This Monday & Tuesday I had the opportunity through work to attend the It’s Time Texas Summit through work but also as an ITT Ambassador.
The discussion has been exceptionally wonderful and great from policy making to engaging our communities for creating a healthy lifestyle.
As a nutrition educator in the community, I can not tell you enough I am indeed and shockingly human. Today on the final day of this conference I had the chance to listen to a panel of guest speakers from Dr. Esteban López, MD, MBA from Blue Cross to Kate Rogers VP of corporate communications and health promotion at grocery Mongol giant of Texas and my former employer, H-E-B among the prestigious panelists they reminded us we are all human. They even mentioned their day to day, or demons as it was put by a panelist, struggles we all suffer from at home to work environments. When I mention environments, I am talking about the lack of access to a walking path for some stretching and exercise to get away from your desk all day. We all have daily struggles whether it’s deciding between an apple with some peanut butter for a snack or that delicious Texas Homemade Blue Bell Vanilla. We all have food choices and a relationship with food and this is something I even myself struggle with.
Truth: It’s only been 17 hours since my last sugary beverage & fast food meal. My Struggle. It’s real.
Whether it is finding access to food, finding the information for a successful and safe run/walk, or finding a recipe that is appealing and healthy, it is a daily struggle to be healthy but it’s necessary. Our future is at stake from insurance to food industry to home.
It’s time Texas to wake up: read our food ingredients, make home cooked meals, educate our selves of what we are eating, making a change for ourselves to live healthier futures.
Time for us to eat well and treat our only personal home [our bodies] as they should be treated, you only live once make it is best longest journey anyone has ever seen, for you.
As all of you know I began a Whole30 journey back on January 4. Well the day is quickly approaching in less than 6 hours, Day 30. I have reached the end of my journey.
Here is a quick list of what I have learned so far:
Nutritious food tastes great
My body does not like sugar
Sugar has a hold on my brain and produces some serious sugar dragons even on day 28
When food is offered and free I do not hesitate and take it :-\
I am still undecided as to how to and what to reintroduce first into my body
I am down a dress size
I have lost many inches
The tigerblood in me is strong
With #6, #7, & #8 present, I am considering continuing this lifestyle
I have learned so much in this Whole30 experience, I still want to continue to feed my habit of eating super clean. I am fearful of how my body will react to sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol, and legumes.
But you know what; no matter what I decide to do in the next 29 hours I am super happy I did this and super happy I have an amazing support group. Most of which will continue the journey, and I am really contemplating continuing as well.
I am turning 30 this year and I am just not currently thinking of big goals I want to accomplish this year of 2016. I am now off to cook a delicious Whole30 dinner and contemplate which I want to put to paper and declare to you all.
What are some of your goals you’ve placed for this entire 2016? Not the New Year’s resolutions you probably already forgot, but GOALS. A dream you have with a plan. Drop them below in the comments!
Or share them on the IG using the hashtag #DreaDreamsWell and tag me @DreaEatsWell
After months of pep talk and discovering many friends wanting to tag along and join the journey I said JANUARY 4th is the day I begin my Whole30 journey.
If you are following me on twitter, you may have noticed a ton of food photos. Well this is the documentation of my journey. I have become that crazy person taking photos of my food before I consume it.
I am sure if you have never heard of the Whole30 before you are more than likely wondering what the heck i am talking about well:
Established by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits,restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
I began my journey by reading “It Starts With Food” by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig ; now yes my passion, love, degree, & career surround the study of nutrition and food however this opened my eyes to so much more in the food industry! I really suggest reading this book if you are considering a Whole30. You’ll think twice when contemplating cheating, sneaking a piece of non-compliant food here and there, you will really think twice developing that new relationship with your food!
With my eyes wide open and my date set I began to prepare. I created a Pinterest board full of Whole30 compliant recipes (from many blogs) and getting an idea of things I can make. I also began visiting a lot of blogs with wise Whole30 followers. With this research I found helpful blogs with meal plans, recipes, tips and ideas! I tell you this blogesphere is amazing and the people in it are even more amazing!
