Saturday, December 29, 2012

7 Goals for Staying Sane in December




































December is almost over, and the only way I've been able to stay sane this last week or so has been to stay off the computer. I turned it off and have been barely checking my blog or any social media. And you know what? I'm not done. One of my goals for this month's December Sanity Challenge has been to recognize when I'm doing something simply because it's what everyone else is doing and when I'm doing it out of love. I've been feeling the need to turn inward, to hibernate and let things churn around. You know how a soup tastes better a day later, when all the ingredients have had time to sit? I'm just a soup, sitting on the stove, waiting for everything to taste just right.

And so I'll be back when I'm back. It won't be long. Just long enough to make a hearty, flavorful stew.

Today, I want to share with you some more December Sanity Challenge goals. These came from Rebecca of www.rebecca-burton.com. I loved her goals so much I thought we could all benefit from them.


  • Recognize that my anxiety levels go up from around the first week of December and don't generally lower themselves until after the first week of January
  • Forgive myself (instead of berating myself) when I have an anxiety attack during this period
  • Understand that my anxiety levels will be even higher than normal this year because I have just got a new promotion and am finding the new job hits all my trigger-points for anxiety - big-time!
  • Enjoy the times that I feel good during this season
  • Take time out away from people when I feel anxious/bad during this season (and again, don't berate myself for having to do this)
  • Accept that this is the way I have to live, and it isn't any worse than anyone else's way of living
  • Remind myself that this, too, shall pass.
If I don't see you before then, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'll be ringing in the New Year with my best friend from college in NYC. Maybe I'll see you there. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gluten-Free Lemon Squares




















Need one more holiday dessert recipe and want to try something a little less traditional? Oh sure, Molasses Cookies are awesome. You'll get no arguments from me there. But Lemon Squares - when they're done right - are absolutely phenomenal.

This particular recipe will be a hit because a) it's extremely easy to make, b) even those who say they don't like lemon desserts tell me they love these, and c) it's easy to make. Did I say that already?

This is that recipe you grab when you need a no-muss, no-fuss dessert.

This recipe comes to you because of my friend, Shirley, of Gluten-Free Easily. It's from my cookbooks with Brittany Angell and so wasn't intended for the blog, but when Shirley mentioned her Home For The Holidays December blog series, I decided to post it. She's giving away lots of wonderful gluten-free gifts this December at her blog, and I was more than happy to offer up the The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides, Parts 1 and 2.

Want more recipes like this? Head over to Gluten-Free Easily to enter the cookbook giveaway!

Lemon Squares (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
These are a gluten-free version of an old family favorite from a little known cookbook called "Kids Can Cook" by Dorothy R. Bates. I find that even my friends who say they don’t like lemon flavored desserts will go back for seconds on these.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Earth Balance*
1/4 cup sugar**
1 cup sweet white rice flour (155 grams)***
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cold water

2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

(Optional) Powdered sugar or coconut flakes

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. 
2. Beat together (or combine in a food processor) the Earth Balance, sugar, sweet white rice flour, vanilla extract, and water. Press into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
3. Whisk the eggs, sugar, baking powder and lemon juice together. Pour evenly over the crust, then put back in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. Dust with powdered sugar or coconut flakes if desired. Let cool completely, and chill in the fridge before serving.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes 9 large or 16 small squares. 

*Butter can be used to replace Earth Balance. I haven't tried shortening or coconut oil, but I suspect they would work. 
**This is one recipe where refined white table sugar is best. I tried it with xylitol, and while everybody still ate them, the texture was a bit off. As for coconut palm sugar...It might work in the shortbread base if you blend it to a finer powder first. I'm not so sure it would taste right with the lemon topping. But it's your recipe now, so do what you want with it!
***Sweet white rice flour can often be found at Asian markets or in the Asian section of your grocery store. It is NOT the same as white rice flour. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Sanity Challenge: Change Your Story
















I only made one goal this year for the Sanity Challenge: to stop telling myself I don't have time to take care of myself.

Really, it was about the whole story I tell myself.

As a child, we're born into a certain life. The good, the bad, and everything in between- we have no control over it. But as we grow, we often find the stories from our childhood influencing us as adults.

My goal this month has been to change my story and thus to change my perspective.

Want to know how I did?

