Things have been a little nuts over here. Between my last semester in nursing school, looking for BSN-DNP programs, applying for jobs, working weekends, and a recent car accident, I’m a little pressed for time. Yet while I desperately want to be healthy, finding a nutritional breakfast that doesn’t break my calorie bank and isn’t going to make me want to hurl can be difficult (high protein breakfasts are too heavy for me). Not only that, but I needed something that I could make (because I’m a self-confessing control freak and cooking is calming for me), and I needed something I could make and be done (i.e. store in the freezer and require little to no preparation for my semi-comatose-in-the-morning butt to handle without burning the house down). 

Enter the bagel.

I have loved bagels for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s my German heritage, maybe it’s because they’re just so daggum good. Regardless, I was bored of my lonely slice of spelt sourdough toast smeared with an oh-so-carefully measured portion of peanut butter, and I was craving bagels. Yep, my decision to make bagels came down to cravings. (My decision to make anything comes down to cravings. Maybe I should work on that.)

After a quick Google search, I found a lovely little recipe for New York style bagels, and I adapted it to fit my health and bulk baking needs. 

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bit-o-honey candy [natural remix]

bitohoney2

I would write some lengthy, cutesy intro to this recipe to charm your inner happy animal into poking its head out of its home this afternoon, but it is to my great disappointment to inform you that I have a quiz in my pharmacology class this evening, and being that I tend to put off things that seem far off until they’ve attained quite the opposite state of being far off, there is an alarming little stack off notes that are rather impatiently demanding my attention, as well as a clock that keeps stubbornly marching onward while I pretend to ignore its insolence, so it is best that I leave you with this pitifully unadorned and unintroduced recipe that I ventured upon yesterday evening for an early celebration of my father’s birthday.

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girl scouts gone healthy

Credit: Kimi Harris

I’ve never met Kimi Harris, a real food blogger, wife, and mother of three. Regardless, her writing and example have impacted my life in a significant way– after working through her e-course about two years ago, I better understand and see food, health, medicine, lifestyle choices, and even politics in a different light. Her e-course engendered my intense curiosity in health, which in turn led to a significant career decision to pursue nursing instead of music education (my intention since sixth grade). Since that course, I have loved reading her blog with all its helpful information and creative (and devilishly tasty) recipes. So it comes as no surprise that she has (once again) succeeded to make one of my all-time favorites in a healthful manner– thin mints, the Girl Scout cookie.

Even better, I’m making these for my dad’s birthday coming up. They are his favorite cookies too (he introduced me to them), but he has been trying to cut refined and artificial sugar out of his diet ever since he’s done some research (and patiently listened to me gab non-stop about the topic). I can’t wait to make and give these to him!!

Here’s the recipe. (I will probably make these with unbleached white flour, as he isn’t quite sold on the robust flavor of its whole, unrefined cousins. As for all the other ingredients, I will be using completely unrefined materials. Note that there are gluten and dairy free options as well.)

thankful planning

My favorite holiday is in exactly five days and twenty-three hours. This means I’m planning what dishes I’m going to bring to the family Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the family doesn’t follow my brother’s and my general guidelines for eating right now: soy-free, refined sugar-free, and grain-free (except on occasion: not more than once a week, and that serving must be traditionally prepared), so we’ll be bringing some of our own dishes to enjoy with the others.

Here’s a little round-up of what I’ll be cooking this weekend to prepare for the big day:

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weekly roundup

I’m sitting in front of my lovely, sneeze juice covered laptop. To my right is a dutiful roll of toilet paper. To my left is pile of used “tissues”, as I call them, or “snot rags” as my mother says endearingly. The moment this post is published will consist of me running to the tea kettle to make acv tea and heat up a cup of bone broth. Needless to say, I’m sick. And every drop of energy and vivacity I could call my own has left my germ-stricken body a ghost town.

How did I get sick? If I’m trying to be so healthy, how’d that happen?

There are a few culprits like caffeine, too little vegetables and meat, and far too little sleep. Oh, well. We live and learn.

As far as a real roundup goes, I didn’t do very much research this week, as I have an intimidating a&p exam coming up soon, and I’ve devoted the majority of my free time to it. However, here’s a drive-by idea:

Cooking/eating: lots of bone broth based soup for the ill (aka my brother and me)– mostly a really delicious and simple egg drop soup that provides plenty of protein and fat for a soothing and satisfying meal; coconut muffins (they’re addicting…in a good way); healthy bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches on said coconut muffins; my not-as-sweetened take on Sarah Pope’s Russian custard (a deliciously nourishing breakfast, snack, or dessert); my own recipe for a chai tea latte (recipes for some of these to come soon, I hope!).