Let me take a moment to share with you the blog that eased my mind and reminded me a Whole30 is nothing to be afraid of. It is a blog that gave me recipes to be prepared, gave me a sense of comfort and with many scans of all her recipes I was ready to rock the Whole30 with the tools. Without further ado Kendra with Our Paleo Life prepared me with the mind set, tools, and Whole30 compliant delicious-ness! OPL is a MUST check out if you are interested in doing a Whole30 challenge or even just contemplating a lifestyle change and visiting the wild Paleo side. Be sure you follow her as well on Instagram (@ourpaleolife), pin all the pins you want on Pinterest, as well as Facebook and the wonderful world of tweeting on Twitter (@ourpaleo) to help you stay up to date on all her released recipes!
Now: Here I am Day 13 on my Whole 30 and I am feeling pretty good. My energy is high and all my sugar withdraw symptoms have entered the upswing. My mind’s ability to focus has been crystal clear which has always been an issue for me, I guess you could say my brain fog is gone. One thing I have noticed is my acne has been subsided but not as much as I expected. I turned to the Whole30 message boards from the website and learned it is more than likely due to my lack of water. That is what I get for leaving my new water bottle an hour away when I was teaching a nutrition class with the American Heart Association, time to order a new one from Amazon. This leads me to talk a bit about the community. I know at the Whole30 headquarters there is a whole team (of four beautiful women according to their Facebook) who answer our questions, a community of over 100,000 men and women who have completed and help empower each other. This time I made sure I had a backbone of my close friends easily at hands access for me to hold onto when I needed. This round I have had my best friend and beautiful bride to be Lady H with me and a super supportive coworker whom I see just about every single day and eat lunch with, A. A even prepared lunch for me on day 1 because I had been out of town with family the weekend before and did not get home in time to prepare food. With this supportive team I have we text each other and hold each other accountable. I know these two amazing women are the reason I am almost HALF WAY in and no mistakes (A pointed out an ALMOST mistake) and absolutely no cheating!
I had my date, I had prepared, and I had a team. Closing with Day 13 in the books and approaching Week 3 of my very first Whole30 journey I acknowledge I still have to prepare just as I have for Day 1 and treat my body the same. I only have one chance and I want to tell my body and brain they are worth all the nutritious nourishment I can give them!
Now, with the remainder I have left of this beautiful evening on day 13 I am going to sit and attempt to have a full meal prep list ready to go for Monday. The Whole30 Chicken Cacciatore is looking mighty delicious! Doesn’t it sound divine!
Below I am sharing with you a little show of my current journey so far in my first Whole30.
Feel free to let me know if you are participating or have completed a Whole30 challenge before. Remember to continue hashtagging your photos with #dewieseatwell and I promise to be updating some recipes soon!
If you are a potato fanatic you will want to try this new twist on fries! Yucca is also a root just like potato is. This root vegetation is where our tapioca pudding derives from. Yucca root can be used to treat inflammation (but I am not a doctor, just a nutritionist) so consult your doctor before you try anything new to treat a medical condition. Well basically just consult your doctor for anything. 😉
Today I had Yucca also known as Cassava root I found in my tiny grocery store this past week.
I was so excited I bought three. Well because I did not use them RIGHT away two went bad but I managed to still make a delicious batch of yucca fries. When you have yucca root you can tell they are bad by these tiny black lines that are running through the root. It is important to discard all of the root as they produce Cyanide. It is important to only use the white Yucca!
Flip the yucca fries after 15 minutes in the over at 450F
Yucca Fire Fries
1-2 Yucca Roots
1 TBSP olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Peel the root using a vegetable peeler. Removing the waxy brown outer layer.
Cut the white yucca into fry shapes. You can use an apple slicer to cut them into fry shapes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the yucca for 10 minutes.
Wash the boiled yucca off in cold water. The yucca that will be crispiest will be almost see through.
