Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's Cooking Today

Now that the demands of "The Maker's Diet" are over, cooking has been a little more sporadic in our home.  Between the chaos of work, school, an internship, senior projects, moving out, and so-forth, making time to cook elaborate meals has been a bit unrealistic.  Not to mention, waking up sick the other morning had me a bit out-of-sorts.  Nonetheless, as part of my mandatory resting today (Dr. Garrett's orders), I rented "Julie & Julia" and suddenly feel incredibly inspired to get cooking! 

Today's Menu:

Vegetable Bean Soup (with a heaping dose of heat, equivalent to Emerald's serving of spice, to kick this cold!)

Meat Spaghetti with garlic and mushrooms

Spiced Apple Muffins

And something fun for family visiting tomorrow:

Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Flour Cupcakes with a Chocolate Ganache Frosting (recipe courtesy of

Freezer/make ahead meals:

French Toast

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken with my homemade Asian marinade for stir-fry

Oh, and I can't forget to mention... the other day I made pancakes with coconut flour!  VERY delicious and fluffy!  An excellent gluten-free recipe.  The only downside: it required a ton of eggs and didn't produce that many servings. 

Anyhow, if you're interested in any of these recipes, or recipes from a previous post, leave a comment to let me know : )  I'm off to the kitchen....

Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Something Sweet

Ever have those days where nothing seems quite as yummy as chocolate does?  Today was one of those days.  My remedy?  Semi-Homemade "Healthy" Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups : ) 

I say "healthy" because I used 85% cocoa extra dark chocolate, containing only 5 grams of sugar, but still, that's 5 more grams of sugar than what I would recommend.  Nonetheless, to make up my concoction, I also used sunflower seed butter, a tad bit of extra virgin coconut oil, about a teaspoon of honey,  and some chopped almonds.  TA-DA! 

I couldn't resist sneaking a few bites before taking the picture... : )

Making this simple, yet delicious treat got me curious.... What treats do you enjoy when your sweet tooth acts up?  Leave a comment below to share your secrets!  : )

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is Finished!

We've done it!  Finished 40 days on "The Maker's Diet"! 

A brief recap:

Phase 1:  Terrible, awful, dreadful, so very hard! Yet, at the same time... worth it!

Phase 2:  AMAZING! Life-saver, tasty, delightful.  Still difficult, but SO worth it!

Phase 3:  A blur... seriously, this phase went by incredibly fast.  Partly because my last semester at college started up, and partly because we were out of town quite a bit.  Regardless, this phase was also tasty, wonderful, and again, SO WORTH IT!

I believe Phase 1 is so challenging because it is a detox and your body is naturally going to resist the changes. Your cravings are also at an all-time high, you will probably have headaches, and generally feel hungry at all times.  But, DON'T GIVE UP!!!

Phase 2 gets easier because you can finally incorporate foods that leave you feeling full.  You are also adding more foods which gives you the opportunity to have a better-balanced variety of meals.

Phase 3 is the fun part.  By this phase, you are a way better cook (from all the experience you gain cooking nearly every single meal the first two phases) and again, you have a greater variety of options. (YAY!) 

Garrett and I decided to do "The Maker's Diet" so we'd have an increase in energy, improve our overall health and eating habits, and I secretly wanted to become a better cook. ; )  AND... we are currently enjoying all those benefits AND more!  It has all been incredibly worth it!

What's really crazy is now that we've finished and have the freedom to eat out at a restaurant, or eat something with sugar in it... we end up feeling sick, and don't even desire those things anymore.  I think the same principle can apply to sin/temptation.  The more we starve our bodies from sin and its instant gratification, the less we will desire those things, and the less power they will have over us.  

Genesis 4:7 " out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.  But you must subdue it and be its master."

Romans 6:12-14 "Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.  So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under freedom of God's grace."