Story #1: I have to make all the food for Christmas, including food I can eat, plus lots of dishes and desserts I can't have because everyone else will be expecting that. 
The real story? I can cook a delicious meal by only making recipes I can eat and everyone else will be happy with that. If they want something I can't eat, like cookies, they'll buy them at the store or make them.
What Happened: I started by attempting to do everything myself, got all worked up and stressed out, then realized (with the help of my sister) that I was going about the meal the wrong way. I decided to make a list of the foods I could eat and only cook those. That list was actually plenty of food for everyone, but it left a few traditional dishes off (stuffing and cookies). So I delegated and printed out recipes for my family members to make. Once I knew that everyone else would pitch in and help me cook, it took the pressure off of me. And once that happened, I realized I didn't actually mind doing the cooking. I ended up spending today making most of the recipes I had delegated to other people...and I enjoyed every minute. I was doing it because I wanted to, not because I had to.

Story #2: I don't have time to meditate daily. 
The real story? Excuses, excuses, excuses! I counsel my clients to meditate more, then fail to make it part of my own daily routine. The truth is I can prioritize and make the time every day if I want to.
What Happened: I've been traveling a lot this month, and I've used that as an excuse to fall behind on self-care. Two days ago, I finally woke up and decided I'd had enough. I've been meditating daily since then, and while three days isn't a lot, I'm hoping I can make it stick this time.

What stories do you tell yourself? What would happen if you changed that story?

Other posts in the Sanity retreat so far (and it’s not too late to join us!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies 2.0 (Dairy/Nut/Soy/Egg/Refined Sugar-Free)

Think a rich, moist, dense chocolate cake. Then turn it into a molasses cookie. That's the texture you get with these cookies.

And the flavor? Not your typical super sweet cookie! This baby has the dark, almost bitter undertones of Blackstrap molasses with just enough banana to lend a sweet hand.

The resulting cookies are so good they made me fall off my paleo wagon. I made them for my family, but once I took them out of the oven, I just couldn't stop myself. That half eaten cookie down there? That was all me.

Sigh.

Cookies. Gotta love 'em.

Or hate 'em?

Either way, these cookies happened. And I think they should happen to you.





































Molasses Cookies (Gluten/Dairy/Nut/Soy/Egg/Refined Sugar-Free) Print-Me 
Adapted from my Original Molasses Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups sweet white rice flour (253 grams)*
1 cup teff flour (120 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening (83 grams)
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (118 grams)
3/4 cup blackstrap molasses (235 grams)
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (45 grams)
3 tablespoons flax seed meal (23 grams)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

(Optional) Granulated sugar for rolling

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. 
  2. Whisk flours, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Beat shortening, banana, molasses, milk, flax, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add flour and beat until well mixed. 
  4. Form golf sized balls and flatten on cookie sheet or roll in sugar, then flatten. You may need to add a sprinkling of extra teff when you form the balls, as they're a bit sticky. Bake for 9 minutes. 
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies. 

*Sweet White Rice Flour is different from white rice flour. It is often found at very affordable prices at Asian markets. I always find mine in the Asian section of my regular supermarket. It’s like a mix between white rice flour and tapioca starch, and thus lends these cookies a chewy texture you would not get with just white rice flour.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

10 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays




































Is it possible to stay sane during the holidays?

Of course it is! The insanity is just a habit...

Learn how to break the habit with 10 simple tips on keeping your stress down during the holiday season (and always).

Follow this link to my post at Paleo Parents, the amazing duo who keep us happy with their healthy eats.

This post is sponsored by Signazon, the premiere online sign company.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin



Oh lovely readers, most beauteous of anonymous friends, I am happy to be sitting still for a moment so I can write. You see, my life has been rather hectic. Now mind me, I'm not complaining. Someone said to me tonight, "My life is perfect. It's just so perfect and filled that there's no time to relax."

I know exactly what she means.

I recently complained to my sister that my life seemed to be perfect...everything I've ever dreamed of is coming true. So why wasn't I feeling happy?

My boyfriend knew what my problem was. (Mostly because he's the one who sees me drive myself into the ground every day.)

No matter how wonderful everything and everyone in your life is, you still need time spent alone doing NOTHING. You need to hibernate sometimes. You need to steal yourself away from the world and capture yourself in a tower. You need to be a fairy princess (or prince?) and make like Sleeping Beauty. Or beautiful Belle who understood the value of holing away in a library with a book. Or just be like Shrek and slam your door on anyone horning in on your downtime- even if that person is your own guilt.

