Lifestyle: Getting Accustomed to Making Your Meals At Home

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be labor-intensive. With planning and being efficient with shopping, you can save your mola and feel good. Here I am highlighting some how-tos on eating home-cooked meals, catered to those looking after blood sugar control, which in a way, relates to everyone. 

“If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Sketch out 7 days and plot 2-3 meals, based on real food, plus snacks (if needed). Intend to make surplus for the meals so you have leftovers. Looking at your calendar:

  • Do you have plans for meals out this week? Will you need to pack any meals for school/work/appointments? For the latter, can you make things or buy items that can easily be eaten as is, or cooked in the microwave?
  • How many people are you responsible for feeding? 
  • Do you have any long days or night errands to run? You will need something portable
  • Make a grocery list with meals in mind and use ingredients that can come from the freeezer or pantry, in the scenario your schedule changes. No one likes throwing money away. 

A French man once said he walked into a North American grocery store and couldn’t find any food.

What? Well, if you think about and roam the aisles and food labels enough, you will find that this certain man is onto something. A majority of our packaged food is not real food. Just this morning I rant to the grocery and reviewed a dozen products and set them right back down because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients listed on them such as GMO beets (sugar), canola oil (very inflammatory), food colorings, chemicals, HFCS, more sugar, MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA/BHT, nitrates, sulfates, the list goes on. Yet, my point is, know what is good for you and have an idea of where to get it.

Put together a grocery list before you head out. Ideally capture it on your phone. We often leave home without a list, but rarely forget our phone. Review your list before you go, and make sure the items you plan to buy, reflect the volume of foods you want on your plate. For example, if you intend to have half a plate of vegetables, make sure you buy enough vegetables. Same for protein, make sure your cart is about 25-30% of animal protein and 25-30% of fruit, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.

Additional ways to save and simplifiy:

  • Look at ads, use coupon apps available on smartphones
  • Buy ingredients, not products
  • By produce in season, when cheapest
  • Grow your own vegetables/herbs
  • Never overeat and see how the quality of food, not volume, makes you feel satisfied (intuitive eating)
  • Cook in bulk and freeze portions for leftovers
  • Buy in bulk, and choose ingredients that can used in multiple dishes
  • Buy whole, canned wild fish or frozen fish
  • Buy fruits and vegetables frozen (just as healthy, if not more healthy)
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow-cook it to tenderize it.
  • Don’t major in minor things. Focus on buying real food and don’t stress if you can’t get organic or grass-fed
  • Avoid foods void in nutrition, which can simply just increase appetite. For example, gluten-containing grains, sugar, processed food, granola bars
  • Cut out the extras – bottled water, mints, etc
  • Keep food simple, yet, have variety so your palate doesn’t get bored.

Food prep can be therapeutic; especially when you look at it as a time to unwind and forget about stressors. We need to unplug, to recharge. Set aside time, one time a week, to prep meals so when you come rushing in the door, or out, you have something nutritious to quickly reheat or consume within a short window of time.

Meal Ideas:

  • Frittata – these are great, and can be made in advance, sliced and heated or chilled for a well-rounded breakfast or lunch. The ingredients do not need to be elaborate. Choose some produce, lean meat and spices. 
  • Slow-cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup
  • Salad with Tuna – as simple as it sounds. When I was on the road a lot with work, I would run to the grocery before Monday AM, pick up a bag of lettuce greens, canned tuna, eggs (then hard boil them) and some other type of produce, and throw it all together for 3 lunches or so a week. 
  • Lettuce Tacos – buy some lean meat, mix some spices and throw it over some vegetables or romaine leaves. Leftover meat is great with eggs too. 
  • Grilled Fish and Frozen Veg with spices – buy some frozen fish in bulk, pull out however many filets you need in the morning, thaw in the refrigerator, and cook in a skillet with some lemon, butter and pepper and pair with a vegetable. 
  • No-bread Sandwiches
  • Snack options, including portable food ideas
  • Scrambled Eggs and Ham – simple, cheap and satisfying. 
  • Banana Pancakes – take 2 eggs and one small banana, mash, and make 2 pancakes. 

Real change is not easy, but it is worth it.