Reading: To be honest, instead of making much progress in my books, I’ve been living vicariously through the tweets of those attending the annual Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions Conference (#wapfconf). One day I could go, one day…

Doing: I’m doing a lot of studying and talking, and I’m not doing a lot of sleeping. But no worries, this is about to change in 5…4…3…2…1.

 

 

 

(photo cred: andrew + carissa, who just so happen to have a lovely blog right over here.)

long time, no see

Sheesh. It’s been a while.

So why has this page been so lonely, you ask? I’ve been shamefully busy, burning that proverbial candle on both ends. And, needless to say, I’m working on that.

Since my last post, I’ve wanted to write about what I’ve been doing, reading, eating, cooking, etc., but I didn’t know how to go about it in an effective way. I want to post so much, but I can’t really justify spending that much time writing something that isn’t directly related to school.

This is my compromise. I’ll try to post something like a round-up of the 411 of my life from time to time.

I hope this inspires you all! I frequently post inspirational recipes and ideas on my pinterest account, so if you’re looking for more, I hope your curiosity will be further satiated there.🙂

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bone broth + a challenge

credit: Kimi Harris @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you can make at home. It’s also one of the cheapest and easiest. It’s a superfood that does it all:  it assuages an irritated throat, nurses the sick back to health, helps aid healing for arthritis and inflammation, eases childbirth, and wakes up the fatigued (1). It also provides proline, glycine, and gelatin, essential nutrients that the body needs for healthy cartilage, bones, joints, skin, muscles, and a healthy digestive track, immune system, and heart. (2) It also contains other nutrients and minerals–like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, and other trace minerals–  in a form that the body can easily absorb. (1,4) As if it didn’t do enough, it also improves liver function (3), heals the mucus lining of the small intestine, improves digestion, dampers allergies, heals nerves, provides electrolytes in an absorbable form (4), and smoothes out cellulite and wrinkles. (5) Why, yes, you did read that correctly.

Not only is it nutritionally sound, it, by nature, provides that wonderfully warm sense of healing and comfort– it really is food that soothes the soul and welcomes the weary traveler home.

And it’s frugal. The bones used to make it are cheap to buy, but most bones found on the table are usually thrown away with the other table scraps. Also, save your onion skins, carrot and celery peels, and you don’t have to use up your vegetables stores to make the broth. If you do those things–keeping the bones and vegetable scraps–you’ll make the broth for the cost of the water and herbs (and your time and effort, if you want to be precise). Since the cost of those things are so small, you’re pretty much making it for free, since you’re using things you would usually throw away.

 

It’s healthy, frugal, and easy. Bone broth is probably the most hands-off thing to make in existence. Once the ingredients have been combined, the soon-to-be broth sits out of the way, minding its own business for 12-24 hours. (If you get ugly foam rising to the top, however, you will have to strain that off, since those are unappetizing impurities. But even then, you only strain the foam only once an hour for maybe the first two hours– that’s only twice!)

 

So, go. Make yourself some broth. Make yourself at home.

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a garden special: roasted radishes & sweet potatoes

Seven years ago, my brother started the prize of our family’s back yard– our garden. It started out as a tomato garden; then it became a vegetable garden, and now, it’s a vegetable garden with some strawberry neighbors (my addition). For six of those seven years, it was almost exclusively taken care of by my faithful brother, but I joined him this year in selecting the plants and weeding out the obnoxious trespassers. It’s been fun, and today, we reaped the first of our harvest.

Radishes. I love ’em. However, I’ve only had them raw, and I recently learned that not all raw vegetables are so hot (no pun intended) (why?). In a nut shell, radishes contain goitrogens which, when eaten in large amounts, can cause iodine deficiency, and thus seriously interfere with the thyroid’s functions. Most of the potentially harmful substances seem to be released while chewing a raw crucifer (a vegetable that contains the thyroid-inhibiting materials), so, while I was plucking this intimidating harvest of radishes, I decided to roast them. It just sounds right, don’t you think?

Just to keep things interesting, though, I decided to roast the radishes with potatoes (in case the radishes turned out to be disgusting, we could always pick them out and eat the old and faithful potatoes). But, apparently, my family ran out of potatoes a while ago, and we just had sweet potatoes. So I went with it, cringing. (Sweet potatoes and radishes!? Really??)

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