Especially when it's your own guilt stopping you.

The meaning of life IS NOT WORK.

Let me say that again in a different way.

You were not born so that you could work. Even when it's your passion (as it is for me). Even when it feels like a calling and you love it (as I do).

The meaning of life comes in the small moments that disappear when you're so busy you forget to stop and appreciate them. A hasty kiss goodbye in the morning. The silence of an empty room. The pleasure of lying on the floor and staring at nothing.

Our moments are so very fleeting. Anyone with a baby can tell you how quickly they grow and how precious each minute, each day is. But we forget that while we may look the same from day to day, our moments on this earth are equally as precious as those of a newborn babe.

Work hard. Work with passion when you can, with diligence when passion isn't there. But know that you are more than your work.

And allow there to be more moments of life than there are moments of work.

When you have the opportunity not to work, DON'T. And don't waste any time feeling guilty. Take care of yourself. Live your life. Be happy. Do nothing. RELAX. 

See this guy? Do what he's doing.




































And make food you'll enjoy. Food that will make you feel good, in every way.

Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin

This recipe came in a moment. Simply made. Simply remade with other vegetables. In fact so simple that I never bothered to write down the instructions.

And I don't need to.

This recipe practically makes itself, so rather than waiting until I had time to make it again, I wanted to get it to you before the holidays are over. Because this, in my mind, is the perfect winter holiday dish.

p.s. Brownie points to whoever notices two random objects in these photos.




































Dairy-Free Creamed Onions or Vegetable Au Gratin

Ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (13 ounces)
Enough pearl onions to fill the dish OR sliced vegetables of choice (the photo above used 1 sliced onion, 1 sliced sweet potato, and sliced fennel)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh (minced) or dried herbs to taste

1 8 x 8 inch casserole dish or au gratin dish of similar size

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil your baking dish. 
  2. Open your can of coconut milk and place it into a larger bowl so you can stir it up. It tends to separate in the can, so you want to remix it. Stir in salt, pepper, and any herbs you want to use. I love adding herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. Dill is also delicious with a potato and onion au gratin.  
  3. Add your vegetables to the baking dish and pour the coconut milk over. It should just cover the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Time will vary depending on the vegetables used, but assume it will take about 45 minutes. 
  4. Once the vegetables are tender, take the tinfoil off and allow to bake about another 5 minutes, just until the dish begins to darken. Alternatively, you can put it under the broiler for a minute.
  5. Remove from oven and serve hot. 
Note: I made mine without breadcrumbs, but of course feel free to add those if you like! This is your recipe now. Have fun with it.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Monday, December 10, 2012

30+ Gluten-Free Holiday Cookie Recipes

It's cookie time!


I had so much fun posting my roundup of Thanksgiving dinner and dessert recipes that I decided it was time to do it again. But for this month, I'm just focusing on cookies. In my family, we eat basically the same food for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so if you want some traditional holiday meal ideas (think turkey/gravy and pumpkin pie), click on these links:
50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Now Onto Zee Cookies

Rugelach and Hamantaschen
Chocolate Cookies

























Gingerbread, Molasses or Spice Cookies




















Thumbprint Cookies

Shortbread



















Snickerdoodles

Spritz and Sugar Cookies




















Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Miscellaneous Holiday Yumminess



 Bake away, dear readers! Bake away!


Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts Giveaway Winners

Happy Monday and thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways last week! We have 5 winners for 5 gifts:

The winner of Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre is:
Matthew"My wife, kids, and myself are all gluten free, and it gets hard to think up new and exciting recipes we'd all eat. This cookbook would make that task much easier and more convenient!" 

The winner of the Songcroft Naturals Skin Care Products is:  
Meg: "I buy from a local store that is organic as well as local as much as possible! I love that they now have a cafe so I can get lunch there on the days I forget mine. Bye bye Fast Food!"

The winner of The Whole Gang Desk Calendar Cookbook by Diane Eblin is:
Qristina: "I would love this as a way to inspire me to cook on my own/avoid monotony everyday versus going out and risking cross contamination, which I have suffered repercussions from. :D"

The winner of The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carrie Forbes is: 
Indigo: "My favorite comfort food is Fettuccine Alfredo."