Cheers to you and good health,


Recipe/Meal Idea: Christmas Brunch

I love cooking and my family loves it too. This year, I am in charge on brunch Christmas morning. What do I have up my sleeve? A meal that is savory, protein and nutrient-rich and satisfying. Happy Holidays!

Sun Dried Tomato, Mushroom, Spinach Basil Crustless Quiche 


  • 12 organic eggs (pasture-raised preferred)
  • 2 small cartons of cage free egg whites (I do this to optimize the macro-nutrient ratio of the meal)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced mushroom
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 bushel of fresh basil
  • 1 package of sundried tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • coconut oil


Grease a Pyrex 9×13 (size of cake pan) with coconut oil. I do this by using a sandwich bag as a “glove” and scooping the oil out of the jar.

Preheat oven at 375F.

Layer the sliced mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and basil in the pan.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, egg whites, baking soda, salt and pepper and vegetable stock.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until there is no liquid in the center. I usually test the “doneness” by poking a toothpick in the middle.

*If you want the quiche to be more moist, I recommend adding 1/4-1/2 cup of organic heavy cream and/or some shredded cheese.

BaconUS Wellness Meats has awesome sugar free bacon. If you can’t get their bacon in time, I recommend pasture-raised pork bacon and/or bacon that is sulfite free and organic.

Gluten free Oatmeal – A side of oatmeal helps round out this meal, especially to those who are not used to eating a more strict paleo diet. Gluten free oats are less inflammatory than those cross-contaminated with wheat, and I prefer to boil the oats for a creamier texture. Mix in warm spices and a little sea salt.


  • Coffee with cinnamon (my blood sugar loves this; I add about 1/2-1 tsp of cinnamon to each cup)
  • Moscato
  • Tea

Recipe: Sweet Potato & Asparagus Eggbake

Since I had Declan I have embraced the challenge of eating a healthy, protein-rich breakfast while trying to mend a waking, hungry baby. What’s my solution? I make some sort of vegetable-based eggbake on the weekend so I am ready to slice, reheat and eat each weekday.

Use this recipe for inspiration – I change up the ingredients each time.












  • 12 organic eggs (pasture-raised preferred)
  • 1 small carton of cage free egg whites (I do this to optimize the macro-nutrient ratio of the meal)
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced in cylinders
  • 1 bushel of asparagus, chopped in 2 inch pieces (trim the ends)
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 bushel of fresh parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • coconut oil**






















Grease a Pyrex 9×13 (size of cake pan) with coconut oil. I do this by using a sandwich bag as a “glove” and scooping the oil out of the jar.

Preheat oven at 375F.

Layer the sliced sweet potato in the pan, then top the sweet potato w/ chopped asparagus, mushrooms and then spinach.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, egg whites, baking soda, salt and pepper, fresh parsley and vegetable stock.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until there is no liquid in the center. I usually test the “doneness” by poking a toothpick in the middle.

*If you want it to be more moist, I recommend adding 1/4-1/2 cup of organic heavy cream and/or some shredded cheddar cheese.

**Science-based information on the perks of coconut oil.

Costco Inspired – Vineyard Chicken Salad

Strolling through Costco I was happy to find a chicken salad that wasn’t loaded with canola oil or soybean oil-filled mayo, and since they were sampling the product, I read the ingredients (looked pretty clean; not perfect) and really liked what I was tasting. This is indeed a great summer entree. I can have it on some lettuce greens, or make a romaine lettuce sandwich out of it. Best of all, my husband can’t seem to get enough. Win-win.


  • 2 free-range, organic chicken breast, boiled
  • 4-6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 16 grapes, red
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 4 T of Greek yogurt
  • 1 T raw honey
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Boil the chicken for 15 minutes, or until there is no pink in the middle. Strain and allow to cool. Once cool. shred chicken and mix in teh ingredients. Allow to chill in the refrigerator up to 30-45 minutes and enjoy.

Snack Idea – Soaked Chia Seeds

Oh the many ways to enjoy this nutritious food. Have you ever tried them? If so, how?

Lately, I have been soaking 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 1/3-1/2 cup of almond milk, coconut milk or water (certainly make more if you want this to be your sole snack or meal, as I usually use it as a partial snack or condiment). Combine the seeds and liquid of choice and stir for a minute, 5 minutes later stir again and let soak overnight. Come morning I will then mix in either some cinnamon, maybe some sliced strawberries or banana or both and/or some protein powder.

