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10 Super Bowl Snack Attack Recipes

If the rumors are true, this year’s Super Bowl commercials¬†will beat out last year’s (which shouldn’t be too hard), but¬†it’ll be tough to beat the excitement of last year’s game!


As one of the biggest food days of the year approaches, many of us are putting together our Super Bowl menus and deciding what our contribution will be to the ultimate game day potluck.

Why not try something new this year?¬†Something delicious…and¬†nourishing.

Check out these healthy, party-friendly recipes, and let me know if you try any out for yourself. Enjoy!

  1. Best Guacamole Ever (& a Video!) by Cooking Stoned
  2. Super Easy Kale Chips (Basic, Italian & Japanese versions!) by Elizabeth Rider
  3. Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas by Half Baked Harvest
  4. Better Than Store-bought Hummus by Inspired Taste
  5. Paleo Bang Bang Shrimp by Paleo Fondue
  6. Homemade Salsa¬†by Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  7. Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries by Nom Nom Paleo
  8. 4-Bean Chili by Crackers on the Couch
  9. Spicy Black Bean Hummus by FitSugar
  10. TexMex Dip by Gracious Pantry

Do you have any favorite healthy game day recipes to share?

Feel free to let everyone know in the comment section below!

This Is Community

Growing up, I preferred being alone more than being with other people.

It’s not because I didn’t like people; I was just super shy and introverted and felt safer and more comfortable in my own company than I did with others.

As I’ve mentioned before, studying abroad in Spain my junior year of college left an indelible mark on me, expanding my palate beyond what I ever thought possible. It also transformed my social tendency to prefer being alone.


The Hispanic culture is a very social one. I was surrounded by people all of the time and rarely had the opportunity to be by myself. When I returned from my semester abroad, instead of spending all of my weekday evenings hunkered down in the library reading, studying or writing, I began to value and enjoy staying up until 2:00 a.m. playing cards, baking, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends.

For the first time in my life, I wanted to be around people more than I wanted to be alone.

Graduating from college and leaving the academic world for the first time two years later was frightening for me. All of my identity was wrapped up in how well I performed as a student and whether I got good grades.

I had just started my first dating relationship, moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with someone I didn’t know, and was working two jobs. In the midst of all of those transitions, I felt alone, lonely, and sad. I lacked community.

My then-boyfriend (now husband!) and I went through some challenging times as individuals and as a couple as we sought to establish new connections and find community.

Over the past seven years, we have been blessed by the generous, loving, supportive community of family, friends, church members, and co-workers that surrounds us.

We have experienced the significance of what it means to be in community.

When a couple in our church has a baby or is going through a challenging time, and dozens of people sign up to bring them dinners for two months…

This is community.


When we sign up for a missions trip to Nicaragua as we are buying our first house and don’t know where the almost $3,000 we need for the trip will come from but end up being fully funded

This is community.

When a kitchen sink pipe starts leaking the day we move into our new house (which we had to get some loans to get in the first place), and our next door neighbor (who happens to be a plumber) offers us his industrial air blower to dry out the floor and replaces the pipe for half of what it would have cost elsewhere…

This is community.

When our bus gets stuck in the mud in an impoverished village in Nicaragua as we are on our way to a feeding center, and the villagers stop what they are doing to find rope to pull us out, dig their heels into the mud to push from behind, and bring whatever precious water they can find to help us clean ourselves up afterwards…

This is community.

When my husband has hand surgery and can’t drive his manual transmission car for a month, and four friends eagerly offer to lend us theirs…


This is community.

And days later, when a snowstorm comes through, and our next-door neighbors take it upon themselves to shovel out our walkway, sidewalk and driveway, as they tell us, “We know your husband can’t use his hand. We take care of you.”

This is community.

This is what happens when we are in community. We were meant to be in community.

So, what does this have to do with food?

As I’ve written before, we believe good health begins in the kitchen. It’s a place of connection, community, and comfort.

Unique communities around the world identified as “Blue Zones” are home to the world’s longest lived people, people living active, fulfilling lives well into their 90s and even 100s. Belonging to some kind of faith-based community, being in a social circle that supports healthy behaviors, and eating a plant-centric diet are three of the nine lessons learned from people who live to be 100+.

The next time you have an opportunity to spend time with friends, family or even a coworker, create community in the kitchen. Make a healthy, nourishing meal together. You don’t have to have a fancy kitchen or be an experienced chef to do this ‚Äď maybe a pot, a pan and a knife, or some of these inexpensive kitchen staples.