Amen for that!  So thankful for grace and what was accomplished on the Cross... amazed at how God can use the silliest of things to communicate His truth (ie: resisting "bad-for-you-foods" leads to less of a desire for them; similarly, resisting sin, results in less of a desire to sin).  God is good! : )

Monday, September 6, 2010

Big Mistake

Had a wonderful Labor Day weekend visiting friends and family!  We had anticipated adventuring off of our Phase 3 diet in order to eat whatever was served at a wedding Saturday evening.  Unfortunately, with that in view, we gave in a bit early and then continued after the wedding to eat whatever we wanted that was convenient.  One lunch, we were in such a rush that we ate at a local burger place!  The next night, we met up with some friends at an Applebee's, and the morning after went to breakfast with my family.  Though the omelet I ordered there used farm fresh eggs (and was delicious), the biscuit on the side was definitely not on our approved list.  You may be thinking, "OK... and? Big deal, you ate normal again".  Well... think again!  It was a big deal because now we are both sick!  Our body's were not very happy with us all weekend (stomach aches, head aches, and fatigued), and now our immune system is so rocked that we are both sick with sore throats.  Not to mention how exhausted we are still feeling!  I am utterly convinced that eating healthy makes a difference!  And stumbling off for even a few meals, can undo a lot of what your body had recovered from.  Stay strong and continue on the path to healthy eating!      

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grace and Granola (& Phase 3!)

I am overwhelmed by how good God truly is.  He takes care of every detail of our lives because He cares for us! How often do we take a moment to stop. be still. and think of His incomparable grace towards us?  The other day I was stressing over something and WHAM! The Holy Spirit reminded me...  His grace IS sufficient!  If He died for me... orchestrated all the prophecies to fall into place, gave up His Son to die an excruciating, humiliating, and undeserved death so that I can spend eternity in His presence, than I'm pretty sure He's more than able to work out whatever thing may be troubling me in this short little life.  Despite whatever the circumstances may be, I will choose to rejoice!  I will respond in gratitude for His grace. I will choose to trust Him.

Today we started Phase 3... the last phase of The Maker's Diet.  We ate some steel-cut oats (soaked for 24 hrs prior) with vanilla, cinnamon, and sliced banana.  Tasty. Filling. Healthy. And good for energy!  For lunch we ate chicken tacos with all-natural cactus tortillas and pepper-jack cheese.  But what I'm REALLY excited about is a granola recipe I'm making!!! Seriously, I wish there was a way I could post the aroma this mixture gave before, during, and after baking.  The smell was scrumptious! I had some of the mix before baking and... WOW!!!! When they are finished, they have almost a chewy cookie texture, but are way healthier and just as yummy (if not more)!  You have got to give this one a try! It was real simple, too.  I used soaked and dehydrated nuts, but I don't know if that's necessary since they get baked to 350 degrees for this recipe anyway.. Hmm..? 

I modified my recipe from these two:

Let me know how yours turn out!

Still too crumbly to take out of pan; but not too crumbly to enjoy! So delicious!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I mean, really... where does the time go?

Regretfully, almost two weeks have passed since I posted something on here... and even longer since I've posted our meals for you to follow while on "The Maker's Diet".  Such a fact is regretful because now I'm not sure I can accurately post our previous menu since I doubt the capabilities of my memory... Although, this would be a great opportunity for you to be creative and put together some meal ideas of your own!  We'll just pretend that was my goal for you all along ; )  But, I will document the meals I have pictures of at the end of this post...

Anyhow, we are now ALMOST finished with Phase 2 and loving it!  Seriously, being able to incorporate nearly any fruit of choice has been a sweet new luxury and the "full" feeling after eating a meal with beans has been simply satisfying!  ...Looking forward to Phase 3, starting tomorrow! : )

Some meals we ate during the end of phase one and beginning of phase two: 

Pan Fired White Bean & Kale with a Sweet Potato (topped with sour cream and chives)
(Phase 2): A new FAVORITE! Yumm! This was my homemade healthy version of chicken parmigiana. : )

A DELICIOUS snack for Phase 2: Broiled orange (cherry) tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.

