Thursday, February 22, 2018

Chia Seed Pudding

I would love to take credit for some of this but I can't.  I can only take credit on trying things, fine tuning it to my liking and then re-sharing it with all of you.

This treat was inspired by BRIGID TITGEMEIER, MS, RDN, LD.  You can learn more about her at

I participated in a free 4 week reset she hosted called the Healthyselfreset and during the 4 weeks she provided meal plans that were in compliance with the elimination program for the most part.   Although I couldn't participate in the program as strict as I would have liked to, I did participate in many of the meals she provided. 

This was one of my favorites for breakfast or a refreshing snack, packed with fat!  32grams per serving.


for the pudding
1 can full fat coconut cream/milk
2 Tbsp collagen protein powder
2 cups unsweetened nut milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping
1 cup frozen berries (I used blackberries I had frozen fresh from the summer)
little splash of water
1/4 teas orange zest
1/4 teas vanilla extract
arrow root if needed

(Brigid's recipe has for topping, 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup unsweentened nut milk and 1/2 water. Blend in blender until smooth)

In a medium size bowl, add the chia seeds, coconut cream/milk, collagen, nut milk and vanilla extract.  Whisk together well and place bowl in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  For best results let it sit overnight.  Also be sure to whisk well. The collagen tends to get clumpy when first wet.

For the topping, place berries in small sauce pan and begin to heat on med/low  until berries are thawed and bubbling, add water if needed and a splash of vanilla extract, let simmer to thicken.  If needed add a teas of arrow root to thicken.  Add orange zest and mix well.  Let cool completely.

Put equal amounts of pudding into mason jars and top with berries.  Enjoy immediately or over the next couple days.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Elimination Diet Day 1

Back in September I started a new and different journey of health and nutrition.  After two years of being on a waiting list, I finally had an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Department.  If you are not familiar with Functional Medicine, look it up and find a doctor in your area that practices this way.  It's a life changer.

I wanted to do video blogs to track my progress.  It pretty much tells the story.  In the beginning I did them more often to tell hold me accountable.  But then habits became part of my lifestyle so the blogs are few and far between now.  Everyday is a struggle and I find the slope a slippery one that you can easily slide out of control if you are not careful.  Some days I win, some days the world wins.  But overall I'm on the right path, feeling better, looking better and ultimately preventing history from repeating itself.  (my mother)

If you want to follow my journey, this is the place.  This is the beginning.  In between the video blogs I'll post recipes and ideas I've learned along the way that have helped me.  I hope my story helps in whatever path you are on in life.  If it inspires you or just gives you a place of reference for a good recipe then I'm doing what I set out to do.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Almond Yogurt, where have you been my whole life

During my most recent health journey, I've met some pretty awesome people. One of them is Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LN
If you want to learn ore about Brigid you can check her out on the website

You can also listen to Brigid on the Refined Savage Podcast where she talks about Funtional Medicine, the food we eat and  her role as a nutritionist.  It's a good one!

One of the things Brigid is doing is the Healthy Self Reset challenge.  She teamed up with Julie Foucher and Julies husband to put together a challenge they offer free to everyone.  It includes weekly meal plans, workouts and lifestyle habits to those participating.  And it FREE for 28 days.  So of course...I'm doing it.  It started today!! I'm doing it mostly to gain the knowledge and what is offered is well within compliance of the elimination program I've been following with the clinic.  (Blogs will be coming soon about this). 

Go check out the challenge!!

This blog is about is YOGURT.  I've been without it for a long time because dairy is one of those foods that does not agree with me.  And not just a lactose, gas, bloating thing.  It's a source and cause of internal inflammation.  I've eliminated all sources of dairy from my diet and with this challenge I've been introduced to Almond Milk Yogurt.  I've heard of it, but avoided it simply because of price and convenience.  It's not easy to find and it's expensive.  

One of the meals on the Healthy Self Reset Challenge is a yogurt parfait so I accepted the cost and ventured out to rocky river to find it at Whole Foods.  Lucky me it was on sale!!

What I can tell you is what I bought is all they had, the vanilla flavor.  Ideally we want the unsweetened plan yogurt.  This one has cane sugar in it and about 14g.  For me this is way more sugar then I should have.  

I forgot how good yogurt is.

Healthy Self Reset 

 ½ cup almond yogurt, unsweetened
 1 tbsp almond butter, unsweetened 
1 tbsp cacao nibs
 1 tbsp shredded coconut, unsweetened 
½ cup pomegranate seeds

 INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Pour almond yogurt into a small bowl or mason jar. 2. Top with almond butter, cacao nibs, shredded coconut and pomegranate seeds.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Taco Tuesday with the Elimination Diet! Ground Turkey and Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Well I'm at it again, this time with so much exciting stuff to share.  Watch for post in the near future of my journey with the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Department, the Elimination Diet, being 50 and beating chronic pain, inflammation and overall bad health.  I'm just in the beginning of my journey so I don't want to tell you too much yet.  What I can tell you is I feel the best I've felt in years, the pain in my neck, back and knee is the least it's ever been, I've dropped 12 pounds, I sleep better, think better and have the most energy I've ever had in my life.

But enough with that, here's today's recipe and blog about my Taco Tuesday and getting back to being compliant after the holidays.

Ground Turkey and Cauliflower Rice Bowl. 