The winner of Finally...Food I can Eat by Shirley Plant is: 
April: "My favorite holiday cookie is shortbread anything!"
 
Stop by later today for some holiday cookie ideas. Paleo, vegan, sugar-free, quick-and-easy, I've scoured the web for gluten-free cookies of every type for the holidays (including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa cookies) and I've got the links coming at you in a couple of hours!

Friday, December 7, 2012

5 Days: 5 Gluten-Free Giveaways

























Happy Holiday Season! I know December comes as a blessing to some and a curse for others. So for the happy holiday elves out there, here are some giveaways to thank you for singing holiday songs with me. And for the grinches, here are some giveaways to put you in a better mood.

Because I've realized that my e-mail subscribers get my post hours after I've posted it, I'm extending the deadline for the giveaways to December 8th at midnight EST. Click on each link to leave a comment on that giveaway. Do not comment on this post to enter.


Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

Songcroft Naturals Blemish Blaster and Nourishing Night Cream








The Whole Gang Desk Calendar Cookbook by Diane Eblin













The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carrie Forbes

Finally...Food I Can Eat Cookbook by Shirley Plant


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts: Allergen-Free Cookbook Giveaway






















I became friends with Shirley Plant through blogging (big surprise). She is the mastermind behind Delicious Alternatives, a menu and recipe planning service that focuses on healthy, additive- and preservative-free meals. Shirley's expertise is in working with individuals and families with food allergies and sensitivities.

Now she has a book for us too.

Finally...Food I Can Eat is a dietary guide and cookbook featuring recipes for people with food allergies and intolerances. Shirley herself was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and multiple food and environmental allergies. Because of this, she understands just how difficult it can be to create affordable menus without succumbing to the boredom of eating the same food over and over. With Finally...Food I Can Eat, you have an excellent resource to help you plan creative and nutritious weekly menus while avoiding foods like gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and sugar.

Giveaway
Shirley is graciously giving away a copy of her new cookbook to one reader (U.S. or Canada).

To win a copy, leave a comment below telling me your favorite holiday cookie.

For extra entries, post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

And please please leave a way for me to contact you! It's the only way you can win!

Giveaway will close on December 7th at midnight EST.


Click here to enter this week's previous giveaways: 
The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook
The WHOLE Gang Gluten- and Dairy-Free Desk Calendar Cookbook
Songcroft Naturals Nourishing Night Cream and Blemish Blaster
Nourishing Meals Gluten-Free Cookbook

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts: The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook

I've been using a slow cooker for about a year now. I've made approximately three dishes in it. Bone broth, soup, and apple sauce. 

Over and over. 

It never occurred to me how many other dishes I could make. Dishes like: Gluten-Free Millet Bread, Classic Italian Risotto and Blueberry French Toast Casserole. 

When I received a review copy of The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook from Carrie Forbes of Ginger Lemon Girl, I learned that all of these dishes and more are possible. All gluten-free. All made with minimal fuss. All in a slow cooker. (Obviously.)

The Classic Italian Risotto has been my favorite so far. Rich and creamy, with a hint of Italian herbs. A perfect side dish that went so quickly I never got a photo! Many of the recipes in this cookbook use dairy, but I can tell you from experience that they were easy to adapt using dairy-free substitutes. My only problem now is that I gave away my old slow cooker when I moved out of my apartment. Guess I'll have to buy a new one when I get to my next permanent landing spot. I have so many more recipes to try!

On my must-try list? 

  • Eastern North Carolina Cheesy Grits Casserole
  • Crustless Quiche Lorraine
  • Apple and Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Carrot Nutmeg Pudding 
The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook is the perfect holiday gift for the gluten-free foodie in your life. And if he/she doesn't have a slow cooker? Well, wouldn't it be so nice to find a brand new slow cooker and slow cooker cookbook with your holiday gifts? 

Signed copies available from Ms. Carrie herself here.  
Also available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Giveaway
Carrie is graciously giving a copy of her new cookbook to one reader (continental U.S. only please).

To win a copy, leave a comment below telling me your favorite comfort food that you would like to make gluten-free.

For extra entries, post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

And please please leave a way for me to contact you! It's the only way you can win!