Ok, so my presentation can use some work, but the flavor was outstanding!!! The poached eggs on a bed of sauteed spinach with red pepper coulis on top is a recipe from my sister-in-law Ashleigh (THANK YOU!!!).  I steamed up some asparagus and poured homemade hollandaise sauce on top.  The sausage is a homemade apple turkey sausage : )  If you'd like any recipes, just let me know in a comment. (Phase 2) 

I think it was a mushroom, goat cheese, spinach omelet with a variety of summer squash on the side. (Phase 1)

Poached eggs on a bed of sauteed spinach with red peppers on the side. (Phase 1)

(Phase 1) Mahi Mahi with sauteed squash and gold tomatoes (this dish was so flavorful)!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hallelujah for Phase 2!

Yep, that's right... today is the first day of Phase 2! We made it through 14 days of Phase 1, and man are we stoked to be done with that! I will post up our menu from Days 10-14 soon... yet at the moment, I am too excited over what we get to eat now! LOL.  Today I made a Three Bean Chili and I don't really have a recipe for it because I simply made my own!  Very exciting for me, as I have always been a recipe-dependent cook.  With the start of this new phase, I just felt like experimenting and it not only tastes great, it feels great!  We also had some basic scrambled eggs this morning, topped with some salsa.  I didn't snap a pic of the chili today, but I'll post a pic of it tomorrow, as we have plenty for left-overs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The One Necessary Thing

So far "The Maker's Diet" has been quite a handful... there is a LOT more time spent planning and preparing than if Garrett and I were to eat from the basic Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  Yes, this does require more work... but it IS worth it!  I wanted to take an opportunity, however, and share with you what I am learning...  The Lord spoke to me today in Luke 10:38-42, specifically verse 41-42,
"But the Lord said to her, 'My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her'."
Thank God that He reminded me that only one thing is necessary... that I have an adoring gaze fixed on HIM!  Taking time to plan and prepare (and clean up after it seems every single dish has been used to cook up a meal) is not bad.  It is totally OK, and even the "perfect woman" from Proverbs 31 was busy with such tasks...
"She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.  She is like a merchant's ship, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work..." Proverbs 31:13-15
But, the point of it all is to not allow such busyness to take away our focus or steal our peace and joy.  There IS a healthy balance.  Today, by God's grace, I will choose to work hard at all the mundane tasks I have to do, yet with a heart and attitude surrendered and focused on the one true Necessity... the Man Jesus Christ. 

DAY 9:

Breakfast:  Goat's milk yogurt with blueberries, honey, and vanilla.

looks pale in color, but the flavor was robust!
Lunch:  Mahi Mahi with Spicy Squash and Tomatoes (modified recipe from:, With a Romaine and Kale salad.

Dinner: leftover lunch, strawberries, salad, almonds, cherries and hard-boiled eggs. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"It's a learning process!"

I think the most common phrase that has come out of my mouth since we began this 40-day journey to optimal health has been, "...this is a learning process." I have to keep reminding myself of this because the littlest of things can go awry. Today I murmured that (twice) as I was trying to discover which applications on my food processor do the "shredding" type of cut. For our Savory Carrot Salad, I ended up slicing all of our carrots with three different settings until I got it to the appropriate one. But, hey, you know what they say, "Third times a charm". I also have learned, over the course of this experience, about soaking nuts and sprouting seeds. First off, if you are going to soak and sprout a seed, it has to be an unprocessed seed! I attempted to sprout some lentils I had bought and they disobediently clumped together like a rock! Later that week, a woman selling sprouted lentils at the farmer's market told me mine reacted as such because the seed was processed, and not untreated as the bag had deceitfully claimed. Those stinkers! ; ) One last piece of advice for you... if you have "The Maker's Diet" book and want to follow along with some of Jordan Rubin's recipe ideas that he has listed ("Sample Menus for Phase One"), make sure you double check the ingredients! I planned to make his Wild Alaskan Salmon with Pecan Pesto, bought all the ingredients, came home and re-read through his list of "Foods to Avoid" in Phase One and saw.... PECANS! A little frustrating, but hey... it's a learning process! : )

DAY 8:

Breakfast: Tomato Asparagus Frittata (also included onions, mushrooms, and red peppers in with the eggs).

