Now Them are Words I Like to Hear!

“I don’t know what it is about you lately, but you just look so pretty…like you’re glowing.  Wait a minute!  It’s because you’ve been eating whole foods!”

This is what my sweet husband, Nathan, said to me yesterday when he got home from work!  Yay!  That made me feel all girlie and stuff!  I know I’m starting to feel a little better physically, but it’s nice to know it’s showing on the outside too.

So, here is where I need to catch you all up!  I’m sorry for the negligence, but this cooking business is a LOT of work!  I am proud to admit that I’ve been cooking almost exclusively at home for the past 14 days.  In fact, I ate out once at a local mexican restaurant.  It was delicious, but I felt horrible the next day!

I’ve discovered some recipes that I love, some that umm….(trying not to gag here) I don’t love so much, and a definite LOVE of GREEN SMOOTHIES! (And I’m not talking about Shamrock Shakes!)  Because of smoothies, I can tell you that I’ve been eating, on average, 1-2 oranges/day, 1-2 bananas/day, and at least 5 cups of spinach or kale/day.  I’ll give you more info on them in another post :)

For now, I’ll give you a few of my favorite recipes:

Roasted Kale & Veggie Soup

I got this recipe from my IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) classmate, Dawn.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, because it is beyond yummy.  Of course, I was the only one in my family who liked it.  But, more for me!  Yay!  And I ate the entire pot in three days!


Pesto Rice Pasta & Roasted Veggies


This is a bit of a “cheater” dish, but it’s still good for you.  I think it’s good to have a few really easy dinners in your menu for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.  I also have to admit something here.  I suck at directions!  Seriously.  I think I must be a rebel at heart.  I think if I were given directions to save my life, I’d still try to find the easiest way to go about completing the task!  So, when I give you recipes here, I’m going to be as specific as I can.  I rarely use measuring cups & sometimes I throw in a pinch or this or a dash of that at the end just because It sounds good.

The basic recipe is:  Boil some noodles (LOL!)  They can be whole wheat noodles or brown rice noodles if you are gluten free.  Chop up some veggies!  I chose broccoli, carrots & potatoes since that’s what I had on hand.  Butternut squash & green beans would be great choices as well.  Put the veggies in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil on them, sprinkle some salt on them & toss ‘em around.  Throw them on a baking sheet & put them in the oven at 350 until they are golden.  In my oven, that was about 35 minutes.  My friend, Beth Ann, taught me to cook with my nose to tell when something was done.  That does help.  Here’s the cheater part, use store-bought pesto.  Bertolli’s makes a decent pesto sauce.  One day I will make my own & have it on hand.  But, the point is to cook & eat at home.  When the veggies are done, coat them in pesto & toss them over your noodles.  Simple as that!

I hope you like these recipes!  Even if you aren’t vegetarian, they are still so yummy & hearty!  You could use them on Meatless Mondays.

Weekly Challenge

Weekly Challenge

When it comes to making changes in life, I really believe in taking small steps.  If you make one change/week, by next year, where will you be?  How will you  have changed?  So, I’ve decided to add a weekly challenge to my blog.

This week I challenge you to drink 1 full glass of water in the morning first thing, before you eat anything.

Seriously, it’s that simple.  Drink a full glass of water (At least 8 oz.  The more the better, though) first thing when you wake up.  If you are feeling adventurous, squeeze a lemon in it.  When we wake up, we are usually dehydrated.  Then we may drink some coffee, which dehydrates us even more.  Try starting off your day by giving your body what it really needs.  See how this changes the way you feel.  Notice how it influences the choices you make throughout the rest of your day.  Do you find yourself drinking more water?  Drinking less coffee or soda?

I’ll be doing it with you!  These challenges are for me as well!  Make sure you comment and let me know about your experience with this challenge!

P.S.  Nathan, my husband, wants you all to know that getting a really cool water bottle helped him drink more water.  (He’s a total gadget man!)  He wanted me to pass the tip along to you!

I Keep my Deodorant in the Refrigerator

“You do WHAT?”

You read right!  I keep my deodorant in the refrigerator.  Why, you ask?  Well, here’s the deal – years ago I learned about how horrible deodorant is for our health, especially for women.  Commercial deodorants contain ingredients such as aluminum and parabens, both of which have been linked to breast cancer.  So, I started my journey trying to find a natural deodorant that actually worked.  My conclusion?  Well, you could probably smell it!  Half way through Zumba, I’d be stinking it up!

So, I thought, maybe I could *make* my own deodorant!  There has to be a way.  So, I googled “homemade deodorant recipe” and I found a coconut oil based recipe.   I thought, “What the heck!  I’ll give it a shot!  If it doesn’t work, at least it’s super cheap!”  I happened to have the ingredients on hand.  So, I found an old deodorant tube, cleaned it out, made the recipe, put it all together & stuck it in the refrigerator.

The next day would be the ultimate test – Zumba!  I made it out smelling tropical instead of toxical (Okay, I know that’s not a word.  But, it sounded better!)  I’ve never looked back.  I’ve even added yummy smelling essential oils to the mix.  If you’re not a fan of coconut smell, there is unscented coconut oil.  I think it’s best to buy organic coconut oil if you can.  I think you can buy coconut oil that is solid at room temps, but I just used what I had.

So if you’re ever at my house and look in my refrigerator, you won’t think I’ve totally lost it.  (Although I’m sure some of you reading this think I already have!)