Toss the yucca fries in a bowl with the olive oil/coconut oil and seasonings.
Line them on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Flip the yucca fries and bake for 15 more minutes.
We are now 4 days away from Thanksgiving and it is officially fall here in South Texas.
Last night I had to turn my oven on and get back in the kitchen. I am currently preparing for a turn of events which I will be documenting like crazy here on my blog. It is taking a lot of prep and thought but I will update you guys on what is to come soon.
These healthy takes on a chewy sweet treat will be a beautiful site on anyone’s Thanksgiving spread. Share the health this Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Coconut Rice Treats
1/2 cup pure pumpkin (can be freshly pureed)
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups Rice Cereal or Brown rice puffs ( i was limited and opted for the only option I had, Rice Krispies)
1/4 organic shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger ground
1/4 cup raisins/craisins (optional)
Mix together the pumpkin puree, coconut oil and honey until blended together. Add rice cereal and spices. place into a greased (spare coconut oil) 8×8 baking pan. Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes.Optional: sprinkle 1TBSP powdered confectioners sugar on top for presentation and added sweetness.
The magical aroma will fill your kitchen of cinnamon and pumpkin and your family will enjoy with a delicious decadent treat!
I want to get something off of my chest. I am desensitized to food. My husband and I since the week before our wedding almost one entire month ago have been eating junk/fast food like crazy. It really didn’t hit me until I was cooking soup for lunch tomorrow. I AM DESENSITIZED to good foods! Good nutritious foods. I have a sugar addiction. I am lethargic all the time, and I mean ALL the time. I am super bloated and that is not just me being a whiney female acknowledging her current weight gain. It is because of this:
Last night I was at a meeting for work. As we were getting up and leaving one of the sweet ladies asked me in front of everyone “Andrea, I have to ask you, are you expecting?” “I SURE HOPE NOT” were the words out of my mouth. I had to make a trip to the ladies room before I even started the meeting an hour and a half prior to her question. But for some odd reason it still has not hit me how off the wall and inappropriate questions these are. Well then this afternoon I was walking into a classroom full of one of my many third grade classes about to teach them about Whole Grains. Well these two sisters were snickering and I looked at them and one goes “she said your pregnant”.
In less than 24 hours apart I have been mistaken for pregnant. -_-
This week is proving to me to be my wake up call. I need to get back in gear and get my health back at it.
By ABSOLUTELY NO MEANS, am I a green-grass shootin’, exercising, I am one with the earth, yoga doin’, hippie. I am a twenty something still trying to adjust to having a career and little time to herself. I am learning how to deal with an almost hour commute everyday to work. Waking up are hell for me, since I’ve been extremely unhealthy. I do not meditate, though I wish I did, the dream of having 20 minutes of peace to myself I’d love it! This is the struggle of every working human who dreams of being healthy, living on their own time and not slaving away to society. I know I am not alone and I am among many.
I feel I am living a huge lie when I am teaching nutrition,. Preaching, if you will, about how families and children should not be making fast food, sodas, and processed foods a normal habit, however I have fallen into my own pitfall of junk food, sodas, and processed foods. My consequence: Being desensitized to healthy nutrition and delicious foods. My body craves sugar. I confess this is bad when I am hiding golden double stuffed Oreos in my car. Yup, hiding food in my car and it is even the worst place for a commuter.
I need to do something. Time to eat more. This is one reason I started this blog. I am not alone. I am human.
The day is finally here! The day where I am finally able to sit down and write together my jambalaya I whipped up in honor of the LSU Tigers win over Florida this past weekend!
First any good jambalaya starts with your onion, celery, bell & jalapeño pepper, and of course heart healthy garlic! I threw these in the pan to sauté with a little extra virgin olive oil. When the onion, celery, peppers, and garlic were softened and my mouth was watering I added my Cajun Hollar Brand Cajun Style Andouille sausage (Mmmm) and chicken!! This is where you can add some of your Cajun Seasoning. I used 2 gringos Chupacabra Cajun blend seasoning. I think it was the secret behind the approval of Mr. Eats Well.