Not a very appealing pic, but it sure tasted great!

Lunch: Lemon Garlic Drumsticks (, Savory Carrot Salad ( and a spring mix salad with strawberries and our homemade olive oil & fig lemon dressing.

This chicken was amazing!!! A new personal favorite of ours! : )

Dinner: Made Garrett some tuna salad (with that homemade coconut mayo I prepped last night) and since he can't eat it on slices of bread, I threw in a plentiful helping of romaine lettuce for him to mix it up with, making it a true tuna "salad". We'll also be snacking on almonds, a mix of berries (including cherries), a small salad, and carrots (a variety of the sliced "mistakes" from this morning). I think I even gave him a hard-boiled egg as well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1st Day of Week 2 in Phase 1

Half way through Phase One and feeling good! : )  Garrett's been doing fantastic without coffee (you can have organic coffee during the diet, but he opted out since he was feeling pretty dependent on it) and I've been enjoying the more "hands-on" approach to preparing healthy-hearty meals.  Today we ate:

DAY 8:

Breakfast:  Goat's milk yogurt with a mix of yellow raspberries (a fabulous find from the farmer's market), blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries with a bit of honey.

Lunch:  Chili-Rubbed Steaks & Pan Salsa ( with roasted brussels sprouts.  I seasoned the brussels with salt & pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of fig lemon balsamic vinegar.  Garrett made the meat and salsa... looks great, huh?!?

Dinner:  I haven't eaten yet, but I'll probably have something similar to what I packed Garrett... Spring mix baby lettuce salad with strawberries and oil & fig lemon balsamic vinegar for dressing.  A handful, or more ; ) of almonds, a hard-boiled egg, and some berries. 

Today I will be preparing some homemade coconut oil mayonnaise ( for some tuna or egg or maybe even chicken salad...

I'll let you know how it goes!  I will also be searching for some good make-ahead meals since are mornings feel quite consumed with the cooking.  If you have any healthy meals that fit that category, PLEASE leave me a comment with the recipe, idea, or website that may be helpful to me.  I'd really appreciate anything you have to offer! : )

Monday, August 9, 2010

Life Happens...

Wow... what a week! It's been a crazy one, but a good one!  A lot of learning and adapting, and realizing that plans sometimes simply go out the window.  And, that is OKAY!  God's grace IS sufficient! Amen? : ) 

All that said, here's what we did manage to eat the last few days:

DAY 3:

Breakfast/Lunch: ok, so we slept in and only had time for 1 meal before Garrett left for work, see... life happens ; )  We had scrambled eggs with red peppers, avocado, and goat's milk cheddar cheese.  We also had a bowl of mixed berries. 

Dinner: hmm... I didn't record what I ate for this meal like I have the other ones, and since it is day 7 as I write this, I can't remember... so, whelp... there's that.  But, I do know that as Jordan Rubin, the author of "The Maker's Diet" recommends, Garrett did a partial fast today and opted out of dinner.   

DAY 4:

Breakfast: Another interesting morning... Garrett got home from work pretty late at night, so we slept in yet again. So, for a quick "breakfast" we drank our morning drink mix/blend.  Unfortunately, the result of having that, 1st thing in the morning and on an empty stomach, was for me to get sick: shaky/weak, and dizzy.  (And no, mom... I'm not pregnant! lol).  Now, I have a confession and I will admit this because I promised on my first post of this blog that I would simply be me. As is. The raw, authentic truth.  So here it is...the one thing I could think of to help settle my sick tummy was eating some Saltine Crackers (which, by the way, do not even show up in the approved, less-restricted list of Phase 3)!  Oh the tragedy... but, I felt 100xs better! My hubbie and I had a great time of praising Jesus for saltine crackers that morning! : ) 

Lunch:  Curried Sprouted Lentils with a Garlic and Ginger Cilantro Sauce (recipe:  As I was sick in bed, munching on those good ol' comforting saltine crackers, my wonderful husband was slaving away in the kitchen to make this meal.  He's amazing!  Check how they turned out:

Dinner:  Strawberry and almond salad with the left-over homemade oil & vinegar dressing and chicken leftovers, and of course, some other mixed berries.  I think I remember eating some carrots and celery with almond butter as well.