Here are the two websites that were inspiration for my own creation.

What I like about this meal is you can make it, stay compliant and feed your family.  Or in my case my husband.  Just use cheese, taco shells and other taco toppings they like.  Add some corn chips and you've got a taco meal.

I took a head of cauliflower and cut the tops off into small pieces.  They don't have to be real small.  I leave most the the pieces the size they are when I cut them off.  Placed them in glass casserole, covered with plastic wrap and microwave it about 4 minutes.  This gets them steamed, but not so soft they mush.  Once cooled a bit, rice it in a food processor or mash with fork the best you can into rice like pieces.

Start your ground turkey.  I used one pound.  Heat pan, add 1 Tbs EV olive oil to hot pan.  Add turkey and chop up.   Cook in skillet until halfway cooked, add one chopped onion.  (any yellow sweet onion will do)  Continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed and turkey is cooked and onion is translucent. (clear and soft)

Add the riced cauliflower and mix everything up.

Add about 2-3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning The website above has what I made, or you can use a packet of taco seasoning.  Just watch the salt content of most pre-made seasonings.  I've learned making my own is super easy and I control the sodium that way.   Add salt and pepper to taste and if needed about 1/4 cup water to allow for the spice to blend into everything. Let it cook just a couple minutes until the liquid is gone.

It should resemble taco meat.  With the cauliflower it reminds me of ground beef with beans mixed in.  Regardless of the look, it taste just like tacos with a rice/bean texture.  I topped it off with fresh salsa.  If I wasn't so lazy I would have made some fresh guacamole.

Be creative with the add on's.  This was a super easy, super quick delicious meal. 

You'll need:

1 head of cauliflower
1 lb of ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion
olive oil
Taco Seasoning (homemade or packaged)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Toppings of your choice, cheese, guac, lettuce, chips, black olives, what ever you fancy! Dress it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Spinach

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Spinach

The link above is the inspiration but I really just threw similar stuff together and it was delicious.

The first thing with the recipe was, too much effort in adding spices and sauce.  I found a good marina sauce that has no added sugar. (Carrabbiata Spicy Marinara)  It was more expensive then your average sauce, but worth it in taste and it was in compliance with the elimination diet program.

I  baked the spaghetti squash first.  I cut the squash into rings which made more complete strands, which gives it a little more "real" noodle effect.

I boiled the chicken because that was faster and less messy then grilling or baking.  I also used the chicken tenderloins rather then breasts.

While those cooked, I chopped an onion and some garlic.  Next added some olive oil to a hot pan and sauteed the onion first, then added the dried mushrooms for a few minutes.  Added a bunch of spinach with the garlic and sauteed until the spinach was wilted.  (1-2 minutes)  Turned off the heat and added the jar of sauce. 

Bring it all together in a casserole.  Cover and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven.   I baked it for a good hour or more.  I also would recommend taking the lid off for the last 30 minutes to help the liquid evaporate.  Let the sides get brown and bubbly.

This is a great meal for easy travel and reheating.

Watch soon for my blogs about the Elimination Diet!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Breakfast

This is a great chilly morning porridge.  It makes for a great alternative to oatmeal and has just enough sweetness you could serve as a dessert!!

I will be making this again, trying different flavors such as nutmeg, or adding bananas. (when I can eat bananas again).

The honey was a nice addition of sweetness.  Apples were cooked perfect.  I cooked almost exactly 25 minutes after it boiled.  Super low heat for simmer and I kept the lid closed until the time was done.  

Here is the inspiration


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • large apples
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • Honey

Serving Size
Amount Per ServingAs Served
Calories 279kcalCalories from fat 27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Sodium 12mg1%
Carbohydrate 60g20%
Dietary Fiber 10g40%
Sugars 23g
Protein 7g
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie n

Monday, October 23, 2017

Blueberry Bliss Balls (BLUE BALLS)

Blueberry Bliss Balls  (or blue balls)

Here's the inspiration  I used;

I made two batches. Both with frozen blueberries.  I am not recommending this as the flavor of true blueberry cannot really be tasted.  I am going to make another batch with fresh blueberry and am banking on improved flavor.

The first batch I followed the recipe and it was too mushy.  I had to add more coconut as I was rolling them to keep them from being a sticky mushy mess.

The second batch I added more coconut flour and cashew butter.  It improved texture in the food processor and was easier to form balls.  I also added a bit of vanilla extract to improve the flavor. 

I'm finding them to still be lacking in flavor.  Jessica tried them today and suggested adding a pinch of nutmeg.  I'm going to try it next batch.   If it works and I like it, I'll update the blog.

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries  (I used frozen, thawed, but am not recommending)
  • ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter (I buy fresh from the farm market)
  • optional: coconut flour (roughly 2 tablespoons)

I added a splash of pure vanilla extract and used the coconut flour in both batches.


  1. Combine the fresh blueberries, shredded coconut, and cashew butter in a food processor and blend until well combined
  2. If the blueberries used are ripe and very juicy, you will likely need to add roughly 2 tablespoons of coconut flour to make the balls moldable
  3. Scoop out the mixture and roll into balls. The mixture will be slightly wet, yet still able to hold a ball shape
  4. Refrigerate for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. If desired, roll the balls into more shredded coconut after they've chilled a few minutes
  5. Store in the refrigerator