Giveaway will close on December 7th at midnight EST.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts: The Whole Gang Desk Calendar Cookbook





















Want a cookbook that contains vegan, vegetarian and paleo suggestions for every gluten-free recipe? How about one that's the size of a CD case and won't take up more precious space in your already cluttered house? (I'm making an assumption here...maybe you're better at getting rid of clutter than I am.) 

The Whole Gang Desk
Calendar will help you make easy meals that taste great and will work for individuals with multiple dietary restrictions. Diane Eblin of The Whole Gang created this tool for you that will come in handy all year long! Here's what you'll get:



  • 12 beautifully designed months in a clear CD stand-up case display that easily fits on your desk or counter top
  • Gorgeous color photos of each dish (all tested and approved) with easy-to follow recipes on the back
  • All recipes are gluten free and dairy free!
  • VegetarianVegan and Paleo directions for each recipe to fit any diet!
  • BONUS!  Secret access code for a hidden page full of insider tips, tools & additional recipes on The WHOLE Gang website.
This is a great affordable gift option for friends, family, hostess, clients, co-workers, employees, teachers, mail carriers, newspaper carriers…really anyone on your list!

To order: To order: Visit http://www.thewholegang.org/2013-cookbook-desk-calendar/  Cost is $14.95 each plus shipping.  Discounts for orders of 10 or more.

Giveaway
Diane is graciously giving a copy of her new desk calendar/cookbook to one reader (continental U.S. only please).

To win a copy, leave a comment below telling me who in your life would benefit from this gift.

For extra entries, post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

And please please leave a way for me to contact you! It's the only way you can win!

Giveaway will close on December 7th at midnight EST.
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts: Songcroft Naturals Review and Giveaway


As a gluten-free blogger, I talk about food a lot. What I don't talk about is beauty products. Why? Because I like to keep things simple, I rarely wear makeup, don't have much of a beauty routine, and am loyal to very few brands.

Until now.

Songcroft Naturals is an all-natural (and all gluten-free), handmade skin care product line. Developed by Marilene Kitada of Songcroft Farm in Washington, this is a brand I trust completely. I know where their products come from, I know they use sustainable practices, and I know I can trust their products to be gluten-free. I can also feel secure in knowing that my money is going exactly where I want it to go: to a small, family-owned business that shares the same environmental and ethical principles as I hold. I had the pleasure of becoming friends with Marilene and her family this past summer when my boyfriend interned at their permaculture farm. Eating dinner with the family, enjoying neighborhood potlucks, and observing their farm, it was clear to me that this was exactly the type of business I want to support.

I can't say the same when I shop from other stores. Do you know what you're inadvertently supporting when you buy from big stores? I don't...

My favorite product from Songcroft Naturals is their Healing Salve. I had the unfortunate opportunity to discover firsthand what can happen when you harvest parsnips without gloves, then spend a lot of time in the sun. Parsnip greens make you very photosensitive and I ended up with a giant burn on my arm that I was convinced would leave bad scars. However, I diligently applied the Healing Salve day and night, and was surprised to find very little scarring. These days, the only times my arm gets red is when I eat something I'm sensitive to. It's like a strange little radar for food sensitivities. (p.s. I'm including pictures of my arm below for those of you who want to see, but put them at the bottom since they're not pretty.

Giveaway
Songcroft Naturals is giving away their Nourishing Night Cream and Blemish Blaster to one lucky reader (continental U.S. only please).

Nourishing Night Cream: Ingredients: Distilled Water, Alloe perryi (Aloe Vera), Persea gratissma (Avocado) oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut oil), 100% Organic Lecithin, Beeswax. 2 oz.
  • Soothes and rejuvenates skin
  • Helps prevent wrinkles
  • Softens fine lines in the skin, making them less noticeable
  • Reduces redness and inflammation
Blemish Blaster: Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol (made from grain), Witch Hazel, Calendula officinalus (Calendula), flower Mellaluca (Tea Tree) oil, Juniperus virginiana (Cedar) oil, Wintergreen, Lavendula, Nobilus (Bay Leaf), Myrtle. 0.3 oz.
  • Is easy to apply only where it is needed
  • Helps to heal acne
  • Helps to kill bacteria within blemishes
  • Contains no phthalate, parabens, or synthetic ingredients

To win, leave a comment below telling me how you support local companies.