DAY 5: 

Breakfast:  Garrett had eggs this morning.  That man could eat eggs every day, and nearly every meal, if he could! lol. I however, could not, so I had some goat's milk yogurt with berries and honey. 

Lunch: We both snacked on a variety of things as we were packing up to leave town for the weekend. 

Dinner:  Salad with sliced Grilled Turkey Breasts, shredded carrots and a homemade honey mustard vinaigrette salad dressing (  We also had some yummy Mini Cucumber Tomato Stacks ( 

DAY 6:  (Visiting with family out-of-town)

Breakfast:  Simple scrambled eggs. 

Lunch:  Salad with grilled chicken breasts, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and our left-over honey mustard vinaigrette.  THANK YOU to my wonderful Mom to have made us a lunch that fit our diet's demands.  (Not to mention it was delicious and super filling)!!!

Dinner:  Another big THANK YOU, this time to Garrett's mom to have made us an incredible meal that was within our restricted phase 1 diet!!! We ate chicken with mushrooms, sauteed veggies, and a salad with her homemade oil & fig vinegar dressing. 

Snack:  Cherries... and because we were hungry and trying not to fall asleep on the drive home, we had  lettuce-wrapped hamburgers (no cheese or 1000 Island dressing) from In-n-Out.  Obviously, the beef wasn't organic or grass-fed, but drastic times call for drastic measures.  ; )

DAY 7:

Breakfast/Lunch:  We arrived home from traveling in the middle of the night, so we got some extra Zzz and only had time for one meal. But, man was it scrumptious!!!  We ate Lemon-Parsley Dover Sole fish with sauteed veggies including zucchini (from my momma's garden), squash, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes. 

Snack:  I had almonds and Garrett had berries.

Dinner:  Garrett had a spinach salad with strawberries and the left-over curried lentils.  I had my new favorite goat's milk yogurt with honey and a variety of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. 

I know this was a lot all at once.  I will try to post shorter and more frequently, but let me know if this has been helpful to you in anyway. : ) And/or if you already eat healthy and have great recipes to recommend, please don't hesitate to send 'em our way!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maker's Diet 101

I've been getting a lot of questions about the Maker's Diet, so I thought I'd take a few steps back and let you know some of the details.  There are three phases, adding up to a total of 40 days.  The first phase is "designed to stabilize insulin and blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce infection, enhance digestion, and help balance hormones in your body" (Rubin, 199).  In other words, phase one detoxifies your body.  In Phase 2, a greater variety of foods are introduced to your diet.  (YAY)!  According to several testimonies, by the start of Phase 3, you should have noticed an increase in your energy, an improvement in your digestion and skin, as well as have your cravings under control, and even be closer to your ideal weight.  Phase three is considered "the maintenance phase of the diet" (Rubin, 223).  This phase is scheduled for the last two weeks of the forty-days, but ideally, you will choose to follow this phase for the rest of your life.  Below are the lists of "Foods to Enjoy" from The Maker's Diet written by Jordan S. Rubin:

Phase One: Foods to Enjoy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And so it begins...

Yumm! Our first meal on the Maker's Diet was DELICIOUS! I think God did that to help us stay motivated, because let me tell you... it's not that easy!  Around 5pm on Day 1, the headaches, which many say are common during a detox, took over.  No fun whatsoever!  I finally gave in today (Day 2) and took a Tylenol. I suppose that's cheating since we are supposed to be taking in only that which is 100% natural and healthy, but Garrett says my excuse is that God made me the weaker vessel, so I'm allowed to help ease the pain with a lil' Tylenol. ; )  And, I mean, if pregnant women can take Tylenol, I doubt it's THAT harmful to my body, right? Anyhow, headaches aside, we both have already experienced a surge of energy!  Perhaps it's simply a psychological effect since we've been anticipating our energy to increase, but hey, it sure is better than waking up exhausted and feeling lethargic all day! 

