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Delicious food + mindful eating = Healthier Me!

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I’ve got a confession: I’m addicted to food. BIG time. But I think it’s turning into a “healthier” addiction over the last few years. Of course I still love my potato chips and turn into something like the Cookie Monster whenever I open up a bag (I justify it by telling myself it’s from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s so it can’t be THAT bad right? HAH, I know I can be delusional sometimes).

But having my husband share the same desire to improve our eating habits really helps! Especially when we both have a crazy commute each day (1 hour minimum each way for the both of us- sometimes it turns into 1.5-2 hours if the traffic’s a nightmare). It’s just easier to have a plan for that night. Saves our brain energy for the road. And for our cats, although I do need to play with them more often!IMG_20151106_213728186.jpg

How are we making it “healthier” if I’m already off cane sugar, wheat, corn, soy, dairy, baker’s yeast, sesame and cranberries? There’s a lot more to consider! I went through TWO quarts of maple syrup in 2 months. They were on sale at Whole Foods during Midnight Madness. That’s my excuse. But seriously, that’s a lot of sugar right there! I love peanut butter with it – if you mix it up with a few raisins (okay a whole handful) and heat it up, it’s like warm cookie dough. HEAVENLY. But my portions weren’t… so heavenly. In fact I often complained about feeling nauseous. Now when I look back, I realize that one serving of peanut butter is only 2 Tablespoon NOT 1/2 cup. I’m not exaggerating. I know, it’s terrible. Add potato chips to the mix? Ehh.. So I’ve found “substitutes” and still allow myself guilty “pleasures” but within a reasonable amount which is apparently called “moderation”. That’s still a new concept to me (okay, it’s not so new but I’m grudgingly coming to accept it).

IMG_20160502_144034050_HDRThis means having more healthy snacks around. So we’ve been buying more fruit! And if we have extra vegetables such as kale, I’ll steam it and add a dash of salt then eat it. Applesauce is a favorite of mine. With a few raisins thrown in (yes, a more reasonable amount this time). I’ve come to love warm almond milk with a dash of cinnamon and a touch of honey or even broth (I use Seitanbacher’s Vegetarian Broth and Seasoning: it’s a powdery version of bouillon cubes and is vegan, gluten-free and et cetera). I actually find that it’s enough to sate my cravings.

To be honest, it might also have to do with my fitness level. I’ve upped it over the last year with more regular yoga practice (whether at home or taking classes), running (I’m training for a half marathon) and hiking. IMG_6082I guess you could say that by maintaining a more active lifestyle, I’ve come to realize that I’m not as bored… therefore I’m not craving as much. But when I DO crave food, I want the good stuff! I hate feeling nauseous so I’m becoming more mindful of what I put in my body. Especially if I know I have a run or a yoga class coming up. Have you ever done a twisted triangle pose about an hour after eating potato chips? I thought I was going to puke for the majority of that class. Not cool.

On that note, I’m going to finish my apple (yes, that’s the one in the picture above) and drink more water so I’m hydrated for my power yoga class tonight!

Food inspiration? YES!

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Food inspiration? YES!

I know I’ve been gone from this blog for awhile. It wasn’t intentional, but rather…. I felt a lack of inspiration to write about food. Until recently. I’ve been thinking about food in general… okay, I do that ALL the time. But more specifically, I thought about what about food excites me? EVERYTHING. So why haven’t I wrote anything? When analyzing myself, the answer was simple. I was too busy and too lazy. I was focused on getting licensed at my job, welcoming a new niece, getting ready for my best friend’s wedding and just enjoying life in general!!!

But know what? I’ve been trying SO many new recipes! I’ve come up with a few on my own but I will save that for another time. I wanted to share what I DID try and loved! I mean, I’ve had times where I’ll take a bite and I’ll groan with delight, declaring it’s my favorite. Over and over.

How’s that for somebody with 8 food allergies? A few years ago if you’ve told me that I would have had a culinary adventure while exploring food sans gluten/dairy/sugar/corn/soy/sesame/cranberry/baker’s yeast, I would have laughed at you. Seriously. Flat out laugh in your face. It sounds horrible but it was difficult for me to even imagine enjoying food. Well, guess what! I proved myself wrong.

Here’s a few recipes, or more accurately, links to recipes that I’ve fell in love with and strongly encourage you to try!

(I used actual peanut butter… I loved it!)

(I adapted the recipe, using quinoa rice pasta from Trader Joe’s- WIN!)

Garlic bread/rolls

I added freshly dried oregano and extra raw garlic to this recipe and it was HEAVENLY!

I found that recipe through Pinterest. I also found another one for zucchini lasagna at

Both vegan and paleo! My husband and I were amazed by this recipe!!! I loved layering up both eggplant and zucchini together. And I highly recommend using raw garlic when making the cashew cream. Yum!