Pick out the menu, go grocery shopping, prepare the meal, and savor the food together. It will be more enjoyable than doing it by yourself. Do that enough times and maybe cooking will become something you get to do instead of something you have to do.

Looking for some healthy recipe inspirations? Check out my Pinterest board or some of the links below for ideas!

  • Kath Eats Real Food: Real food. Nothing processed here. Delicious and simple ingredients and recipes…check them out!
  • Girl Makes Food: Discover how delicious and easy healthy food can be!
  • Clean Food: Terry Walters cooks seasonally and prepares delicious, nourishing recipes. I have her cookbook, Clean Food, and we have made nearly a dozen delicious recipes from it!
  • Healthy Girl’s Kitchen: After struggling with diet obsessions for years, Wendy has lost and kept off over 40 pounds through a plant-based diet. Check out her awesome recipes!
  • The Gracious Pantry: Clean eating recipes for everyday living.
  • oh she glows: In addition to being meat and dairy-free, many of Angela’s recipes are free of gluten, soy, and processed foods…did I mention they are also delicious?

5 of My Favorite Sweet Treat Recipes!

One of my favorite books that really simplifies how to eat real food¬†is Michael Pollan’s¬†Food Rules. I love what he has to say about junk

Rule #45: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

Let’s be honest. If every time we wanted fries, baked goods or ice cream we had to cook them ourselves, we would eat a lot less of those foods. It would truly be a treat when we ate them instead of something we can easily do every day thanks to modern food manufacturing.

In college, I was given the nickname “Betty Crocker” by a group of my husband’s fraternity brothers and roommates because of all of the baked goods I made for them, including my specialties of cookies and cream brownies and half-inch thick chocolate chip cookies.

Now that I’m focused on nourishing my body (and my friends and family) with wholesome, minimally processed or refined foods, I take a different approach to baking.

As I’ve learned more about how to cook and bake in a healthier way, I’ve discovered that a variety of foods found in nature are sweet, minimally (if at all) processed AND delicious, including fruit, dates, raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce, and blackstrap molasses, to name a few. They are great substitutes to use in recipes that call for highly refined white sugar.


Like any sweet treat, these are meant to be enjoyed occasionally, not every day, because the more sugar we consume, the more our bodies will crave. In fact, many of us are literally addicted to it.  Two of the keys to curbing a sugar addiction are to minimize our sugar intake and make sure we are eating enough nutrient-rich whole food at regular intervals, so our bodies feel nutritionally satisfied.

Many of the sweet treat recipes I prepare will often include fiber, which helps the sugar in the food release more slowly into the bloodstream, giving your liver more time to metabolize the food.

I like to think of food choices on a continuum of “Good, Better, Best.”¬†All of these options are¬†better¬†choices than grabbing a box or bag of sweets with long lists of ingredients we can’t pronounce.¬†

Here are links to 5 of my favorite tried and true sweet treat recipes!


  1. Homemade Rolos¬†(oh she glows)¬†I LOVED Rolos growing up. I made these last night for dessert, and they were gone by the time we finished playing Catchphrase! I used¬†Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips because they only have 3 ingredients and are gluten, dairy, and soy free (you find them at Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and MOMs).¬†oh she glows is one of my absolute¬†favorite¬†blogs. Angela posts so many amazing and delicious recipes – from baked goods to side dishes and salads – and I’ve tried about a half dozen of them and will feature them in future posts.
  2. Chocolate Mint Truffles¬†(Mind Body Green) – I made these for multiple holiday parties this year, and they were full of minty goodness. They’re vegan and don’t contain any processed sugar, but no one will know!
  3. Peanut Butter Granola Bars¬†(The Family Vegan) – This recipe is from the¬†Forks Over Knives Cookbook, which my hubby gave me as a gift for Christmas. We have already made 10 delicious recipes from the book this year,¬†so¬†I can’t recommend it enough!
  4. Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Cookies (Fast Paleo) РThese are a great gluten and dairy-free alternative to chocolate chip cookies, and they are delicious! An alternative option is to use half raw honey and half maple syrup instead of using only honey. Sometimes I also do half peanut butter and half almond butter instead of only almond butter.  I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips in these as well, but you can skip the chips altogether, if you prefer, and add cranberries instead!
  5. Banana Bread Muffin Tops (oh she glows) – I just made these for the first time last week, and I really enjoyed them with walnuts and raisins!

Unfamiliar with some of the ingredients? Just do what we do, and buy them off of Amazon. They are usually cheaper there than anywhere else, and we get free 2-day shipping with our Amazon Prime Membership!

I would love to hear if you end up trying any of these recipes. Feel free to share them, and stay tuned for more!

Grocery Shopping? Get Fooducated!