Get those onions, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, and celery into that pot!
This allowed me to watch the chicken and make sure it was cooked. I may have a little bigger fear cooking meat and making sure it is cooked thoroughly. Cooking meat is still very new to me as I grew up a vegetarian so cooking meat for others is always a new experience.
Next came the canned diced tomatoes, chicken broth (or vegetable broth), and rice. Covered on low-medium it was time for that rice to soak up all the flavors and juices.
Be sure to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure no rice gets left behind. About 20 minutes later I tossed the peels and deveined shrimp in. Let it all cook for about 5-10 minutes more.
Jambalaya is a custom consumed at almost every LSU tailgate site. From chicken to alligator the proteins in this jambalaya is endless! You can add more heat, you can take out all the heat but be sure you enjoy it surround by friends and family!
Remember to share your hash-tags and Drea Eats Well experiences in the kitchen!
Please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if you’re going to try this or share your photos from the kitchen on Instagram or twitter! Be sure to tag me as well! @dreaeatswell
Until next time Dewies!
LSU TIGER Jambalaya
1 pound chicken breast, cubed
1 TBSP Extra Virgin olive oil
1 Bell Pepper (you can certainly use any color and as many as you’d like!)
1/2 white onion
1/2 c celery stalks
1 seeded jalapeno
1 pound Andouille sausage
1 pound deveined and peeled shrimp
2 cups Chicken Stock
14.5 oz Diced tomatoes
1 cup whole grain rice uncooked
1-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
Saute the onions, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeno until soft in TBSP olive oil. Then add the tomoatoes, chicken stock, cubed chicken breast,sausage, thyme, and cajun seasoning. Cook for just 2 minutes, then add the rice. Bring to a boil with cover on. Then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes allowing the rice to absorb the stock with the cover off. Last five minutes add the shrimp and allow to cook until a beautiful pink!
you are ready to serve. Top with some avocado, or cheese of your choice 😉
This post is about to get a whole lot sweeter!!! Of course I’ll be working/discussing/cooking and tasting sweet potatoes! You are pretty lucky this post will be a double whammy! Two recipes in one! First we are going to make Sweet Potato Chips! Then with those delicious homemade sweet potato chips we are going to make nachos!!! A delicious alternative to a very unhealthy fried (yes fried, tortilla chips are fried) treat!
Sweet Potato chips sound very intimidating and a bit time consuming but great news! You can prepare the sweet potato chips in advanced! I really recommend making the investment into a mandolin slicer. I bought mine at Wal-mart for about $20 and it has paid off! From thing sliced foods to julienne (or match stick) vegetables on salads or coleslaw, the mandolin like I said has paid for it’s self in the stress, strength, injuries and energy it would have taken to use a knife.
As always food safety is important so we wash our hands and then we wash those potatoes, because between the ground and our mouths we have no idea where these sweet potatoes have been before!
Back to the crispy sweetness: Depending on how thick you want your sweet potato chips, I recommend a little thickness (I did not get to choose because of my mandolin slicer only has one option at thickness) to keep color and from burning in the oven; Plus it will give you structure to hold your load (veggies/toppings) with those nachos later.
Now we have a wonderful variety of sweet potato slices! We need to soak them! But a little fun first!
Ok but seriously, it is time to soak these bad boys!
In a bowl of warm water and 1 TBSP of corn starch you will soak your sweet potato slices for about 15 minutes. This will help draw out some of the starches from the sweet potato and will increase the crispiness!
Next you will take a cookie sheet or two and line them with aluminum foil (helps with the clean up) and a cookie cooling rack. This allows air to flow around the sweet potato slice to help dehydrate the sweet potato turning them into delicious chips. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Next we will allow the sweet potatoes to cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. You will want to flip them over half way in between.
Now wait those agonizing 15 minutes (do not forget to flip them over in about 7 minutes) and take a few selfies while you wait!