Both vegan and paleo! My husband and I were amazed by this recipe!!! I loved layering up both eggplant and zucchini together. And I highly recommend using raw garlic when making the cashew cream. Yum!

But seriously… I found so many more recipes! But I won’t bore you with them all. I take that back. Bore is the wrong word. Overwhelm is more like it. I’m amazed by the options I have before me! What I’ve posted here’s not even… 0.000000001% of what I’ve found. I’ve tried so many more! Invented a few (they weren’t all successful) but basically I had FUN with food. I hope you did as well! Keep exploring and share what you’ve found that works for you!

Enjoy your next bite, otherwise what’s the point?

Now it’s time to go off backpacking and enjoy our new finds! Tip for backpacking- pack bags of quinoa with spices in it. All you have to do is boil water and throw it in, wait maybe 10-15 minutes and viola!


I’ll be back SOON and that’s a promise! Not just to you all, but to myself as well!


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Got a bedtime routine? I sure do! That includes making sure the kitchen is clean- not because I’m a clean freak or a germ-phone but because I’ve got two beautiful mischievous kittens. They love roaming the counters when we’re not around or when they THINK we’re not looking. Which is why we have a spray bottle handy. And an environmental friendly cleaner. Finding fur in our food is NOT fun. But that’s not our only routine! After we discovered a tea, we now enjoy sitting back on the couch, snuggling, with a cup of piping hot tea. What’s the tea? Yogi’s Bedtime tea. I’m in love with it!!!

Naturally I add a touch of honey to it- but really the tea itself has so much flavor. Includes valerian root extract, passionflower plant extract, licorice root, spearmint leaf, chamomile flower, skullcap leaf, cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, St. John’s wort leaf and flower, rose hip, raspberry leaf, lavender flower and stevia leaf. Sounds like a lot I know!

But one thing for sure- we’re relaxed every time we have it. Maybe it’s psychological but I’ve had plenty other teas and I don’t feel that way about them.

Just saying! Now I’m going to enjoy my tea before I call it a night. Sweet dreams everybody!


Sorry there’s no picture of the actual tea. I’m drinking it now.

My newest addiction

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Paleo food. Not because I’m following the trend, but because it FITS me! With one exception- sometimes it’s just too much meat but I love their recipes. Especially for sweets and sides. How come? NO SUGAR. No dairy. No gluten. So far that fits my allergies!

A very spicy, filling and absolutely aromatic dish. And see the word crockpot? Means it's EASY!!!

A very spicy, filling and absolutely aromatic dish. And see the word crockpot? Means it’s EASY!!!

I’m pretty much obsessed with this blog, I’m sure you may have heard of it: PaleOMG . Just check it out at  . I love how she writes and her recipes. I recently cooked her crockpot pulled pork chili. Very spicy but wow!!! Super easy and so Dru-able. There was her gingerbread brownies that left my families raving over Christmas. Her roasted red pepper and avocado soup with sausages topping? I drool about it just thinking about it.

My best friend Jenn also shared this Paleo recipe for tapioca rolls that’s SUPER easy to make. I made it twice already and I ate the second batch in two days. Actually I’m not sure if it was even 24 hours… It was so buttery and that’s thanks to olive oil. I made a SLIGHT adjustment but it truly was a treasure find by her!!!

I’m sharing this recipe for one incredibly selfish reason: so you’ll have it ready for me when I come over for dinner!


Tapioca Rolls

1 C. tapioca flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 C. warm water

1/3 c. olive oil

1.) Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add in the wet.

2.) I prefer a muffin or cupcake pan and I can make 8 rolls this way. Be sure it’s UNGREASED.

3.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

4.) Try to pace yourself. Repeat steps if you just ate it all and need to make some for others.


PS. The rolls tastes AWESOME with the pulled pork chili! If you turn it upside down, it’s almost hollow and you can scoop the chili into it and have a “bread” like bite!

Also today is January 2nd so here’s a belated Happy New Year!!! Here’s to a wonderful 2014!!! I anticipate an exciting year filled with joyous events as well mouth-watering meals!!!

Until the next time.

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Last week, I was all about fall flavors ESPECIALLY apples. I go ga-ga for apples, specifically Granny Smiths. There’s something about the tartness that I just love. So naturally I looked for recipes and noticed there were many dessert recipes. I thought to myself, why not switch it up and make a dinner dish out of it? So I pretty much… thought up flavors I love and just… bought a few things and threw it together. I have a ROUGH recipe so you can do what I did. So I can make this again since we loved it!

What is this recipe? Stuffed apples. Sausage stuffed apples. We used chicken sausage but you could use whatever you prefer. Pork sausage will taste AMAZING in this recipe!