Dream a Little Dream

If I’ve learned one thing about living your dreams it’s that the road probably looks nothing like you expected it to.  I’m learning to wait, trust, and jump.  I’m on a very strange path right now – a very exciting path.  But, quite a few opportunities have come my way that I normally would have discounted because they weren’t what I thought they should be.  The truth is that God can use anyone & any situation at any time to work out His plans.  I’m learning that I don’t know much at all.  And, surprisingly, that brings such a great feeling of freedom!  Craziness!  My next few posts will explain in further detail….So stay tuned.  (It’s a really funny, unexpected story.  Believe me.)

Keep on the Lookout!

Just wanted to give you a glimpse of things to come on this site!

  • Epic triumphs in the kitchen, complete with amazing recipes & purty pictures that hopefully induce drooling.
  • Epic failures in the kitchen, complete with burnt pots & pans that result in the possibility of scratch -n- sniff pictures.
  • A CONTEST!  Details will be upcoming.  But, I’m scheming a pretty big PRIZE!
  • INTERVIEWS with really cool people, people who are cool, people who will freeze your brain & make you go, “Whoa!”
  • Tips, hints, recipes, games…(Well, maybe not games…or maybe so.)

So, I hope you will join me on this adventure!  Don’t make me beg!

Much love & Many Blessings,


100 Days of Healthy Cooking

“Get into your kitchen!”  ”Get into your kitchen!”  ”Cook like your life depends on it!”

These words from Joshua Rosenthal & Andrea Beaman keep ringing in my ears.  So, that is what I’m gonna do.

Taking inspiration from Julie Powell,  I’ve decided to cook healthy meals for 100 days & blog about it.  My loving husband, Nathan, has agreed to take this challenge on with me.

Wish me luck, pray my house doesn’t burn down & that my kids don’t run away!

Please stay with me, follow me, & give me your support.  In return, I will give you every bit of knowledge I gain from this experience!

I have to tell you that I am askeered.  I’ve never loved cooking.  I’m a messy cook.  I’ve never loved cleaning.  But, I’m interested to see where I land in 100 days!

Much love & Many Blessings,



Befriending my Kitchen

I heard an interesting thought from Andrea Beaman, Institute for Integrative Nutrition grad & health coach extraordinaire.  In her struggle to become healthy, she decided that her kitchen was her wellness center. What a thought!  Here I have been going to doctors and naturopaths, shelling out thousands of dollars for treatments, pharmaceutical medications, vitamins and minerals, and all along, my wellness center was right in my home!

I have notoriously had a bad relationship with my kitchen.  I’ve never been the Suzy Homemaker type, even though I’ve wanted to be!  I guess the feminist in me has rebelled against such thinking.  Not to mention, I have a family of picky eaters.  Cooking for me has been a drudgery.  But, Andrea has convinced me, I need to get in the kitchen.  In fact, my life depends on it.

I have been repeating the mantra “My kitchen is my wellness center” over and over again.  I’m convinced my kitchen is the number one place I need to be and where I need to dedicate most of my time, instead of doctors offices.

So, I have a plan!  I believe this to be so true, that I’ve decided to take all of the money that I would spend seeking outside treatment for my health and dedicated it to my kitchen!  (She really needs some love after all of the hatred I’ve spewed her way!  And yes, she is a she!  That is not sexist at all!  LOL!)

I’m going to put a sign up in my kitchen that reads “My Wellness Center”.

I’m going to clean her up and make her shiny and sparkly!

I’m going to purchase a few things:

- Good pots & pans

- Mason jars

- Wire colander

- Casserole dishes

- Mixing bowls

- A new oven that doesn’t  tilt to the side or cook 25 degrees higher or  25 degrees lower based on mood!

(You might even catch me in an apron! *gasp*)

All of this is seriously what I spend in 2-3 months on “health” care.  So, it shouldn’t be too big of an order.  In the meantime, I will make due with what I have!

I’m also enlisting my whole family.  Cooking is going to become our new favorite sport!

So, what steps do you need to take to get into the kitchen?

Much Love & Many Blessings,



The (notsohealthy) Health Coach

My passion for health & wellness began when I was a child. At a young age, my Cherokee grandma would take me out into the yard and tell me about the plants.  ”This is catnip.  It’s good for tummy aches.  This is aloe vera.  You can use it on anything – burns, scratches.”  She always had some concoction brewing on the stove any time we were sick.

Unfortunately, I’ve been sick a lot – mono, an ulcer, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, gallbladder & liver problems.  Not minor issues!  They’ve influenced every aspect of my life.  I’ve been to doctors, naturopaths, & chiropractors.  I’ve done acupuncture & massage.  I’ve taken thousands of dollars in medicine & supplements.  I’ve followed all of the advice given for someone in my situation – eat this diet, do that exercise, take these pills.  And although some things helped quite a bit, nothing healed me completely.  I’ve ended up frustrated, and at times, hopeless.  But, I vowed I’d never give up the fight.  I fully believe life doesn’t have to be full of pain and fatigue.

In my journey, I’ve learned so much about health & nutrition.  All the knowledge I’ve accumulated has brought me to this very point.  After getting accepted into two grad schools and turning them down, I finally realized what it was I wanted to do.  I want to help others live their optimum lives!  So, after scouring the internet for different programs & degrees, I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and fell in love!  IIN is an innovator in the field of nutrition.  This is a year long, intensive program with guest speakers such as Dr. Andrew Weil!

But, in order for me to be helping people toward their goals of wellness, I have to walk the walk!

So, Soul Carrot is my journal.  (I’ll tell you about the name later!)  This will be my testimony.  I want you all to see that someone like me can get healthy so that you will realize you can too!  I’m nowhere near perfect.  And you know what?  I don’t want to be.  I want you to see me for who I am.  This should be interesting to say the least!

I have a LONG way to go, but I know with the information I learn at IIN & the support of all of you, I will be crazy-healthy in a short time.

Much Love & Many Blessings,