Tag: rachel bryant

Happy Blogiversary To RNK! Top 10 Posts of the Year & Exciting Updates for 2015

I can’t believe it! It’s been exactly one year since I started this blog. 140 posts later, that means…


When I clicked “Publish” for the first time on January 14, 2014, I had no expectations of how Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen would develop or grow. Here’s how it began:

I’ve started this blog to share what I’ve learned.  I love sharing how eating (and cooking!) wholesome, nourishing, real food can be affordable, fun, and doable. We can look and feel better and be healthier by making some simple changes.

I take a holistic approach and consider how everything we do is connected, so most of the posts on here will be about food – new recipes we’ve tried, staples in our pantry, kitchen gadgets we love, books and movies that are inspiring us, and helpful tips, tricks and knowledge we’ve learned along the way.

Other posts will be about life beyond food, about lessons I’ve been privileged to learn that have shaped the way I see the world and experience life. I will be honest and vulnerable. 


I jumped in without much of a plan and very little knowledge about how to do this blogging thing. (It took me two hours to figure out how to get the little Pinterest icon to show up on the side bar!)

I knew that I liked to write and had a desire and passion to share what I’ve learned along my health and food journey.

I’ve personally experienced the benefits of upgrading my diet (adding in the good stuff!) to nourish my body and transform my life.

I’ve remained open to listening to my body and what it is trying to tell me about how to help it be well and optimize my health. I don’t just want to “get through” my days – I want to thrive through them.

And from what I’ve learned and lived, I can say with confidence that what we eat affects us, our health, our energy, our mood, and our ability to fight off disease and illness.

One of my goals has been to be a consistent, positive voice about eating wholesome food – to be someone who provides hope that it is possible and inspiration to keep going.

I appreciate the kind words and comments so many of you have given me over the past year – from taking the time to leave feedback about a recipe or post or simply sharing one with your friends or family.

My friend Lindsay sharing a fun, smiling picture on Facebook along with this kind comment! "Yummy Caribbean Island breeze smoothie for breakfast. Thank you Rachel Druckenmiller for the recipe! We loved it! I highly recommend."

My friend Lindsay sharing a fun, smiling picture on Facebook along with this kind comment! “Yummy Caribbean Island breeze smoothie for breakfast. Thank you Rachel Druckenmiller for the recipe! We loved it! I highly recommend.”

Tahini, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and Medjool dates might not have been at the top of your grocery list at the beginning of this year, but chances are you’ve at least attempted to find one of them or have even used one in a recipe.

We build confidence as we give ourselves permission to try new things, including food. Maybe we won’t like it…but what if we do?

And this is coming from a formerly picky eater – someone who would have never tried something like kale, collard greens, or curry powder.

As we look back on the past year, here are the top 10 blog posts based on the number of views from you, my readers. I’ve also included a brief poll below, so you can give me YOUR feedback about what you’d like to see more of in 2015.

top posts2014

  1. How I Lost 20+ Pounds, Got Back to My High School Weight & Kept It Off 
  2. Eat Your GBOMBS (Anti-Cancer Eating Tips!)
  3. Top 10 Places for a Healthy Lunch in Baltimore & Beyond!
  4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Balls
  5. My Energizing Morning Detox Drink (AKA Fire Cider)
  6. MYO Chipotle Style Bean Burrito Bowl in 7 Minutes or Less!
  7. How to Stock a Healthy Pantry: My Top 10 Everyday Essentials
  8. Comfort Food Classic Makeover…Creamy Caulifredo Sauce
  9. Taste the Rainbow Super Food Kale Salad
  10. 6 Keys to An Amazing Marriage: How We Nourish Ours

As year #2 of blogging begins, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support, encouragement, and kindness and to give you some exciting updates for 2015!

  • The blog is getting a facelift! I’m working with a web designer to help me “brand” Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen! From designing a logo and picking my colors to creating a more user friendly interface (like including Print Recipe buttons!), we will be working together to completely revamp the look and feel of the blog, so it really reflects me and my mission. You’ll see the new and improved look in March, but the blog will still be up and updated with new posts in the meantime.
  • I’m serving as a guest speaker at a Women’s Retreat in Gettysburg in February 2015 and will be speaking about Eating for Energy, Beauty & Optimal Health. I can’t wait!
  • I will be hosting/teaching more cooking classes and cooking parties covering a variety of themes – all featuring deliciously dairy-free and gluten-free foods that everyone will love! Sign-ups will be available directly on the blog. Let me know if you’re interested in doing a cooking class with your friends!
  • I will continue sharing gluten-free, dairy-free real food recipes and give you tips and tricks for upgrading your diet so you can nourish your body.
  • I will be doing giveaways and contests of some of my favorite foods, so you can learn more about them and try them yourself. I’ll promote ONLY what I use personally, so don’t worry about this turning into an ad.