Okay, here goes:


Prepared apples, the "bowls" for this dish

Prepared apples, the “bowls” for this dish

4 apples (I used Granny Smiths), cut in 1/2, scoop out insides and mince the insides into a separate bowl

1 stalk celery, minced

1 TBSP rosemary, chopped

1 TBSP oregano, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced (I used black garlic, a delicious find in a co-op in Burlington, Vermont!)

*1 package cooked sausage (I used Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage), minced

2 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) After the apples have been cut in halves and scooped out, place the skins (which will act as bowls for this recipe) and place in a greased glass plan. Also lightly spray olive oil over the apples.

3.) In a medium mixing bowl, place 1/2 of the minced apple insides**, sausage, celery, rosemary, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Combine well.

4.) Spoon mixture into apples. Try to stuff as much as possible. If any spills over into the glass pan, that’s okay! Once the apples have been filled, pour the rest of the mixture around the apples in the glass pan.

5.) Bake for 20-25 minutes until apples have soften.

6.) Serve with greens (we had kale on the side, yum! Balances out the sweetness, savory and tartness of the apple dish)

*If the sausages are raw, just cut them up in slices and cook until ready then mince as the recipe calls for.

**I used the rest of the apple insides to create an apple crisp type of dish. Yum!

Stuffed apples with chicken sausage

Stuffed apples with chicken sausage

Please feel free to mess around with this recipe! A recipe is never final it’s always up to a person’s taste. If I cooked this for my mother, I’ll omit the rosemary and add more thyme and maybe even sautéed shallots. She’s not a fan of rosemary, not the way I am.

One thing I do recommend: cook within the season. If there’s an abundance of apples, take advantage of it! I’m already looking forward to my dinner on Thursday night which will include butternut squash.

What’s your favorite fall recipe?

Homemade Lipton noodle soup

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I haven’t been feeling well for a few days. A bad cold which left me nauseous, light headed and stuffy. When I’m like this, all I want is broth. Or Lipton Noodle Soup. But alas! Lipton is full of gluten. So that’s out. I cannot remember the last time I had some time. But it still stands out as my ultimate comfort food for times when I’m sick. It’s easy to eat, easy on my stomach and easy to make.

Yesterday afternoon I told my husband that I wanted Lipton soup (for the second time in two days?). He wanted to help me out but also knew I couldn’t have Lipton. So I did my research aka google for recipes.

I found a fairly simple one but it still wasn’t “Dru-able”. So I decided to make my own.

I bought a box of Pacific organic vegetable broth, Thai kitchen thin rice noodle (thin is key here!) and after searching the shelves at Whole Foods, I also found Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning.

I filled a pan with water and let it reach boiling as I cut the rice noodle into pieces with a kitchen scissor (IN the bag otherwise dry pasta will fly everywhere). I filled another pan with the broth and added two heaping tablespoons of the vegetable broth and seasoning and whisked it up. The water was boiling so I shut it off and put the pasta in (this specific kind requires only hot water to cook in).

I drained the pasta and transferred it to the broth. I then let that reach a boil to allow the flavor infuse the pasta.

Now it was time for the taste test. I took my first taste. YES! Success! I felt as if I was eating Lipton noodle soup instead of a mock version! And it’s every bit as delicious and healthier for me! Not to mention super easy to make.

I call this a win, even though I still have a box of tissues with me.

    Homemade Lipton Noodle Soup

-32 oz. vegetable broth
-One package Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles (8.8 oz)
-2 heaping TBSP vegetable broth/seasoning

Cook pasta as directed. In another pot, heat up broth and add seasoning and whisk until smooth.

Drain pasta and transfer to broth.

Allow soup to reach boil before turning it off.

Cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself and enjoy!



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It’s taken me a long time to get around to this. Not because I didn’t want to write, but because I wasn’t sure of what to put in my 100th post. I cannot believe it’s already my 100th! In a way, I feel like I could have written more, but I’m not going to dwell on that. Instead I’m going to think about what I’ve learned over the years.

I started this blog over two years ago with a purpose to share my experience with others when it comes to food. I started off with three “culprits”. Gluten, corn and soy. I’ve made the adjustment to having a restriction free diet to a somewhat limited diet. Only it opened up a new world to me. I became excited about finding recipes, whether it’s my own or from others, that had food that made you forget it was “missing” anything. I’ve learned that gluten is an ingredient that I can easily go without. EASILY. I was fortunate to have a cousin pave the way for me. Olivia found out she was Celiac a year before I found out I was gluten intolerant, so I had a year of practicing with gluten-free recipes. I prided myself in finding food that she would enjoy! I was adamant that Olivia enjoyed her food as much as anybody else. So when I found out gluten also made me sick, I thought “okay”. Then there was corn and soy. That was a bit more difficult because they were in everything, so it seemed. But I made the adjustment.

Coffee is a mutual passion of ours, always looking to try local flavors: grown, roasted and brewed all at this place in Molokai, Hawaii!