For extra entries, post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

And please please leave a way for me to contact you! It's the only way you can win!

Giveaway will close on December 7th at midnight EST.

Before Healing Salve: 
























After daily applications of Healing Salve: 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gluten-Free Holiday Gifts: Nourishing Meals Cookbook Review and Giveaway




































When I first began eating gluten-free, I bought The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. Ali Segersten and Tom Malterre, authors of The Whole Life Nutrition blog, wrote this whole-foods based gluten-free cookbook in part to help people follow their elimination diet. I detailed my own experience on the elimination diet on this blog back in 2010.

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and blog both have a devout following, and I have always counted myself among their fans. So when Ali asked for recipe testers for her new cookbook, Nourishing Meals, I was happy to volunteer. The book was recently published and Ali kindly sent me a copy. At the time, I was cooking weekly meals for a client and immediately knew I would use many of the recipes from Nourishing Meals.

I started by making the Three-Bean Vegetable Chili.

























Next, I made the Pumpkin Cornbread.


























And finally, I made the Dilled Quinoa with Peas.


























All delicious. All simple.

There are many more recipes I plan on trying, like the Zucchini Almond Bake and Grain-Free Chicken Nuggets. And with over 300 recipes, there will be plenty more!

Giveaway
Ali is graciously giving a copy of her new cookbook to one reader (continental U.S. only please).

To win a copy of the cookbook, leave a comment below telling me why you would like this cookbook.

For extra entries, post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

And please please leave a way for me to contact you! It's the only way you can win!

Giveaway will close on December 7th at midnight EST.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Join The December Sanity Challenge 2012


This year, more than any other, I'm hearing how stressed you all feel. Cluttered. Overworked and undernourished. 

Me too. 

And I'm beginning to realize, more than ever, that the only person who can change this is you. You and I, we're not responsible for the culture that idolizes work and leaves no time for personal self-care. But we are the only ones who can change that, and only by the direct action of choosing how we want to be in this world

We get to choose. We get to choose how we raise our children and what we raise them to believe. If we raise them to believe that their worth is determined by a 9 to 5. Or that they are so much more than that. 

They are the dreams they envision, the poems they write, the paintings they draw. They are the cats and dogs they play with and the blackberries they eat right from the bush. Their lives are as rich, as elegant, as vast as they can imagine them to be. 

And so is yours. 

It's hard to remember that you are the ultimate maker of decisions in your life. But you are. 

So let's talk about the life you choose to live. 

Let's talk about a challenge. To do exactly what you want to be doing, what you're called to do, and what makes you sing with joy. 















December Sanity Challenge 2012 
Let's start today with the second annual December Sanity Challenge. This is a challenge to you to make sure you're not getting caught up in the insanity of the holiday craze and that you're living your life to the fullest. Not my life. Not your neighbor's. Yours.  

My challenge for you, first, is to think about what exactly this means to you. How do you want to live your life? Are there changes that need to be made? What excuses are you using to avoid making those changes? What do the holidays mean to you and what can you do this month to make sure you stay true to that?

To take it a step further, blog on what you plan to do this month to be happy, healthy, and sane(If you don’t have a blog and want to play, e-mail  me and I’ll post your goals!) I'll be doing the same later this month, but I'm starting today. I know what kind of life I want to live, I know when I'm making excuses, and I'm taking a step today to stop making excuses and start choosing my life. 

Goal #1 for the challenge: Stop telling myself I don't have time to take care of myself. Only when I stop telling myself this story will I be able to make the changes I need to. 

As a little added incentive, for each post on your intentions and your progress you link back here or one of the other co-hosts, you’ll be entered to receive a $50 gift certificate to Nuts.com (they are not sponsoring, our founder, Cheryl, just wanted something with healthy gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. options). The delicious Ms. Carrie Forbes of Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl has also generously donated 2 signed cookbooks: The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook.

I’ll be joined by a wonderful group of co-hosts:
Last, we do have a Facebook group–if you’d like to join, you’re more than welcome. It’s a space to support and be supported, and it’s the same one we used during the last Self-Care Retreat.

p.s. Beginning tomorrow, the next four days will be dedicated to reviews of gluten-free cookbooks and products that I think will make lovely holiday gifts. And each one will include a giveaway! See you tomorrow!

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