I would describe the first two days in this way:

DAY 1: energized, hungry, headaches, trial and error/learning process.
DAY 2: energized, headaches, full satisfied tummies, and hopeful.

So, here's what we ate:

Day 1

Breakfast:   Drink mix/shake (if going "all-out" with the Garden of Life "Green Perfect Food" & "Super Seed" products, DO NOT try blending it up into a fruit smoothie like I did.  Bad move.  And here's why: It's gross. Cold. And takes way too long to drink down in that form.  My recommendation: buy the pill formula instead of the powder).  Since Garrett was such a man and just mixed the powders with water, he also enjoyed a goat's milk yogurt for his breakfast. 

Lunch:  Roasted Chicken and Gravy (recipe:, steamed asparagus, and a romaine salad with shredded carrots, and Garrett's homemade oil & vinegar dressing.  : )
Above was my plate. Garrett had a more generous portion of meat. : )
Snack:  Organic celery & carrots with Raw Almond Butter (organic since it was on the "Dirty Dozen List of 2010"; you can check out the whole list at:

Dinner:  Leftover chicken and gravy, salad, and berries (blackberries & raspberries).  I also nibbled on a slice of Goat's Milk Cheddar Cheese.  A very sad dinner... which is probably why we were both so hungry before going to sleep!  Oh well, we learned our lesson because on Day 2, we had...


Breakfast: A big, stuffed, yummilicous omelet with grilled onions, red peppers, mushrooms, and avocado!  I had prepped the veggies the night before to save time in the morning... which I highly recommend! : )
The blob on top is avo sprinkled with chili powder.

Lunch:  Baked Salmon ( and a strawberry spinach salad.  We kept lunch on the lighter side, since we were both pretty full after our breakfast feast. 

Snack:  Good old celery & carrots with almond butter, and a mix of berries again.

Dinner:  Tonight we enjoyed our chicken and gravy leftovers along with a salad.  Thankfully, we are both still full and without headaches! : ) 

*You will notice we tend to eat heavier earlier in the day... this is because Garrett works afternoon-evenings, so his dinner is whatever I can pack into his mini-cooler for him to eat on his break at work.

Keep checking back in to see what's next on our Maker's Diet Phase One menu!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Maker's Diet

The first official day of the Maker's Diet is fast approaching.  Considering I read the book, The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin, MONTHS ago... it really is about time we kick this into gear.  But let me just mention... the preparation for such a drastic lifestyle change seems to be the most difficult.  To make your life a bit easier, I'll be posting our 40-day meal plan to give you a road map to follow in the event that you are inspired to trek the journey to health and wellness.  Aside from the menu plan, I'll be posting our progress... good and bad.  In the meantime, pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself.  A dear friend of mine started reading it and agreed, that book makes you want to eat so clean! Based on the testimonies of those who've been on the Maker's Diet, we have plenty to look forward to! One of the most appealing benefits is the renewed and increased levels of energy.  Looking forward to that, and to saying goodbye to migraines, as many of the testimonials have claimed such freedom. So, here's to a healthy future with yummy, clean, good-for-you food!

John 10:10 (NIV) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full"

treading in the unknown

Oh the world of blogging. I've stumbled onto quite a few blogs recently that have incited interest, passion, and wonder in me.  Do I aspire to do the same for my readers... that is, if I indeed capture your interest, will I invoke passion and wonder, or simply bore you off this page, never to return?  To be completely honest, this is my first attempt to creating one of my own, and I haven't the least bit of idea where to begin.  Although, I will assure you that this blog, whatever may come of it, will reveal a glimpse of who I am.  No show. No facade. Pure authenticity of a young married woman, by the grace of God, being all she can be... simply me.