Coffee is a mutual passion of ours, always looking to try local flavors: grown, roasted and brewed all at this place in Molokai, Hawaii!

Then I met my boyfriend Alexander (now husband) who easily adapted to my culinary lifestyle. I still thank God that his mother, Laura, trained him to eat the way he did! I remember the day she and I shared recipes (flaxseed bread, to be exact) BEFORE my first date with Alexander. Funny how life works out! He did his research and took me to this restaurant with gluten-free options, Wagamama in Harvard Square (we went to Harvard Museum of National History and Castle Island that day! It was an amazing day). When the waiter walked over, he immediately explained that I had food allergies and was shown dishes I could choose from. I knew there was something special about this guy.

Sure enough, we’ve been together ever since. Alexander was also the one who pushed me to find out more answers when I wasn’t feeling good. This lead to my next discovery: that I was allergic to other foods. Dairy, cane sugar, cranberry, sesame, and baker’s yeast. The first two made me cry. When I read the email that had the results from the allergy test I took, I remember sitting in my car with tears streaming down my face. I thought I was doomed to life without sweets. Without pizza. Without… anything worth eating.

Ecstatic at my rehearsal dinner, the night before I married my best friend at CAV (an incredible restaurant in Providence, RI)!

Ecstatic at my rehearsal dinner, the night before I married my best friend at CAV (an incredible restaurant in Providence, RI)!

How quickly did I forget? Eating without gluten proved to me that there was more to food than wheat. With my family’s encouragement, I made the adjustment, slowly but surely. I was engaged to Alexander at that point, so we had to go back to the caterer and modify our menu. They did this without complaint! We had an incredible spread for our wedding dinner! My sister-in-law Rae also baked the most scrumptious carrot cake for our wedding cake. Baked, yes you read that right. Instead of cane sugar, she used coconut sugar and date sugar. WHOA! People clamored for our wedding cake instead of the gluten-full cupcakes provided. Sure they tasted good according to several guests, but nothing like the carrot cake we had reserved for our gluten-free guests.

Thanks to our guests, our kitchen was also well stocked. I had almost everything I wanted to create whatever I wanted. Seriously. I’m extremely fortunate to have people in our lives that wanted the best for us. My now-husband also encouraged me to experiment with recipes or come up with new ones. I want to say we ate deliciously every night, but that wasn’t the case. We certainly ate WELL, but I had my share of mess ups. Dishes that came out bland, dishes that came out screaming for masking agents (such as mustard, Alexander’s favorite go-to cover-up). But we also had many, many, many and many meals that left us in awe.

My “diet” also led me to a willingness to try new recipes, from various sources. Although I have to say I have a few favorites: Whole Foods’ website, Epicurious, Elana’s Pantry (and ALL of her cookbooks! I’m now addicted to her Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry and Gluten-Free Cupcakes) and Whole Life Nutrition (go to While I have never met them, they’ve truly inspired me with their continuous search for better food.

10 years ago I ate whatever I wanted. And guess what? I ate like crap. I’m serious, I had pasta maybe three times a week, with a favorite being Kraft macaroni and cheese. Appalling, I know. Then 6 years ago, that disappeared from my diet. Hello gluten-free, corn-free and soy-free food! My choice in food improved drastically. I still loved pasta, but now it was rice pasta. It was easy for me to boil a pot of water and dump uncooked pasta in it. I baked a lot more. I started checking out farmer’s markets. Slowly, I added more fresh ingredients to my diet. I began to crave the sensation of chopping onions and other vegetables. I loved fresh food. But it was still about convenience at times, especially since I was in graduate school. Then a year ago… all that changed. I still enjoy rice pasta, but maybe once every three weeks? My favorite section of the store? Produce, by far! I love looking at the colors of the rainbow (I don’t mean Skittles). If I saw something I didn’t recognize, I became giddy at the prospect of bringing them home and figuring out what to do with them! Ask Alexander, and he’ll tell you that it’s a guaranteed way to make me smile. That’s one thing I LOVE about living where I live: a few minutes walk to Whole Foods. Close by where we live is also a store that sells only olive oil and vinegar. Can you say heaven?! We recently purchased blood orange olive oil. My mother in law treated herself to a peach-infused white balsamic vinegar.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, that since I’ve started this blog- and long before that- I have learned so much about food. Not only did I learn about edible delights, but I’ve also grown so much on my journey. I’ve become more accepting of circumstances while refusing to settle for less. Additionally, my health has improved drastically! Compared to a decade ago (I cannot believe I’m saying that), I feel younger and I can do so much more physically!

Delighting in a marble cupcake!

Delighting in a marble cupcake!

And know what’s awesome?

I’m eating a marble cupcake I baked an hour ago, courtesy of Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes!

Keep on delighting your taste buds and please share with your feedback!

I think the kitchen’s calling my name once again…