your Digestive System

We all love a good spring cleaning, right? I've been on a minimalist cleaning spree lately. Getting rid of things I don't love or need is my new hobby. Letting go of junk and non-essentials, and overall doing a deep clean just lightens my load, helps me be more productive, and seriously reduces anxiety and stress.  And let me tell you, with four kids, a spring cleaning is necessary. Clutter just builds up. We accumulate things we don't really need, want, or even know we have.

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Double Chocolate Cake {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar}

Double Chocolate Cake {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar}

Birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, Wednesdays... there are so many good reasons to eat chocolate cake. In fact, this recipe came to be this week as we were celebrating my birthday. Earlier this week I had hastily jotted down a recipe for chocolate cake to bring for me and my sister's double birthday party happening later that evening. I love it when it turns out alright on the first try, but love it even more that my family is so patient with my cooking experiments. It still needed a little tweaking.

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Orange Marmalade - Sweetened with Honey

Orange Marmalade - Sweetened with Honey

Remember the Paddington books? Well, orange marmalade may be all the vitamins and minerals a bear needs, but it happens to be pretty good for people too - that is, when you swap out all that sugar for some local, raw, unfiltered honey. We all know oranges are full of vitamin C, but they also boast other essential vitamins and flavonoids (antioxidants).Most people love to eat oranges or drink the juice, but we're missing some serious health benefits that are only found in the peels. I'm talking calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins. Not to mention a good source of dietary fiber. And guess what? Orange marmalade incorporates those beautiful orange peels.All this healthy goodness is so lovely that we don't want to mess it up by dumping mounds of refined sugar on it. Instead, I used some locally harvested raw, unfiltered honey. Using honey from local bees may help to reduce seasonal pollen allergies and boost your immune system.So, now you can enjoy some very tasty, very powerful natural immune supporting vitamins on a sandwich and keep it in your hat if you like...in case of emergency. ;) Although, my favorite is to add about a tablespoon of marmalade to my morning bowl of cooked rolled oats, and top it all with fresh blueberries, pecan halves, and almond milk.

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Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette
Thanks to some spring rain and mild temperatures my little garden is already starting to produce spinach and green onions. Yay! I've been working on finishing my bachelors degree in nutrition and with a busy family I'm so glad my garden has been able to handle some neglect - I mean just look at this beautiful salad it helped make! Thanks to some homemade strawberry jam with no refined sugar it made the Strawberry Vinaigrette so simple and healthy. Strawberries and spinach are both full of vitamin C and B6, folate, magnesium, fiber, and a handful of other vitamins and essential minerals.Overnight Strawberry Jam 4 cups crushed strawberries 1/2 - 3/4 cups honey or 1 - 2 tsp. stevia powder or liquid 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 tbsp. chia seeds Combine all the ingredients, pour into jars or freezer containers, and place in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will cause the jam to thicken. Store jam in the freezer until ready to use.

 

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Recycling Healthy Meals Throughout the Week

Recycling Healthy Meals Throughout the Week

   

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Revamp Your Diet: A Healthy Eating Plan You Can Stick To

Revamp Your Diet: A Healthy Eating Plan You Can Stick To

Butternut squash for Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

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Vegan White Bean Chili

Vegan White Bean Chili

Chili is a hit at almost any time of the year, but especially during the doldrums between Christmas and New Years. This vegan chili is especially good for the after-the-holiday-food-coma we sometimes succumb to once all the festivities and goodies have been consumed with reckless abandon.

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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