For Now

I’m not sure why, but my readership has drastically dropped. I recently did a massive giveaway that was open for more than a week to only have two people enter. At first, I was close to devastated, but then I realized something… it doesn’t matter.

Now that I have a child, all of my time is accounted for. I have been squeezing in time here and there to attempt to keep things up here and after realizing the above, I have decided it is time to say good-bye. For now that is.

I am giving myself until December 1, 2015 to see how life is away from the blog world. I have deactivated my Facebook account, will stop reading blogs and instagram is no longer on my phone. I have no idea what I will want to do come December 1st, but of snow I am stepping away and doing so with a smile on my face.

I wish for you good health and a great rest of the year!!!

xo, Leah

p.s. those who entered the giveaway have been contacted and are getting any and all of my services for free

Give Away Day

UPDATE

Do to low entrance numbers, this giveaway has been extended until Thursday, October 22, 2015 until midnight.

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For some reason I feel like we all kind of get into a slump this time of year. Maybe it is because of the cooler temps encouraging us to eat all those delicious comfort foods or maybe it’s because we all get so busy come back-to-school season. No matter what the reason, I really think we can do better. Did you notice that? I said WE, meaning me too.

I thought that today we could break up this week a bit by me doing a massive give away… what do you think?

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5 readers, yep FIVE… will be getting nutrition services of mine for free. I’ll break down the Who-What-Where-When-How, below.

  • 2 winners will get meal maker overs. Each winner will get from me 2 of their favorite guilty pleasures made over so that they can enjoy their favorite foods remorse free.
  • 2 winners will get personalized meal plans for a month each!
  • 1 winner will get my “The Works” package which includes 2 meal make overs, a month of meal plans based of a personalized diet analysis, 4 hours of nutrition counseling AND my one month accountability program to help them finish off this year stronger than they started.

Now that we covered the who and the what, we can cover the when, the where and the how.

You can get up to three entries per person for this drawing… I will be using random.org to pull numbers in the order that the give aways are presented above at midnight Thursday night. That means you have just under 48 hours to enter this give away. On Friday I will announce the winners at the beginning of my blog post. All winners then have 72 hours to email me to get in touch. If a winner does not get in touch within 72 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Here is how you can get your 3 entries…

  1. Leave a comment below telling me what you want to see more of here on this blog.
  2. Find me on Facebook (here) and tag at least 2 friends who you think would be interested in being a winner with you.
  3. Find me on instagram (here) and tag at least 2 friends who you think would be interested in being a winner with you.

I’m really excited to work with some individuals on improving their nutrition and health before the beginning of a new year. I am also very inspired by others who are changing their health which means these winners will help me to make the changes in my life that need a bit of tweaking.

Butternut Apple Bake

My husband and I are in a bit of a life season of ‘in betweens’. It has left me in a state of constant “vegetable drawer lurking”. I cannot explain to you the sheer pain it causes me to throw away vegetables. I hate, with a passion, reaching into my vegetable drawer only to find soft and soggy produce that has to be thrown into the trash. Lately, my family has been having to make a lot of decisions that require us to do some staying or leaving, starting or stopping, planning or improvising. And this has more or less messed up my everything come Monday of each new week.

One night in which a day full of all of the above had occurred, I threw the following in a baking dish, crossed my fingers and was more than pleasantly surprised when I ate it along side my husband come dinner. It was such a hit, that it has been consumed 4 more times in the last two weeks.

Butternut Apple Bake

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 large apples
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 370*F.
  2. After washing your apples, cut them up in chunks no bigger than a nickel.
  3. Sauté you apples on medium-high for about 3 or 4 minutes, just long enough to get them to start releasing their juices a bit.
  4. Place your apples in a baking dish and place to the side.
  5. Take your butternut squash and peel it. I found the easiest way to do this was to use a potato peeler.
  6. Cut up your squash into chunks no larger than a quarter.
  7. Add your squash to your apples and mix them well.
  8. Spoon your honey onto your apple-squash mix. I spooned 1.2 tbsp onto them in 6 areas.
  9. Sprinkle your cinnamon all over.
  10. Place your baking dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir well.
  12. Bake for another 20 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven, let cool then enjoy.

I served this along salmon and blackened green beans and my goodness did I fall in love.

If you are like me, when you like a food you don’t stop eating it. So I took the liberty of finding you some recipes that have apples in them so we can bask together in their wonderful fall-ness. Because, you know, that’s a word.

PicMonkey Collage

Simple Baked ApplesApple Walnut Cranberry Salad

Bacon, Apples and Brussels SproutsSauted Cinnamon Apples

Pan Fried Cabbage and ApplesFloral Apples

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What is your favorite way to take the almost bad vegetables in your drawer and use them to incorporate into dinner or any other meal?

Are you currently enjoying all things apples, pumpkin and fall right about now? If so, share with us in the comments below!

 

Cauliflower

Today’s recipe was made on accident, but man oh man am I thankful that this ‘oops’ occurred.

Here is the back story… since getting diagnosed with Hashimotos, I have changed up my diet greatly and the result has been me in the kitchen dazed and confused. So I started ordering a few cook books. You see, as much as I love getting in the kitchen and creating deliciousness, I sometimes need a bit of a push in the right direction.

One of the cookbooks I got has a recipe for cauliflower style fried rice. Well, in the midst of holding A.J., chopping veggies and yelling at my dog to get stop barking at the neighbor, this was created.

Cauliflower Epxlosion

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp minched fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup minched fresh onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 12 baby carrots
  • 1/2 yellow squash or zucchini
  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

1. In a large pan, heat coconut oil. Once warm, add the garlic and onion.

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2. While your garlic and onion are cooking, chop finely the celery, carrots and yellow squash or zucchini.