I’d love your feedback on what you’d like to see more of in 2015! I already have ideas up my sleeve but please take a second or two to fill out the little survey below. Thank you again for your support! 🙂

Thank you again! Here’s to a healthy and happy new year! 🙂

What’s YOUR Lollipop Moment? {A Tribute to A Special Mentor}

I was inspired to write this post after listening to a 6-minute TEDtalk during a morning walk.

A beautiful tree in my neighborhood.

A beautiful tree in my neighborhood.

I’ve started waking up a bit earlier than usual and spending 15-30 minutes of my morning walking around my neighborhood listening to these inspirational and motivational talks from experts around the world.

I’ve listened to dozens of them over the past few years.

Today’s was different.

It was only 6 minutes and 14 seconds long. But it had an impact on me.

As I’ve written in other reflective posts, eating nourishing food is only part of the equation to being in optimal health and thriving. We have to look at what’s going on in our mind and soul, too, and make sure we’re nourishing that on a regular basis.

Eating all the broccoli in the world won’t make us well if we’re miserable on the inside.


That’s one of the reasons I try to look outside of myself regularly, whether it’s through conversations with friends or family, quiet time, a perfectly timed message at church, listening to things like TEDTalks or reading books by people I admire and respect. I’m always open to learning from other people’s perspectives and experiences.

I took a lot from today’s TEDTalk. The speaker told one story but said more in his 6 minutes than most people can convey in a 300-page book or an hour-long podcast.

The premise? Each of us has the power to be a leader, to change someone else’s life.

The speaker recounted a story of what happened when he went out of his way to make a new student at his university feel welcomed. The lasting, lifetime impact of his simple, brief action (which he admits forgetting) had on this woman’s life was remarkable.

Here’s the TEDTalk. This will be the most well spent 6 minutes of your day, I promise you.

At the end of the talk, Drew asks the audience, “What’s your lollipop moment?”

Who in your life has influenced or impacted you in a way that literally changed your life, your perspective, your career, your health?

Have you let them know?

I’ve had the privilege of being mentored by some remarkable people through my school years and in my career.

One person in particular stands out to me. I met her in college.

I was a sophomore majoring in psychology and had enrolled in an intro to sociology course. I had heard good things about the professor, Dr. Lauren Dundes.

I looked forward to going to her class every week. She made learning fun and interesting. I loved her quirky and energetic demeanor, animated facial expressions and gestures, and all of the stories she recounted and used as learning tools. I hardly remember her looking at notes or a textbook. She knew her subject matter that well.

One day in class, she was telling us a story about social perceptions, and she held up something that would forever change my path in the field of nutrition and behavior.

It was a copy of Nutrition Action Healthletter.


Not exactly prime reading material for most 19-year olds, but it was for me.

After class, I approached Dr. Dundes. “I get that newsletter, too,” I told her. That conversation is what sparked our realization that we had a mutual interest in health and nutrition. It was the beginning of my pursuit of health as a career.

Over the next three years, she supported me in setting up two research studies and writing three papers that were published in academic journals.

For one of them, I was measuring Apple Jacks, M&Ms and Hawaiian Punch consumption by my peers at McDaniel College. The College even wrote an article about us in the school’s publication called “The Hill” magazine…including our semi-goofy pic below 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.04.27 PM

I had the passion and the tenacity to “go for it” but only because I had the support, enthusiasm, and passion from Dr. Dundes.

I had never really reflected on the impact she had on my life until now, until hearing that 6-minute TED Talk. But doing so makes me realize just how special people are who cheerlead for us and make it clear how much they believe in us and what we can accomplish.

I was thrilled to hear from her over the past few months, as she is now an avid supporter of this blog and has told me how certain information I’ve shared here has impacted her life and her family.

In appreciation for someone who took time to make a difference in my life, my career, and my well-being, I’d like to make a tribute to this special person.

Dr. Dundes,

Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for making me feel like my interests and passions mattered.

Thank you for the hours you spent talking with me in your office, reviewing and editing yet another draft of a publication, and encouraging me to do big things with my life.

You made me feel like I could do anything, that there was nothing stopping me.

Thank you for seeing something special in me and for nurturing it.

I know that this passion for health and nutrition has been in me since grade school, but without the support and encouragement of someone like you, I don’t know that my path would have gone the direction it did.

Many of us live our whole lives never knowing how profound our impact on other people has been.

I thought you should know.

Thank you.

Who in YOUR life has impacted you in a profound way? Have you let them know?

Take time today to do that. Whether it’s a phone call, a letter, an email or an in person conversation, let people who have shaped and influenced your life know.

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