In an ideal world, we would all eat organic, unrefined, unprocessed, pasture-raised, grass-fed, cage-free, real food all the time.

My husband, Bill, and I make it a priority to eat the highest quality of food we can afford as often as we can because when we do, we look and feel energized and healthy.

…but because we don’t live in an ideal world, we don’t always eat that way.

For many people, the idea of making that type of food transition is so overwhelming, they just give up.


Change is hard. I’ve heard the only person who likes change is a baby in a wet diaper. I’m sure my 5-month old nephew can attest to that!

What if in the midst of feeling confused and frustrated about which bread, cereal or pasta to buy or how to know if a food contains harmful trans fats, artificial colors or genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

…there was a FREE mobile app that would tell us in seconds what was really in our food AND help us make the healthiest choice all by using a simple grading system that we learned in school?

We would find out pretty quickly that, despite what we’ve been led to believe by food marketers, Special K Honey Nut Cereal Bars (with a grade of C) probably aren’t the best choice, BUT we would also find out WHY and have the option to pull up a list of healthier alternatives.

The app? Fooducate.

The main version is FREE for iPhone and Droid and has lots of super cool features.

fooducate scrnshot

You can buy up to other versions within the basic free app if you have food allergies or sensitivities
(gluten, milk, lactose, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, corn allergy, fish and shellfish) and want the app to notify you if foods you scan contain those off-limits ingredients.

Several of my friends have recently been diagnosed with gluten sensitivities and intolerances, so I’m sure they would love to have a tool like this! By the way, stay tuned for future posts about food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. They affect millions of people, and we often don’t even know it!

Sure, the app has its limitations, and buying foods that aren’t processed or refined is ideal, but overall, Fooducate is a helpful tool for making better food choices.

It might take you a little longer than usual to grocery shop the first few times you use it, but at least it’ll make it seem more like a game and less like a chore!

Here goes nothing!

I’ve always been perfectionistic…waiting until everything was¬†just right¬†before taking a risk, gathering as much information as possible to make sure I was making an informed decision, and consulting more people than necessary to reduce the likelihood I would “mess up” or make a mistake. I have lived most of my life terrified of failing.

If I read¬†just one more¬†book or took another class or watched one more video, then¬†maybe¬†I would be ready…maybe¬†then¬†I would be¬†enough.

What is enough anyway? That word has plagued me for as long as I can remember. Am I smart enough? Pretty enough? Happy enough? Healthy enough? Generous enough? Good enough? You get the point.

I’ve lived most of my life this way, taking calculated risks when I was¬†just about certain¬†I would benefit.¬†People call people like me “control freaks”…my dad says I just have a “high need for certainty.” I’ll take the latter.

You’re never going to please everyone.¬†I’m saying this to myself as much as I am to you. To some people, what you offer will be good enough, and to others, it won’t. The sooner you figure that out, the more content you’ll be.

So, in the spirit of “enough,”¬†I’ve decided to take a risk…to feel the fear and do it anyway because¬†I know what I am called to do with my life¬†and I don’t want to wait another minute to have an impact.

Food, nutrition and health have fascinated me since childhood. Whether I was learning how to bake from my mom or my neighbor Miss Muriel, working at a produce stand in high school, or reading about trans fats in college (surely a popular topic of discussion among 18 year olds!), I loved learning whatever I could about food and nutrition.

Even though I considered myself healthy, back in 2010, I was carrying around over 20 pounds of extra weight, taking Prilosec on a daily basis for my acid reflux (since age 19!), and struggling with other digestive, sinus and respiratory issues I had had since I was a kid.

I saw a dozen doctors, was treated with countless rounds of antibiotics and had six ear and sinus surgeries by high school.  I even developed some adult acne in my early 20s.

No one talked about the possibility that food could be related to my symptoms. No one. They just gave me another pill, sent me to another specialist, performed another surgery.

I’ve spent the past year learning more than I ever thought possible about food and nutrition as I’ve become a health coach. ¬†I’m still just scratching the surface, but¬†I’m excited, and I’m ready.

So, here I am, at the start of my healing, deciding that what I can offer is enough. 

My hope is that you will benefit from what I‚Äôve learned along my journey.¬†Eating real food ‚Äď food that our bodies were designed to eat ‚Äď can be delicious, enjoyable, affordable, nourishing and healing. We can¬†look¬†and¬†feel better, have¬†more energy,¬†and get sick less often.

It scares me¬†to think of starting this blog without having everything in order or knowing how often I’m even going to post on here, but guess what?¬†It’ll be good enough for some and not enough for others.

Here goes nothing!

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