3. Add your veggies to the pan and sauté on high, stirring often.

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4. While your veggies are sauteing with the garlic and onions, cut up your head of cauliflower into large pieces and place it in your food processor.

5. Pulse the cauliflower until it looks like grains of rice.

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6. Reduce the heat of the pan to low and add your cauliflower. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.

7. After 5 minutes, stir the veggie mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

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8. Cover again and cook on medium high, stirring occasionally.

9. After cooking for 12 minutes, remove the lid, pat the mix down into the bottom of the pan and then cook on high for 15-20 minutes to brown a bit. You will have to pay close attention in this stage and stir often.

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10. Once the cauliflower is to your desire of “browned” remove from heat and serve.

I love making this recipe to go with dinner as a side dish but I have also found that this can be used as a replacement for bread crumbs in recipes such as meatballs or meatloaf and works great as a rice substitute in stuffed peppers.

I love how versatile cauliflower is, and it is quickly becoming a favorite veggie of mine. I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you decide to give it a try, snap a picture of it and share it on social media using the hashtag #tkr_food.

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Do you cook cauliflower often?

If so, how is your favorite was to prepare it?

Hashis – What Is It?

what is it

Today I thought we could chat about what Hashimotos Disease is, as well as autoimmune disease in general.

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 – Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease that involves the thyroid gland.

– An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the body attacks itself.

– The thyroid gland is located near your neck and is some what of the power house of your entire hormonal system.

– You can have an underachieve thyroid (hypothyroidism) and not have Hashimotos.

– It is estimate that Hashimotos is undiagnosed in about 90% of the individuals who have it.

Hashimotos is diagnosed with a blood test that your primary care doctor can order.

– Just like all autoimmune disease, there is NO cure for Hashimotos disease.

– Treatment includes taking medication to manage your thyroid levels for the rest of your life.

– There is not just one medication but multiple different medications that your physician can give as well as different combinations of these medications to manage your levels.

– Just like all prescription medications, there are side effects when taking thyroid medication(s).

– There is great debate over what your thyroid levels should be at any given time and therefore some physicians may diagnose one individual with a hypothyroidism while another physician may not.

– A sure sign of Hashimotos disease is your antibody count. This number however changes with factors such as age, gender, etc., if your primary care physician cannot help you understand your levels, an endocrinologist can.

– More and more research is coming out about autoimmune diseases as well as Hashimotos which is very encouraging for the medical community as well as those diagnosed with these diseases.

– The more common definition of Hashimotos disease is “an autoimmune disease causing chronic inflammation and consequential failure of the thyroid gland.”

– Sadly, many individuals who just simply manage the symptoms of Hashimotos disease rather than address the root issue (more on this later) eventually have their thyroid removed which as you can imagine can be scary, dangerous and life alerting.

– Due to this unfortunate reality, some individuals are choosing to address their thyroid health in a somewhat unconventional way and are seeing great results. More on this later too!

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I am very excited to start talking more about Hashimotos here… but since it can be a lot of information, I thought it would be best to take this topic piece by piece so that we all don’t get overwhelmed and overloaded.

Ultimately I am hoping to take you on my Hashimotos journey so that I can either motivate you to help someone going through this or that I can directly help someone.

If you have any questions regarding Hashimotos disease or autoimmune disease in general, leave it in the comments and hopefully together we can work on getting it answered.

Peanut Butter and Nut Thins

Since being diagnosed with Hashimotos, I have gone on a relatively strict diet known as the Autoimmune Protocol. It is a Paleo like diet that also cuts out nightshade vegetables, seeds and nuts. It seems tough, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t.

healing

For the last 2 weeks, my little one has been sleeping terribly. There have been multiple nights in which he wakes up 11 times. We won’t even chat about naps because those are just a joke. Come morning, I am a walking zombie. So the fact that while on AIP (that is what it is commonly referred to as) requires me to make a breakfast of meat, cooked veggies and little fruit. The act in itself doesn’t tire me out but I think more so it’s the beginning of a day in which I am balancing a 3 month old on my hip while trying to cook myself food. In other words, there are very few quick meals.

Last night, come 8p.m. I was beyond thrilled that everyone in my house was alive. It was just that kind of a day. I went to plate dinner to realize that I messed up dinner bad… as in not edible bad. Anyways, my options were beyond limited. I pretty much currently cannot eat anything that I do not prepare. It sucks.

Anyways, last night tested me of all my strength and in the eyes of many, I failed. I am trying so SO so hard to keep food out of my diet that will cause inflammation and harm to my thyroid (more on that later), that last night my big “mess up” was eating tomatoes, corn and some rice.

When I sit back today and think about that, I realize how far I have come and how well I really am doing. I’m not confessing here on this blog that I ate a pizza all by myself, or that I downed a pint of ice cream in one sitting. I’m telling you all that I ate whole grains and vegetables.

Eating well is hard. Whether you are doing it to lose weight, because it makes you feel more energized or because you are managing illness, choosing to eat good food day in and day out can be challenging.

If you are struggling today to stay on the wagon or just get on it, be encouraged… the truth is that you are doing it. Maybe not perfect but you are trying and at the end of the day, that counts much more than we realize it. Just take it one day at a time and keep trying!

let thy food

So, please excuse the fact that I promised you a recipe today and instead you got an insert from my personal journal/diary. The recipe is coming Monday, and in the mean time I am off to eat a scoop of peanut butter and some nut thins because today is another one for the books!

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What are some of you struggles when it comes to staying healthy?

Do you find that convenience has to be a top priority in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?