I have even put soaked chia seeds over my banana pancakes (2 eggs, 1/2 banana, mashed and cooked into 2 pancakes). All so satisfying.

If you can’t be bothered to make soaked chia seeds, they sell Chia Pods at some grocery stores. Give them a whirl.


Check out these chia seed recipes too. 

What I’ve Eaten So Far Today – 7/22/13 – 36 wks Pregnant

One thing about logging my food during pregnancy is that I need to plan a bit more on what I am going to eat. Just with the slightest increase in hunger, I find myself more likely to reach and crave foods that I don’t usually snack on, or build in my meals. Indeed, I have added an AM snack on many days since being pregnant. Having a plan of what to eat is one of the things that has helped me gain (thus far!!) a healthy amount of weight. And tracking a food log has helped me to ensure I am getting plenty of variety, color and flavor in my meals.

7:30AM – Breakfast – Blood Sugar 81 mg/dl


2 over easy eggs, cooked in Kerrygold butter, 1 slice of back bacon and grilled zucchini and onion


Supplements: probiotics, fish oil, catalyn GF, vitamin D (I source these from Standard Process)

Disclaimer: some people may shy away from undercooked eggs when pregnant. This is a choice I knowingly make, having confidence in the high quality eggs used. 

10:30AM – Snack – Blood Sugar 79 mg/dl

1 mini kind bar, 32 ounces of filtered water

By this time, heading into lunch, I had walked about 3 miles.

Lunch – 12:30PM – Blood Sugar 89mg/dl

Romaine (organic) lettuce sandwich

– Columbus brand Herb Roasted Turkey

cheddar cheese and mustard.

Carrots and 1 spoonful of nut butter (not shown)

Soaked chia seeds (overnight in almond milk) with 2 sliced large organic strawberries

Herbal passion tea, chilled

Photo1 (1)3PM – Blood Sugar – 112 mg/dl – corrected to be in the 80s.

3:30PM – SnackGo Raw Chocolate square (raw cacao contains the highest level of anti-oxidants, including magnesium and chromium, of any whole food)

5:30PM – Dinner – 110mg/dl

Homemade Chicken Salad

– organic, free range chicken

– Greek yogurt

– honey

– apple cider vinegar

– almond slivers

– organic raisins

– salt/pepper

1 small orange

Butter lettuce

Extra virgin olive oil


Overall, it’s a little hard to eat what I want in the latter part of the day this late in pregnancy. I am very insulin resistant and have to choose my carbs wisely. The resistance is starting to tapper down, and I likely over did it on carbs at dinner. At my 7:30PM check I was 141 mg/dl and I will eat something again before bed.



If you have never tried a green smoothie, this recipe will be a good one to start with. Enjoy the flavor and more so, enjoy the health benefits.

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

  • 2 large handfuls spinach leaves (2-3 cups)
  • 3-4 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2-1/3 peeled banana, you can even use frozen to make the drink even colder (use less or more, depending on your carb needs)
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds or soaked chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup purified water, almond milk, coconut water or coconut milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop Raw Protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder


Wash all produce thoroughly and prepare it for the blender. Blend all ingredients until smooth; 30-60 seconds depending on your blender. Add more liquid if needed to blend. Best if served immediately (nutritionally and for taste).

Tip: The ingredient measurements in green smoothies are flexible, add more or less of any ingredients to your taste.

Similar articles:

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Heavy Metal Detox Juice (Good for PCOS clients or hypothyroid clients)

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Also, check out this guide to continue building the perfect green drink.

Taco Time

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on pre-made taco seasoning? If you have, you are aware of the unnecessary fillers such as corn starch and wheat. And these are the ingredients we can pronounce! My point being, is instead of buying a taco seasoning packet, simply use your spice rack for the Mexican dinner. This is what I do for my family.

Clean Eating Tacos:

  • 1 pound of grassfed beef (or very lean ground beef)
  • Optional – 1/2 onion and/or bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh oregano (dried if frsh isn’t handy) 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper


Heat ground meat (and onion or some fresh diced bell pepper) on high.  Cook, stirring frequently to break up the meat, until fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
Add spices to beef.  If the meat appears dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water. Stir to fully incorporate.
Turn temperature down to medium and cook another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. I often stir in some salsa at the very end to add more moisture and flavor.