Be sure to tag #DEWIESeatwell if you make this recipe or my future recipes or you want to just take a selfie in the kitchen or share your “food porn” with the community and me!
Now that we have waited those agonizing 15 minutes it is time to get those sweet babies out! Now you have two options here:
If you want them to be a bit crispier to eat by themselves let them back in the sauna but keep a really good close eye on them letting them get to your desired crispiness. Them let them out and cool off on those racks they are on. This will allow them to continue their crisping process.
OR You can let them be a bit soft and begin the Sweet Potato Nacho process from.
To continue on with the sweet potato process:
You will want to begin placing them in a cast iron skillet. Size determined by how many people you are serving with these delicious nachos. Heads up: I just made sweet potato chips from one wide sweet potato which gave me about 15-20 nacho approved chips. The potato made a whole bunch of thing CRISPY chips I decided not to use in my nachos. I used a 10″ skillet and only 1 layer of nachos because I was only making a size for myself.
Once you create a layer of sweet potato chips like above you can add that LOW FAT cheese. It is important we consume dairy to receive the calcium it provides us but use fat-free or low-fat milk due to the high saturated fat content in other varieties. You can also tryout vegan cheese (dairy-free) if you prefer to skip out on dairy in general. My favorite vegan cheese to use is Daiya Cheese.
Add your cheese and then it is time to add the toppings!!! I personally like to start with the cheese, onions and tomatoes on my nachos and toss them in the (still on) oven.
Time for those finishing toppings. Add colorful foods to your sweet potato nachos to add different vitamins, minerals, and well delicious and beneficial phytonutrients!
Now sit back and enjoy this delicious treat! The more we spend time enjoying our food the less we take it for granted!
Sweet Potato Nachos!
1 sweet potato
1 TBSP Corn Starch
1/4 cup Low-Fat Cheese
1/4 cup diced onion (I prefer purple to provide more color to my nachos)
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado diced
1 white onion bulb and stalk chopped
1/4 cup black beans, cooked & rinsed (if you use canned black beans be sure to rinse them from their brine to help reduce the sodium)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit.
Slice uncooked, but thoroughly washed sweet potato with a mandolin slicer (mandolin is preferred to prevent injury) or you can carefully use a knife.
Soak sweet potato slices in warm water with 1 tbsp corn starch for 15 minutes.
Lay sweet potato slices on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes, flipping the slices over about 7 minutes in.
Allow to cool on the cooling rack. Keep oven on.
Begin to Layer chips into a cast iron skillet.
Add half the cheese and sprinkle on top.
Add layers of colorful vegetables.
Sprinkle last half of cheese.
Place back in the oven for five minutes.
Remove. Let cool.
Enjoy a delicious healthy treat!
When you are enjoying your sweet potato nachos make sure to share on instagram and twitter!
See you all later this week for nutrition tips & facts!! Leave your comment below on this recipe, blog and any questions you may have!
Welcome to the very first blog post of many to come! A fantastic edition of Drea (short for Andrea) Eats Well!
I, like many women, am just trying to eat healthy, feel energetic healthy, and stay on budget! I am here to prove to you that you can! This is a documentation of my journey to:
trying, finding and tasting new recipes
trying new budgeting methods
life experiences you may be seeking advice on
fitness: the constant struggle of losing weight
with a nice side of nutrition education.
A little about myself before get into this!
I am Andrea, I am a 29 year old working wife. I am a newly-wed (as of two weeks today) and I work for a large non-profit in San Antonio, Texas. I am a nutrition education coordinator and absolutely love my job! I have my Bachelors of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and am happy to share my well paid for knowledge with all you of willing to read!
Along with my newly-wed status we are beginning to embark on life’s adventures after marriage. Examples include that marital finance woahs, the journey to buying a new house, becoming gazelle’s and attacking our debt and past financial choices/consequences, eventually beginning a family, and with that becoming a couple living the “All-American Dream”. I sure hope you will join us in our journey, The Price Pair, and look forward to seeing our future unfold.