Getting Back into it, 2018

Hiya folks!  It's been a while!  How did everyone's holidays go?  Are you off to a good start for 2018?!

I'm sad to say that my holidays felt excessive.  I had a wonderful time with friends and family and enjoyed every minute of that, but, unfortunately, I enjoyed too many goodies and drinks.  Come New Years, I was feeling crummy and kicking myself for not behaving better over the holidays.  So what did I do next?

I made a plan, asked for help, and made my health and my diet a priority!  I invested in what I think is one of the most valuable tools I've ever come across for a nutritarian.  It is a straightforward, 100% nutritarian meal prepping plan from Kristen at the Hello Nutritarian blog.  About a year ago she came out with her fabulous ebook, The Nutritarian Food Prep Power Plan.

When she published it a year ago I "oohed" and "awwed" at her pictures, but thought, "I don't think I need that.  I've been roughly nutritarian for over five years.  I should have this all down by now."  Well, folks, I did not.  This last year I let myself slip up more and more often, compromising my health and my goals for convenience and addictive foods (read: chocolate... all of the chocolate).  I based even my healthier meals off of more grains, forgetting that it NEEDS to be all about the veggies.

At the end of December, I swallowed my pride and admitted that this nutritarian needed a big refresher.  So, I let all most of my negative self talk go, bought the book, and allowed Kristen to do all of the thinking for me.

(Here is the link to Kristen's ebook.  Trust me, it's worth it!)

I'm now 17 days into the new year and I have been perfect nutritarian all but one of those days (we celebrated the Husband's birthday in Seattle early January), thanks to the Power Plan.  I'm currently on her second week of the meal plan (All Asian Fusion recipes, and they are amazing!).  I have been eating not one, but TWO salads daily.  My cravings for SAD foods are just a tiny whisper in my head instead of the obsessive shouting they were just a month ago.  I've lost 5 lbs, but feel physically lighter as I see most of what has been lost is fat.

Some other benefits I've been seeing is that I'm not constantly thinking of food.  First, because everything for the week is prepped and I just have to look at the menu and grab the right things out of my fridge.  And second, because I'm starting to be not only physically full after meals, but also nutritionally satisfied.  Often times I'm not even hungry at normal meal times and delay eating for an hour or two.  I'm finally getting in touch with true hunger.

I'm going to plan on updating you guys as I progress through the meal plans, but for now, here are a bunch of food pictures (mostly salads) that I've been eating.

Health and Happiness,



Red Kuri Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

It's fall, so you know, delicious fall soups are in order.  When I go grocery shopping, I have a general plan for my weekday meals.  A creamy fall squash soup was not on my mind at all until I saw this cute little organic red kuri squash.  At only $0.99 per pound (organic too!), this little squash was only $1.68 and makes an inexpensive starchy vegetable to base this lovely soup around.

I have been trying to move away from eating as many grains as I have been.  (Totally nothing wrong with whole grains!  But for me they often displace whole fruits and vegetables that pack more of a nutritional punch.) I feel like every fall my body says "all the rice and pasta!", so I have to consciously incorporate more starchy vegetables.  When I crack down and eat starchy vegetables like with sweet potatoes and this delicious red kuri squash, I am never disappointed.

Red Kuri Squash and Sweet Potato Soup 
Time: approx. 1 hour total
Servings: 4-6 servings
    1 small to medium red kuri squash
    1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (approximately 2 cups)
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups vegetable broth
    1-16 oz can lite coconut milk (*see note below)
    1 Tbsp mild curry powder (**see note below)

1.)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Wash the outside of the red kuri squash.  With a sharp chef's knife, carefully cut the quash in half.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy guts (these seeds can be saved and baked for a crunch snack).  Lay the squash halves face down on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the outside of the squash halves are easily pierced with a fork.  Remove, turn over, and allow to cool.

2.)  While the squash halves are cooling, saute the onion and garlic in a medium saucepan (or in a pressure cooker), adding small amounts of vegetable broth to keep from sticking to the pan.  Once fragrant and soft add in the sweet potato and remaining vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. (Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release.)

3.)  Once the squash is relatively cool, scoop out the soft flesh and discard the outer shell (compost!).  Add in the onion sweet potato soup, lite coconut milk, and curry powder.  Blend on medium-high until smooth and creamy.  Serve hot by itself or topped with some fresh cilantro or thai basil.
Amy's Notes:
*I used lite coconut milk in a can, but if you want to reduce your fat and calorie content further, you can use coconut milk from a carton, or any other low calorie unsweetened plant milk.

**For the curry powder, I used an African Curry blend that I had in my pantry, but any powdered curry will do.  If you'd like to use a curry paste, start with 1/2 tsp and add to taste as you are blending.  In case you're curious, my African Curry blend includes yellow mustard, curry leaves, fenugreek (holla at all the other breastfeeding mamas out there), onion, ginger, oriander, tumeric, cayenne, cumin, cilantro, garlic, green cardamom, black pepper, and cinnamon.

Health and Happiness,



Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup

As a Nutritarian, I rarely get sick with a common cold or any other illnesses.  On the rare occasion, my immune takes a hit if I've been traveling and not eating as well as I do at home, or if I'm under more stress than usual.  When that rare cold sneaks in, I take extra time to rest, stay hydrated, and keep my meals small and simple.

This is the soup I make myself if I feel a cold coming on because it's light, easily digestible, and full of nutrients.  You can make this on the stovetop in about 20 minutes, or use a pressure cooker and set for 2 minutes at high pressure. 

Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup
Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-2 servings
        2 cups vegetable broth (homemade, or no salt added store bought)
        2-6 garlic cloves, minced
        1/4 yellow onion, diced
        1 carrot, peeled and diced
        1 celery stalk, diced
        1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
        1 tsp no-salt seasoning
        1 tsp dried herbs of your choice (see note below)
    After cooking:
        1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
        1/2 cup frozen green peas
1.)  In a medium pot (or in a pressure cooker) add all of the ingredients except for the rice and green peas.
2.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  (Set to cook on low pressure for 2 minutes, with a quick release following).
3.)  Add in the brown rice and frozen green peas.  Stir and heat on low until the peas are warmed through.  Serve hot!

Amy's Notes:

For the dried herbs, I like to sprinkle in dried oregano and dried basil.  Some other good options are dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and dill.

Adding the cooked brown rice at the end is optional.  If you are having this soup when sick with a stomach bug, white rice in this case may sit better in the tummy.

Health and Happiness,