We usually eat our tacos w romaine lettuce leaves and homemade guacamole  Oh! And I can’t forget to mention, save the leftovers for a killer taco omelette in the morning.


Springtime Chicken Salad Recipe

Tis the season of great produce. Everything is sprouting up and more and more fruits and vegetables are approaching their peak season. It’s time to put aside the slow-cooker and pull out new recipes such as this Springtime Chicken Salad. Enjoy!


  • 3 chicken breast, organic, free range
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, organic
  • 4 mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup halved green grapes, organic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OJ


Marinate the chicken breast in orange juice over night.

The following day, or 4-6 hours later, boil chicken on medium for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain chicken and set aside to cool.

While chicken chills, chop the celery, mandarin oranges, and grapes. MIx all ingredients together, including almonds. Shred chicken by hand or with forks and add to the mix. Lastly, add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add more or less to your preference. If you intend to keep the chicken salad over a few days, have some mayonnaise on the side to add later, to prevent it from tasting dry.

Enjoy this over a bed of greens or just plain. Perfect for a picnic, wedding shower, packed lunch, etc.

Cheers to you and good health,


5 Ways to Build a Better Salad

Salads can get boring and if we do not rotate our ingredients, we can ambush the success of enjoying such healthy nutrients. If you are guilty, like me, I used to buy the exact same ingredients, week after week. Not only did this put me at risk for nutritional gaps, but my taste-buds got bored with the same flavors, textures and color. Overall, a good salad should include protein, fat and some carbohydrate and a minimum of 4-5 ingredients. Here are 5 ways to build a better salad.

Shrimp Salad

  • 5 large shrimp, or 3/4 cup of shrimp (cooked then chilled), I prefer using my grill pan and cooking the shrimp with some spice and lemon juice
  • Cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, green onion
  • Seasonings/dressing: combine cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with a bed of organic greens.

Tuna Caper Salad

  • 6 ounce can of all white tuna in water or pure olive oil (I will admit it’s hard to find tuna in 100% olive oil; read labels and stay away from fillers like soy)
  • Chopped celery and diced tomato
  • Seasonings/dressing: 1 tablespoon of capers (undrained), chopped parsley  dijon mustard, salt and pepper with a bed of organic greens.

Asian Salad

  • 4 ounce chicken breasts, skin on, organic, free-range
  • 1 cups Chinese cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • minced scallion
  • 1/8 cup sliced almonds
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • Seasoning/dressing: 1/2 TBS extra olive oil, 1/2 TBS tamari sauce, 1/8 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 TBS honey, pinch red pepper flakes

Snag and Kraut Salad

  • 1-2 cooked sausages (as I learned in Australia “snags” is jargon for sausages). Make sure to read the ingredient list on sausage and only buy ones that don’t have chemical nor high fructose corn syrup. I personally love snags sourced from the farmer’s market, US Wellness Meats or when in a pinch Trader Joe’s has a clean Chicken Italian Sausage. Lastly, if you are in the Chicago area, I have recently discovered an awesome butcher in Lincoln Park, Gepperth’s Meat Market on Halstead St. 
  • Chopped romaine lettuce, organic
  • 1-2 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 2-3 TBS of fresh sauerkraut (the Green City Market has the best, or make your own)
  • Dressings/seasonings: I either use some mustard or use a little salsa to add some texture/liquid to my salad. The sauerkraut and sausage provide a lot of flavor without a dressing too.  

Homemade Chipotle

  • Slow roast 1-2 pounds of pork tenderloin, overnight with onions and spices (I like chili spices with my pork)
  • Fresh organic salad greens
  • Avocado, 1 small
  • Dressings/seasonings: salsa verde and freshly squeezed lime

Overall don’t limit yourself to ingredients traditionally in a salad. Throw anything in there – and it doesn’t have to be only vegetables. I love using fresh berries or diced apple in my salads. If I don’t have anything raw on hand, I will also put in some dried fruit. Load on herbs too. Such beautiful flavor adding a nice punch of antioxidants.

Cheers to you and good health,